We’ve spent the last week talking about some of the great ingredients you can include in your diet to help optimize your performance and health, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the big dog, branched chain amino acids. Let’s talk about the benefits of BCAA’s.
Amino acids support protein synthesis in the body. Of the twenty or so that exist, nine are essential. The nine essential amino acids cannot be produced in the body and therefore must be consumed through diet or supplementation. Of these nine, three are termed branched-chain amino acids based on their chemical structure. They are leucine, isoleucine, and valine (all three of which you can find in Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer).
Two other amino acids that we include in our pre-workout powder are glutamine and beta-alanine. We talked about beta-alanine earlier this week and you learned that it helps increase your muscle endurance and recovery. Glutamine is also important for recovery, but even more importantly acts as a building block for protein.
So what are the real benefits of BCAA’s? Do you need to take a separate supplement to get sufficient levels of BCAA’s? Let’s take a look.
BCAA’S HELP YOUR MUSCLES GROW!
Studies have shown that BCAA’s actually help to enhance muscle growth following resistance training. In one case, people who consumed BCAA’s following their training session experienced 22% more muscle growth than their placebo counterparts. That being said, the largest muscle gains are achieved from consuming a complete protein- meaning all nine essential amino acids, not just the three branched chain amino acids.
avoid doms with bcaa’s
Do you ever see people shaking up a BCAA drink immediately before their workout? Many people are being proactive and trying to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness from their training session. BCAA’s have proven to actually help diminish the severity of muscle soreness by decreasing the degree of cell damage caused by training.
PREVENT MUSCLE BREAKDOWN
This is pretty understandable given that amino acids are the building blocks for protein synthesis in the body. As we discussed earlier this week, exercise breaks down your muscles and cells, and through protein synthesis and recovery, your muscles grow and get stronger. If you are supplementing your recovery regimen with BCAA’s and the other essential amino acids, your muscles will grow stronger and more resistant to breakdown and damage in the future.
So now you know some of the benefits of taking BCAA’s, but the question remains: do I need to take a separate BCAA supplement? Not necessarily.
As we mentioned above, the largest muscle gains are achieved from using a complete protein source immediately following training, meaning a source that contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Most whey protein powders have all nine essential amino acids (including the three BCAA’s), which is why it is the favored muscle-building supplement on the market.
However, if you aren’t a big fan of whey protein powder, you can absolutely still take a BCAA supplement or pre-workout powder that contains BCAA’s like Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer.
Check out the latest deal on Red Leaf Recovery Supplements while supplies last! Visit us at www.redleafnutrition.com for more nutrition and fitness information.