BCAA’s THE BUILDING BLOCKS! –
What are they?
BCAA’s, also known as branch-chain amino acids, are “the building blocks” of the body and here is why.
When protein is entered into the body it is broken down into organic compounds called amino acids. The first type of amino acid is called essential, which cannot be produced from other substances or other amino acids and therefore must be consumed in food. There are a total of 9 essential amino acids. The second amino acid group is called nonessential which means that it can be produced in the body and therefore does not necessarily need to be consumed. There are a total of 22 amino acids. Now here is where BCAA’s come into play.
BCAA’s are three essential amino acids, (meaning they have to be consumed in some form) and they are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Make note of this. BCCA’s are broken down by the muscles as an energy source as compared to the other amino acids which are broken down by the liver. This is extremely important for athletes trying to build muscles and on top of that these three amino acids compose about 1/3 of the bodies skeletal muscle tissue.
Why do you need them?
There are many reasons why you need to incorporate BCAA’s into your workouts. First, BCAA’s promote protein synthesis (the process in which cells construct protein) and second, they have an anti-catabolic effect by favoring better testosterone/cortisol ratios. Testosterone/cortisol levels is a whole other topic to cover as high cortisol levels are linked to heart disease and increased body fat.
Another reason is they decrease body fat and prevent muscle fatigue during exercise and lastly, using BCAA’s during workouts can decrease post-workout soreness.
So when do you take BCAA’s?
I take my BCAA’s right before (as I’m going to the gym and before I start lifting) and during my training. For me it’s a comfort thing and I feel more productive when working out. You can’t go wrong taking them in a pre workout combination or a post workout combination. Like everything, this is just a portion of your training repertoire and to see the most significant results your diet needs to be the number 1 priority! Be patient, push yourself and train hard!