What are Branch Chain Amino Acids? What do they do? How can they help me? These are just some of the questions that I want to answer today. There are so many different products in the supplement market; Protein, pre-workout, vitamins and so many other products. They all say that they can build muscle or burn fat but what do each of these products do. Today my focus will be on BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids.
BCAAs are one of the best products to help build and/or preserve muscle. There are BCAAs they are known as Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These three amino acids makeup BCAAs and are essential. What does essential mean in this case? It means that our body does not produce it and needs to be taken in by a different source. BCAAs are found in different products. They are mostly found in proteins.
Why should we take in BCAAs? So, it is best to drink protein after a workout, the reason being is that the protein helps to rebuild the muscle that had been broken down after a workout. So protein itself takes a couple of hours to break down and fuel the muscles, but BCAAs on their own do not have to be broken down in the liver so they go straight into your bloodstream and into your muscles to fuel them for the time being. Once they do enter the bloodstream quickly they are used less for building muscle and more for the preservation of it.
When is the best time to take BCAAs? So, these amino acids can be taken during many different times, I mean honestly you can take before, during, or after a workout. After a bit of research, and this is my opinion, is to take it as an intra-workout. During a workout, your muscles become fatigued and at the microscopic level the muscles rips or breaks down. Since BCAAs are absorbed by the body so quickly they can fuel the muscles almost immediately. So, when working out and sipping on a BCAA drink then you are constantly fueling your muscles and not allowing them to break down as quickly. Soreness and muscle fatigue are greatly reduced when drinking BCAAs.
There are many different brands out on the market, I have talked to some people and gained their opinions and tried some other products myself. The top three that I see are SciVation Xtend BCAAs, NutraBio Intrablast, and BPI Best Sport BCAA. These products have a great amount of BCAAs needed to support muscle recovery (7 grams) and they all taste pretty good. So, if you have been trying to find out why BCAAs are necessary then I hope this answered some of your questions.