Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
Why use BCAA’s do and who should use them?
Layne Norton is a professional bodybuilding coach and powerlifter, in 2012, Layne Norton and his team of researchers found that the consumption of Leucine in a meal, or in this case a BCAA supplement, was a primary determinant in achieving maximum muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
Layne and his team also concluded that MPS could only be achieved every 4+ hours from a complete protein source (Food and Whey Protein), as opposed to the commonly suggested 3 hour feeding recommendation. Despite this finding, further research indicated that the consumption of a Leucine rich BCAA supplement could allow MPS to be achieved as well.
But what does this all mean?
You can think of MPS as an indicator for a muscle growth response that is maximised by nutrient consumption and the individual’s genetic potential.
If the primary goal is muscle growth, an individual looking to optimise this should attempt to achieve as many maximal MPS responses in a day as possible. This can generally only be achieved through the consumption of more than 2.5-3g of Leucine in a meal when consumed alongside other amino acids.
When looking at exercise and its effects on MPS, it is also important to consider MPS in the context of Muscle Protein Breakdown (MPB) as well. Research shows that consuming an amino acid supplement around training reduces MPB while stimulating MPS.
Ultimately, a BCAA supplement may help you breakdown less muscle while improving protein synthesis!
You lose less muscle and grow more… awesome.
But wait there’s more!
Perhaps even more interesting is the effect BCAA’s have on perceived mental and physical fatigue, as well as their ability to enhance performance when consumed around training.
Two comparative studies looking at the effects of simultaneous BCAA and Arginine supplementation around exercise, found that athletes consuming BCAA’s + Arginine performed better in repeat bout efforts than their counterparts who were given no BCAA formula.
BCAA’s help with preventing muscle loss, more so in times of insufficient protein intake and they enhance performance via the reduction in perceived mental and physical fatigue.
So whether you are looking for performance enhancement or you are attempting to ensure muscle growth and repair are optimised in times of need, BCAA’s may be a great addition to your supplement regime.
It is important to note that the efficacy of BCAA supplementation on muscle growth becomes far more apparent in individuals who are lacking an adequate amount of protein from their diet.
So, who should use BCAA’s?
Anyone looking to increase lean muscle, improve recovery and performance. Or anyone on a calorie restricted diet that wants to retain their lean muscle.
We recommend: Scivation Xtend BCAAs or Cyborg Fusion BCAAs.