What are Branched Chain Amino Acids?

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of proteins and are essential amino acids that can be oxidized in skeletal muscle. The most popular essential amino acids are known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine and account for around 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins.

Some common Amino Acids found in supplements and their effects:

Amino Acid Name Effects
Alanine Promotes alcohol metabolism
Arginine Improves immune system functions and circulation; helps prevent arteriosclerosis; activates the urea cycle; promotes ammonia breakdown; promotes secretion of insulin and glucagon
Glutamic Acid Promotes ammonia breakdown
Glutamine Promotes gastric mucosa formation
Leucine Promotes protein anabolism
Isoleucine Promotes protein anabolism
Methionine Protects against fatty liver syndrome
Tryptophan Serves as a serotonin precursor
Lysine Promotes calcium absorption
Histidine Regulates parasympathetic nerve function
Proline Normalizes collagen metabolism
Cystine Normalizes skin metabolism

It is well documented that exercise-induced muscle damage decreases muscle function and causes soreness and discomfort. A 2003 study on the effects of BCAA supplementation found that Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation increased protein synthesis and decreased muscle protein breakdown.

Furthermore, BCAA supplementation before and after exercise was found to have beneļ¬cial effects for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle-protein synthesis. This suggests that BCAAs are an effective supplement for recovery from exercise and sports.

Make sure to supplement with BCAAs before and post your workout for the highest benefits. A 2012 study on reducing exercise induced muscle damage concluded that BCAA administered before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces muscle damage and accelerates recovery in resistance-trained males.

In short, BCAAs are a must for any sportsperson or for anyone undergoing regular exercise. Make the most of your training with some of our awesome options:

Try USP Labs Modern BCAA http://bit.ly/154538o

Scivation Xtend (in 30 and 90 servings options) http://bit.ly/1axdqe6

 

Sources:

 

Sugita M, Ohtani M, Ishii N et al: Effect of a selected amino acid mixture on the

recovery from muscle fatigue during and after eccentric contraction exercise

training. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem : 67, 372-375, 2003

Glyn Howatson, Michael Hoad, Stuart Goodall, Jamie Tallent, Phillip G Bell and Duncan N French: Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:20

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