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Wesminster, CO – Local Nutrition Store Review: BCAA (Amino Acid) Supplements

BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and valine.

For many years its been debated whether or not supplementing with BCAAs is necessary or not. In the years that I have been training while also immersing myself in a magnitude of different articles, videos, and studies I found that supplementing with branched chain amino acids has it’s place and can have tremendous benefits if used properly.

For people with minimal dietary protein intake, BCAA supplementation can promote muscle protein synthesis, increasing muscle growth over time while preventing catabolism “the breakdown of muscle tissue”. Supplementation can also be used to prevent fatigue in novice athletes. People following a vegetarian or  vegan diet if not receiving enough protein through other sources can find it to be beneficial to supplement with BCAAs to bridge that gap.

Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, activating mTOR the signaling pathway that initiates protein production within the body. While isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Further research is needed to determine valine’s role in branched chain amino (BCAAs) supplements.

Other situations other then recovery from exercise BCAAs can be beneficial is for those recovering from injury. Since Leucine starts the beginning phase of building the ever so important proteins in our body it makes sense to aid in the optimization of recovery BCAAs can have its benefits.

Supplementing BCAAs prevents a decline in serum BCAAs, which occurs during exercise. When this occurs in the bloodstream it normally causes a tryptophan influx into the brain, followed by serotonin production, which causes tiredness and fatigue. BCAAs are important to ingest on a daily basis, but many protein sources, such as meat and eggs, already provide BCAAs. Supplementation is unnecessary for people with a sufficiently high protein intake.

In closing I myself believe for those who don’t eat enough dietary protein, and or are recovering from an injury can find it to beneficial to supplement with BCAAs to optimize ones health or progression in the gym.

There are a lot of great brands to choose from, my top three are:

Nutrabio- BCAA 5000 straight and to the point 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.5g of isoleucine, and 1.5g of valine

Muscle Sport- BCAA Revolution with a high dose of leucine at a 10:1:1 ratio and extra glutamine for recovery

5%- All Day You May also has a high dose of leucine and a 10:1:1 ratio, with the addition of a joint support complex to help with inflammation that occurs in the joints from exercise.


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