Branched-Chain Amino Acids are essential nutrients that the body obtains from protein. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Branched-Chain” refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids.
Why should I take BCAAs?
Even though protein is relatively fast digesting, it still takes several hours for all the amino acids to be liberated and absorbed into the bloodstream. BCAAs in supplement form, however, are free-form, require no digestion, and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. They spike blood amino acid levels to a much greater and faster extent than aminos extracted from food or whey protein. To give you an idea, even a few grams of free-form BCAAs will spike BCAA plasma levels to a much greater extent than 30 grams of whey protein, thereby having a more immediate impact on protein synthesis and protein degradation which helps maintain and build muscle mass.
Additionally, since BCAAs bypass the liver and gut and go directly into your blood stream, they can be used as an immediate energy source during your workouts. Valine and isoleucine are considered glucogenic amino acids, meaning they can be converted to glucose and serve as an important energy source during exercise to help fight off fatigue and muscle breakdown during your workouts yielding a more effective workout.
Athletes use branched-chain amino acids to improve performance and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense work-outs.
How do I take BCAA's?
Generally, BCAA's come with their own scooper which vary in size and will come with instructions on how much to dilute into water (depends on amount of water and how much flavor you want to taste). It is recommended to drink throughout work-outs, however, is safe to take throughout your entire day.