August 9, 2021

Scottsdale Living

A guide on how to use BCAA supplements

Branched-chain amino acid supplements have been very popular recently. More and more people are doing their research and finding the right brand to incorporate BCAAs in their workout routines. The main draw of BCAAs is their benefits which consumers enjoy after prolonged usage. From enhanced muscle growth to blunting fatigue, there is a lot you can enjoy after incorporating them into your workout.

As everyone knows, three types of BCAAs are mixed into a supplement: leucine, valine, and isoleucine. Leucine helps you boost your protein synthesis, especially after your workout. If you’re into pre-workouts, you can try valine which helps you cope with fatigue and increase your reps.

And with isoleucine, there’s no specific time when you should take them, but they are typically helpful with muscle tissue repair and can even increase your energy levels. So before we teach you how to incorporate BCAAs into your workout routine, let’s discuss what BCAAs are in the first place.

What are BCAAs?

BCAAs come in two forms either capsules that you can take directly or powdered mix, which you can mix into water. As mentioned earlier, BCAAs have three amino acids which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are all branched chemical structures. Typically, supplements have a 2:1:1 ratio of 2 part leucine, 1 part isoleucine, and 1 part valine.

This is because leucine is responsible for preventing the breakdown of protein for protein synthesis. However, scientists are still figuring out if BCAAs have a significant advantage to people when compared with other whole protein powders and other types of workout supplements.

So how do they help us in our workout?

Several researches suggest that BCAAs help us in our workout routine in five different ways:

They reduce fatigue. With high levels of BCAAs in our bodies, they limit the entry of tryptophan into our brains. This chemical helps our brain release serotonin which contributes to the feeling of fatigue in our bodies.

They promote muscle growth. As mentioned earlier, BCAAs prevent protein breakdown and use those proteins for muscle growth instead of them being used to creating hormones for the body.

They energize the user during intense physical activity. BCAA supplements have glucose in their formula. Our body’s one main energy source is glucose, which means that since BCAAs have them, they provide us with extra energy to last longer in the gym.

They reduce soreness. An intense physical workout will result in soreness after a long session. However, with BCAAs, this soreness will significantly be reduced, leaving you still able to move the next day freely.

They help with your immunity. An intense physical workout can reduce our immune health. This is probably due to our decreased amino acid glutamine after a session in the gym. BCAAs, however, can be converted to glutamine.

Tips on How to Incorporate BCAA Supplements in Your Workout

The first priority you should have in mind is to boost your energy for your incoming day at the gym. That said, you can have an intake of a BCAA supplement 30 minutes before your workout with 6-10grams of dosage. You might be thinking that that is too close to go time, but unlike other amino acids, BCAAs can directly go to your muscles without going to your liver first.

You should remember that you should again take your BCAA supplement 30 minutes after your workout. Still, with 6-10grams, BCAA supplements will help you get leucine into your muscle, promoting muscle growth and preventing muscle protein breakdown.

The next priority is during and after meals. When you take a meal with at least 3 grams of leucine and 30 grams of protein, your protein synthesis will spike momentarily. However, after 2 hours of boosted protein synthesis, its rate will drop down significantly. To prevent this, you can take your BCAA supplement again to spike your protein synthesis. Again, remember to just take 3 grams.

As mentioned just now, you can also take 3 grams of leucine into your meals to boost your protein synthesis. Sure, eating at least 30 grams of protein can improve protein synthesis, but if you want to boost it, you can also take 3 grams of leucine for a significant spike in protein synthesis. If you want an even bigger boost, you can take a maximum of 10 grams of leucine into every meal.

Also, you should remember that your BCAA supplement should have the 2:1:1 ratio as it’s the most optimal number. You can go as high as 3:1:1 to maximize your leucine, but no more than that. If you go higher, your formula would have too little valine and isoleucine.

Final Thoughts

BCAAs are not necessarily essential to your workout routine, as you can still work out without them. And of course, BCAA intake should be paired with a balanced diet for maximum absorption. There are a lot of top rated bcaa supplements and the brand you want to incorporate in your workout routine is just a matter of preference.