What is up with all of this science? Are you part of a new Breaking Bad episode and you are the lead chemist? What does this even have to do with fitness? Learn more about this supplement and how it can help you assist your efforts towards your goals.
Branched-Chain amino acids are not this new ground-breaking supplement that has been under research for decades and kept secret because of its anabolic potency, the truth is you have been taking BCAA’s your whole life.
As a matter of fact, BCAA’s are contained is almost every protein source you are eating such as meat, eggs, milk and even whey protein, thus they are extremely safe when following the recommended doses. The main difference between taking a BCAA shake and a whey protein shake is the absorption time. When you are digesting any protein source mentioned above, your digestive system first needs to break down the protein to access these amino acids, which may take a considerable amount of time depending of the food.
In an order from slowest to fastest absorption, you have whey (30 minutes to 1 hour), eggs (2-3 hours), meat (3-4 hours) and casein (7 hours minimum). The magic about BCAA supplements is that your system does not need to breakdown the protein to get a hold onto these amino acids, they compose the shake itself; making them even faster for your body to absorb than whey.
Taking advantage of this absorption speed
This fast absorption rate is what makes BCAA’s so efficient. When you are on a cutting phase or any diet trying to cut down some fat, you put your body into a catabolic state. This is good to burn fat tissues, but your muscle mass is at risk during catabolism, since your body may use your muscles to recover.
The good thing about BCAA’s is that they combat muscle mass loss AND ALSO promote protein synthesis, minimizing your muscle mass loss during a cut.
Another advantage that you can beneficiate from this supplement is its intra-workout power. In a BCAA shake, you have many different kinds of amino acids that each has specific roles. Here are the most important ones:
- Arginine : Global healing, necessary for the producing and releasing of growth hormone, most potent amino acid in releasing insulin (insulin increases anabolism)
- Alanine: Energizes the muscle, immune system booster.
- Glutamine: Increases recovery rate and decreases the time needed to do so, muscle strength and endurance.
- Leucine: Good for healing both skin and bones, on top of stimulating insulin.
You can now have access to those amino acids during your workout if you drink a bit let’s say, 20 minutes before your workout, and sipping your way through your bottle while you are training. This way, not only will you have more chances of keeping your muscle mass while cutting, but you will also have a better workout because of the alanine fueling your muscles and the rest of the amino acids letting you training harder and for a longer period, which is both excellent on a bulk or a cut.