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Discover our wide range of BCAA supplements designed with the finest ingredients available. BCAA are essential sports supplements for bodybuilders and other athletes looking to improve their performance and build muscle fast.
Check out our Best BCAA page to find out what product would suit your training goals.
What are Branched-Chain Amino Acids?
BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are the 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They made up 35 to 40% of all essential amino acids present in whole body proteins and 14 to 18% of the amino acids found in muscular tissue (*1).
BCAA supplements are very popular among bodybuilders. Leucine seems to be the most relevant amino acid for increasing the rate of muscle protein synthesis (*2) and decreasing the rate of muscle protein degradation (*3). Research has consistently highlighted leucine's potential in muscle mass maintenance (*4), (*5).
BCAAs have been extensively studied and there's a general consensus concerning its benefits for sports performance. BCAAs are known to prevent the loss of muscle mass and strength (*6), reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness (*7), increase sports performance (*8) and muscle mass (*9).
Several scientific studies have shown that BCAAs speed up the removal of metabolic waste as well as other muscle damage indicators produced during workout (*10), (*11).
Creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase are two enzymes produced during muscle metabolism. Their build-up will eventually generate muscle fatigue to an extent where you'll no longer be able to keep exercising. BCAA supplementation helps eliminate metabolic waste and other by-products therefore speeding up recovery (*12).
BCAAs are extremely important for bodybuilders as research shows they stimulate hormone production and decreases cortisol levels (*13) (a hormone that destroys muscle mass). BCAAs can also help people who are struggling to lose weight as they are known to increase lipid oxidation during exercise (*14).
When to take BCAA?
BCAAs may be taken both before and after workout. Taking 4 to 8 g of BCAAs before the workout will increase you plasma amino acid concentrations whereas taking the same amount after your training will stop the breakdown of muscle tissue and trigger muscle protein synthesis (*15).
It may be beneficial to add BCAAs to your post-workout protein shake.
Do BCAA have any side effects?
BCAAs are fairly safe. After all, we're talking about amino acids you would normally find in meat, fish, eggs and other food sources.
(*1) - J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136no. 2 529S-532S
(*2) - J. Nutr. June 1, 2004 vol. 134no. 6 1583S-1587S
(*3) - Muscle Nerve. 2010Jun;41(6):800-8
(*4) - Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab.2005 Apr;288(4):E645-53
(*5) - Am J Physiol. 1992 Nov;263(5 Pt 1):E928-34
(*6)- J. Nutr. June 1, 2004 vol. 134 no. 61583S-1587S
(*7) - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2011 Dec14;8:23
(*8) - J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011Mar;51(1):82-8
(*9) - J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1Suppl):269S-73S
(*10) - J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009Dec;49(4):424-31
(*11) - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7(Suppl 1): P3, Sep 2010
(*12) - J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2000Sep;40(3):240-6
(*13) - J Strength Cond Res. 2010Apr;24(4):1125-30
(*14) - J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2011Mar;51(1):82-8
(*15) - J. Nutr. January 2006 vol. 136no. 1 269S-273S
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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