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Breakdown of Branched-Chain Amino Acids

August 10th, 2009

Amino Acids are referred to as the building blocks of protein.  Each has a specific function, and we need them in our body for a variety of reasons.  If you work-out, you especially need them to help decrease muscle fatigue, help with muscle recovery and to build lean muscle.  We discussed the different types of Amino Acids and how they work in our blog from October, Amino Acid Supplement Guide.  This blog is going to specifically discuss Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). 

BCAA’s are three of the essential amino acids (Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine).  They are essential meaning that the body can not produce them on their own so you must get them through food or supplements.  BCAA’s play a huge role in muscle protein synthesis which is essential for growth, repair and overall maintenance of muscles.  

BCAA’s are different than other Amino Acids because they are metabolized in the muscle tissue and not the liver, which means they are the first to be used during exercise.  This also means they are also more likely to be used to build muscle, which makes it very important for you to have adequate amounts in your bloodstream.  BCAA’s account for 50-90% of the total Amino Acids that are released into your bloodstream for muscle intake.  Pretty important if you have any interest in building lean muscle for any level of athlete. 

Most people that consume sufficient amounts of protein still may need to take Amino Acid Supplements.  There are many different varieties of BCAA’s on the market, and you can find tabs, caps powder and even liquid form.  You will see that many Whey Proteins also contains BCAA’s, such as Dymatize Elite Whey Protein, and this makes it easier to get what you need for your workout. 

Other popular Branched-Chain Amino Acids to try are the Optimum Nutrition BCAA 5000 Powder which is unflavored so you can add it to you favorite shake, the Now Branched-Chain Amino Powder or any of the other tabs/caps form on the market.  Read more and find a complete List of BCAA’s to find one that is right for you.

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