Branched Chain Amino Acids
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are becoming more popular within the fitness industry in recent years, often as part of pre-workout formulations or stand alone tablets or powder. However, with whey supplementation being a staple in the performance nutrition diet the question remains; is there a place for BCAAs for those that already supplement with Whey protein?
Before we delve in to the ins and outs of BCAAs we must first establish the role proteins play in muscle maintenance and growth. Even at rest we’re turning over proteins, breaking them down via the catabolic state, muscle protein breakdown (MPB), and building proteins via the anabolic state, muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
When exercise is thrown in to the mix, not only does MPS increase but MPB increases also, particularly seen with damaging resistance exercise such as lifting weights. Not ideal for holding on to the muscle you’ve worked hard to build. It is possible to curb the rise in MPB and keep muscle loss at bay by eating the right amount of protein throughout the day, providing the essential amino acid building blocks the body needs to help restore muscles.
If you exercise and eat the recommended daily amount of protein, maintaining and even building muscle is relatively simple. However, if you’re cutting or following a calorie-deficit diet such as intermittent fasting, you will not be giving your body all the calories it requires; in turn, your body will use energy stores such as glycogen, body fat and to some extent degrading the protein from your muscle to use as fuel. So is there a way to cut whilst maintaining muscle?
WHAT ARE BCAA’s?
There are 20 amino acids in the genetic code, combining in different sequences to create all sorts of different biological proteins within the body. These amino acids can be further categorised into non-essential, meaning we naturally produce them in the body, and essential amino acids which cannot be self synthesised and are therefore obtained through the diet from foods such as chicken, beef, salmon and eggs. Of these nine essential amino acids, there are three BCAAs; Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine.
BCAA vs WHEY
So you might be thinking, ‘but whey protein contains BCAAs too, so why does taking isolated BCAAs make any difference?’ – Glad you asked. The BCAAs in whey protein supplements are bound to other amino acids and must be liberated from the protein chain during digestion and then released in to the blood stream, all of which takes time. BCAAs in supplement form are free-form and provide greater bioavailability Vs whey, meaning they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and can be delivered straight to your muscles.
BCAA supplements also offer a different texture and taste compared to many whey supplements, they are generally fresher and lighter, making them more palatable to ingest during or after a heavy workout.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE BCAA’s?
Mix 6 g BCAAs with 200 ml water before, during or after training up to 3 times daily. Maximuscle’s BCAA 3000 contains an optimal 3:1:1 ratio of high quality Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Put simply, we mix 3 g Leucine with 1 g of Isoleucine and Valine.
Maximuscle BCAA 3000 is 100 % batched tested with Informed Sport, and is the product for serious gym trainers, body builders and fitness professionals. Maximuscle Athlete’s and Ambassadors can go into competition with peace of mind knowing that every Maximuscle product is screened for banned substances.