There are many BCAA benefits
when used to build a lean muscular body
The amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are 3 essential amino acids that together form the branched chain amino acid group. They are named as such because they each have a carbon chain which branches off from the main carbon backbone. Ok, I promise I won’t mention the words carbon or backbone in another sentence!
BCAA’s prevent muscle breakdown
and feed your muscles
Of the 3 BCAA’s, Leucine has demonstrated the most potential BCAA benefits. Several studies have concluded that leucine can act as a regulator of protein metabolism by increasing protein synthesis and decreasing protein metabolism. These 2 properties are often called Anabolic and Anti-Catabolic accordingly.
The BCAA’s in general and especially Leucine can be used as energy by muscle cells and are a source of cellular energy in the form of ATP (Note: Creatine supplementation also assists in the generation of ATP).
There are several studies that support the fact that hormone response to endurance and weight training was positively influenced by the consumption of BCAA’s. Specifically, the anabolic hormones insulin and testosterone.
BCAA’s can save muscle and burn fat during calorie restriction and exercise
In one popular study, 25 competitive wrestlers restricted their caloric intake for a total of 19 days. On the 19th day, they vaporized and have yet to be found…. ok, just making sure you are paying attention! What actually happened is that the group supplementing with BCAA’s during the calorie restriction lost the most visceral fat while maintaining strength and performance. Sounds good to me!
I will tell you right now that I have competed in bodybuilding shows and proved this study several times over.
I attended a Charles Poliquin Seminar many years ago where I learned how to use BCAA’s to build lean muscle fast
Charles Poliquin used the following technique with his professional NHL Hockey and NFL football players to put on as much lean muscle mass as possible during the off season.
- Take 10 BCAA tablets before your training
- Then roughly every 10 minutes during training, take an additional 4
- Total of about 20
- Complete your workout with a tablespoon of L-Glutamine
One theory for how this works is that you are actually “tricking” your body into thinking it has broken down a large amount of lean muscle tissue so it switches to burning fat stores and releasing growth hormone.
Who really knows…. all I know for sure is that I have used this trick in the past and it works!