So a common question is: How do I use BCAAs (branched chain amino acids). My standard answer: It depends.
If you’re an athlete doing intense workouts: I’d recommend a scoop or two mixed in 6-8 ounces of water(depending on your body-weight and workout intensity) directly after a workout. You can also sip on a scoop or two as an intra (during) workout supplement.
That being said, what’ s the most beneficial? Well, everyone seems to understand that amino acids are the building blocks of protein(think of them as the Legos of muscle-building lol) but they are SO MUCH MORE….Amino acids are essential for the synthesis of proteins, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolic pathways, mental stabilization, and just about every bodily function.
BCAAs are amazing…… they are metabolized in your muscle tissue, not in the liver like most other supplements are metabolized. This means that BCAAs, without any requirement for much digestion or “processing” at all, can be relied on as an actual energy source during exercise, preventing premature muscle breakdown. Some studies have found that BCAAs could increase a variety of factors that are really useful for anyone who cares about their physical performance…like red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit and serum albumin. They can also lower fasting blood glucose and decrease creatine phophokinase, which means less inflammation, better red blood cell formation, and better formation of storage carbohydrate.
BCAA supplementation after exercise has been shown to cause faster recovery of muscle strength, and even more interestingly, the ability to slow down muscle breakdown even during intense training and “overreaching” ….and even delay or stop the consequences of overtraining.
SO in a nutshell: A scoop or two during an intense workout….followed by a scoop or two after equals better intensity and endurance during the workout and better recovery after it. If you’re injured, sick or taking time off….a scoop or two a day is a good addition to your normal supplements. One caveat: DON’T take your aminos WITH protein. Give yourself a 20-30 minute window between intake of aminos and intake of that post-workout protein drink (or whatever protein you’re about to pound).Wanna know why that 20-30 minute wait-time is important? Next blog ill discuss that….Remember you can get results or make excuses…..