Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are derived from complete proteins and consist of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA’s are quite possibly the most important supplement for anyone exercising on a regular basis. Any protein ingested – chicken, beef, whey etc. – will ultimately be broken down into its amino acid form, including BCAA’s. However, protein breakdown is a lengthy process and supplementing with BCAA’s skips the digestion and begins to directly absorb the individual amino acids.
BCAA’s are unique in that they are metabolized directly by the muscle, where other amino acids are metabolized in the liver. They also present a dual role in the body; they can be used as fuel for continued energy production, or they can be used to build new proteins within the muscle. Thus, BCAAs can be used by both endurance athletes, for prolonged energy through longer events, and also by lifters and anaerobic athletes (CrossFitters,) for muscle rebuilding after intense training.
BCAA’s are one of the only supplements shown to decrease the instance of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). To put it in laymen’s terms, you should be less sore following each workout if you take BCAAs. Most people that I have worked with have seen a noticeable difference in soreness after only 2 days of supplementing. These supplements can make walking around the day after a hard workout a bit more bearable.
BCAA’s are of particular importance for those who do not get an adequate supply of meat protein or essential amino acids in their diet. Essential amino acids must be ingested and cannot be produced by the body. They have also been shown to increase fat tissue metabolism and may help increase insulin sensitivity, decreasing systemic inflammation of the body.
We offer Poliquin brand BCAA’s here at BCF, the highest quality BCAAs on the market. They are free of any fillers, artificial flavors or colors, and anything that would impede their absorption and delivery.