What Are Amino Acids?
Your body uses around 20 different amino acids to help grow muscle.
11 of which are produced by your body, however 9 can't - these 9 are known as essential amino acids, ‘essential’ because they must be obtained by the body via your diet.
3 of these essential amino acids are known as the Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs, the three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
These three essential amino acids account for a third of the body's skeletal muscle (strained muscle tissue - 1 of 3 main muscle types)
Together they help prevent fatigue and to maintain muscle mass and strength during times of physical stress, including during an intense workout.
How Do They Work?
Once absorbed BCAAs bypass the liver and go straight to muscle tissue, and quickly transform into an available energy source, just what you need when working out.
They are metabolised in the muscles and BCAAs are quickly absorbed and provide a rapid, available source of energy just when you need it most.
This is great for me as I exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach doing a fasted HIIT workout. I feel they have really helped me get the most from every workout and maintain muscle mass.
Amino Acids Can:
- Support the action of insulin
- Trigger protein synthesis
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Allow you to train harder for longer
- Enhance mental functioning during periods of stress
- Act as a readily available energy source
- Aid recovery
- Increase testosterone levels post-workout
- Assist with fat loss
Who Should Use Them?
I think anyone who trains on a regular basis should consider adding these to their daily supplements.
If you train a lot, whether it be at the gym, running, CV or weights, could be using more BCAAs than you get from your food.
Therefore adding these to your daily routine can help prevent muscle loss and strength.
They are relatively cheap and available in a huge variety of both powder and tablets - I have both and tend to have less tablets per day and combine with a powder too.
When to Take Them?
On the PhD Nutrition BCAA Caps box recommendations, it advises to take caps pre, during and post workout.
I'm not a huge fan of tablets so like to mix it up and have a source via liquid too.
Check out the BCAAs I use now on Monster!
PhD Branched Chain Amino Acid capsules - CLICK HERE
Millennium Sports Technologies RPG - CLICK HERE