Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Ah yes, workout supplements. They make you strong and sexy.
A BCAA is an amino acid having aliphatic side-chains with a branch (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). Among the proteinogenic amino acids, there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine. R
Degradation of branched-chain amino acids involves the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDH). Degradation of branched-chain amino acids involves the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDH). R
1. Triggers Muscle Protein Synthesis
Leucine, one of the amino acids in BCAAs, can active the mTOR pathway. R
mTORC1 activation is required for myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis and skeletal muscle hypertrophy in response to both physical exercise and ingestion of certain amino acids or amino acid derivatives. R R
So after a hard workout, supplementing with Leucine may increase your muscle mass...word.
2. Increases Exhaustion Time
3. May Decrease Fatigue
BCAA supplementation increased resistance to fatigue. R
Valine and Isoleucine can be converted into glucose in the body, if needed. R
Valine (30 minutes) is faster than Leucine (90 minutes) at inhibiting glucose uptake into muscle cells. R
Isoleucine does not increase glycogen synthesis. R
Consumption of BCAAs may be unnecessary and possibly harmful. R
It may increase ammonia in the brain. R
In rats R
- Increasing BCAAs to 3.57% for 6 weeks improved exercise by reducing ammonia production by 37%.
- Increasing BCAAs to 100% reversed this, impairing exercise and increasing ammonia production by 43%.
When to Use BCAAs
Gabrielle Lyon, DO, recommends to start an exercise with a high amount of carbs, then after the workout (when your muscles are primed) to tkae BCAAs (or leucine). Since the proteins are primed, you can use less protein. The more older you are, the more protein you need.