Your training is methodical, your nutrition calculated and organised, but you forgot one important ingredient when it comes to maximising recovery and ensuring solid muscular gains for all your sedulous work…..Branch Chain Amino Acids!
There’s more research that supports the use of BCAAs than most other supplements on the market! Although it’s not to uncommon to find the occasional nay saying, pharmaceutically enhanced body builder refute the need for BCAA supplementation, anyone who isn’t part of the dark side of the fitness industry should be embracing the many benefits BCAAs have to offer.
BCAA (leucine, isoleucine, valine) are 3 amino acids that are considered essential as the body is unable to make them from other amino acids and therefore must be derived from food or supplementation. BCAA make up 35% percent of the muscle tissue and can be found in foods such as salmon, chicken, beef and eggs.
Research shows that Leucine taken directly after strength training can increase protein synthesis by as much as 145%!! It’s important to take note that Leucine should be taken in conjunction with the other 2 branch chain aminos (iso-leucine and valine) to help maintain a healthy balanced blood amino acid level, ideally with a ratio of around 4-1-1 as this has been shown in the research to be optimal for muscle development.
BCAAs have even more positive benefits than just increasing protein sythesis. They might also improve workout intensity by competing with the amino acid Tryptophan for entry into the brain, where Tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin which is not something you want when you’re trying to power through a bar bending workout. During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can increase the feeling of lethargy and fatigue which is never going to be conducive to a great workout.. BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of Tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced.
But I already take whey protein which has some BCAA?
Now whilst it’s still advisable to take your post workout whey protein shake it is not going to be as effective to take Whey during workouts as BCAAs. Why? Because BCAAs in Whey protein are peptide bound to other amino acids which need to pass through the digestive system and be absorbed into the bloodsteam. Although by nature whey protein is quite fast absorbing, we are still talking about several hours. BCAAs on the other hand require no digestion and by pass the liver and gut tissue to go directly into the blood stream, resulting in a spike of BCAA blood plasma levels and a reduction in protein degradation.
New studies show that groups supplementing with BCAAs (especially with a favorable leucine content) increase muscle retention and maximize fat loss far more effectively than non supplemented groups. Embody Fitness clients till this point have had exclusive access to our specially formulated 4-1-1 ratio BCAAs which have undoubtedly played a huge part in our results. The good news, they are now available to anyone serious about maximising their results in the gym from our online store.