BCAA’s or branched chain amino acids are grouped in with the most beneficial, most effective supplements in any sports nutritional program. The essential BCAA’s leucine, isoleucine, and valine are of high importance for all athletes, as they are metabolized in the muscles, not in the liver. All the other amino acids are regulated by the gut and liver then circulated in the body. BCAA’s essentially are protein that is used as “fuel” and when the stores of BCAA’s have been depleted, the body catabolizes the lean muscle to get more energy. Keep your BCAA’s high, the body will not eat your lean muscle, thus allowing you to have continued muscle growth, keeping the body in an anabolic state.
- BCAA supplementation lowers lactate levels after exercise or weight training.
- BCAAs may increase growth hormone (GH) circulation, as seen in studies. (De Palo EF et al 2001).
- BCAA supplementation has shown a decrease serum concentrations of the enzymes creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase which will decrease muscle damage and help recovery (Coombes JS, McNaughton LR 2000).
BCAAs also have shown to offer powerful effects in increasing testosterone levels and decreasing cortisol levels (Cortisol is an enemy to muscular development) Ball State University.Testosterone levels during intense workouts jumped nearly 50% above normal with BCAA supplementation. These effects alone can keep you in a positive muscle building zone, while helping to decrease fat.
Consume 2.5g (1/2 tsp) or equivalent capsule dosage of BCAA’s 15 minutes before and directly after exercise or weight training, along with some electrolytes (take dosage according to directions on product is best). BCAA’s in capsule form are very easy to take, but in the powdered form will not mix easily in fluid. A simple method that is used to take in powdered form, is to put the powder directly in your mouth and wash it down with fluid.
BCAA Content Of Food Sources (grams of amino acids/100 grams of protein)
- Whey protein isolate is 26% BCAA’s (best)
- Milk protein is 21% BCAA’s (Good)
- Muscle protein is 18% BCAA’s
- Soy protein isolate is 18% BCAA’s
As you can clearly see, it most certainly is a smart choice to add some BCAA’s supplements to your workout program, especially if you are looking for boosting muscle size and testosterone levels.
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