Among the most beneficial & effective supplements in any sports nutrition program are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). These are the Essential Aminos of Leucine, Isoleucine, & Valine. These essential BCAAs are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolised in the muscle, rather than in the liver1 & make up one third of Muscle Protein. They play an important role in Protein Synthesis, Anabolism & Anti-Catabolism. Without adequate amounts of BCAAs muscle cells won’t heal as fast & they won’t grow. Most BCAA users report an immediate improvement in performance during extended periods of exercise, most likely due to better recovery potential. Consumed for several months, a diet high in BCAAs will reduce the incidence of infection by boosting immunity2. You can also expect faster muscle growth during periods of intense Training, & less muscle loss when attempting to Lose Weight. BCAA's are generally considered safe with little to no negative side effects. Overall, experts have agreed that consuming BCAAs can help stimulate protein synthesis, aid in glycogen resynthesis, delaying fatigue and help maintain mental function during intense exercise.3 Many scientists also consider BCAAs, especially leucine as the primary activator or muscle protein synthesis out of all the amino acids.4 Considering BCAAs are catabolised to a great extent5 during exercise and their strong ergogenic capacity, it makes sense to involve BCAAs in a well rounded supplementation routine.
BCAA Supplements are commonly presented & sold as Complementary Medicines or Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in Australia. BCAA's are not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read the label prior to use.1. Whitney, E., Rolfes, S. Supplements as Ergogenic Aids. Understanding Nutrition. 2005.