What is BCAA?

May 10, 2018

What is BCAA for

You have probably heard the rattling of shaker cups and seen drained tired looking people slamming down a concoction of drinks. Chances are likely they are drinking a supplement containing branched-chain amino acids.
Also shortened to BCAAs, branched-chain amino acids are special amino acids denoted for their “branched-chain” chemical structure: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Why Drink BCAAs?
Supplements with BCAA’s can help improve stamina and optimize recovery.
Unlike other essential amino acids, branched-chain amino acids are “oxidized primarily in the skeletal muscle.”[1] This means they are more readily available to directly and indirectly improve physical performance.
BCAA Benefits Optimize Recovery
Some BCAA supplements like Amino Wurx, contain a 2:1:1 Ratio, activating the mTOR pathway in the skeletal muscle, creating a much more quicker rate of recovery and muscle building.[2] In one study, a total of 5 grams of BCAA was given to both male and female test subjects. The subjects were not trained, and weren’t exposed to regular exercise, and underwent compound leg exercises to fatigue over several weeks.
For female test subjects, muscle soreness was higher on day 2 and day 3 during the placebo trial. However, after supplementing with the BCAA mixture, subjects reported peak soreness only occurred on day 2 and “was significantly lower than that which occurred following the placebo trial.” Researchers note delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurring during days 3-5 in female subjects was markedly lower during the BCAA trial.[2]
For male test subjects, DOMS also peaked on day 2 and was generally lower in the BCAA trial but failed to reach statistical significance. Researchers believe this is because the male test subjects’ body mass required more BCAAs. However, it is said muscle soreness during a certain 5-day period was lower in both sexes during the BCAA trial compared to the placebo.[2]
when should bcaa be taken
Supports Protein Synthesis
Although all branched-chain amino acids are beneficial to exercise and performance, leucine is often displayed as the key. Leucine is special in its ability to promote muscle protein synthesis.[2] By enhancing protein synthesis, you can promote healthier and a greater quantity muscle fibers and stronger muscles.
Studies show leucine amplifies protein synthesis by optimizing protein activity involved in mRNA translation.[3]
Leucine is considered unique in its metabolic regulatory roles. However, its benefits are most noticeable in the absence of the branched-chain aminotransferase (BCAT) enzyme because leucine’s skeletal muscle benefits are buffered by this enzyme.[4]
Boost Immune System
Because exercise is physically demanding on muscles and the central nervous system, gym goers often are subject to increased sickness and infection. These facts may all influence glutamine levels, an amino acid known for its immune function benefits. Glutamine levels fall as a result of prolonged exercise and high intensity workouts.[5]
BCAAS are considered nitrogen donors for glutamine synthesis. Research reveals 6 g BCAA for 2-4 weeks and an additional 3 g dose 30 minutes before a long-distance run “prevented the 24% fall in the plasma glutamine concentration observed in the placebo group.” The BCAA dose also modified immune response to exercise.[6]
Increase Power Output
Once again, leucine in the spotlight has been shown in a clinical study to influence power output.
BCAAs can be utilizedas energy to maintain ATP levels. BCAAs can give your body additional fuel to work with.
Untrained men were given 4 g isolated leucine while undergoing a workout program over a 12-week period. Researchers noted the test subjects experienced greater power output from the leucine group without notably influencing lean mass or fat mass. The untrained participants who supplemented leucine “demonstrated significantly higher gains in total 5-RM strength… and 5-RM strength in 5 out of 8 exercises.”[7]
what are bcaas?
Look For the Ratio
The 2:1:1 ratio is generally accepted and the studied BCAA dose for supporting protein synthesis and enhancing recovery.[2][8] However, this doesn’t necessarily mean other ratios are ineffective, just unstudied. 
When should you drink BCAA’s?
BCAA's can be used as a source of energy for your muscles. It has also been shown to keep your body in an anabolic state, and help delaying or slowing down muscle fatigue or soreness. The blend of branched amino acids will kick start your recovery, to help your body improve before and after your workout.
BCAAs have been shown to have a greater benefit post-workout for recovery, to help with fatigue and muscle damage.  This can be either used during the workout itself, or after the workout.
To get a head of muscle soreness, and increase energy, BCAA is included in Wurx Pre-Workout. Meaning you can also take it before your workout. Remember, Leucine can be used as fuel for your muscles and has also been shown to delay muscle fatigue. Giving you the edge you need before you even start damaging muscle tissue.
- You can find BCAA's in Wurx PreWorkout, and AminoWurx. 
Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[1] Greiwe JS, et al. Leucine and Insulin Activate p70S6 Kinase Through Different Pathways in Human Skeletal Muscle. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism. 281:3. (2001): 466-471.
[2] Yoshiharu Shimomura, et al. “Nutraceutical Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle.” J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 529S-532S
[3] Anthony JC, et al. “Signaling pathways involved in translational control of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle by leucine.” J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3):856S-860S.
[4] Layne E. Norton and Donald K. Layman. “Leucine Regulations Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise.” J. Nutr. February 2006vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S
[5] Walsh NP, et al. “Glutamine, exercise and immune function. Links and possible mechanisms.” Sports Med. 1998 Sep;26(3):177-91.
[6] Bassit, R. A., Sawada, L. A., Bacurau, R. F., Navarro, F., Martins, E., Jr, Santos, R. V., Caperuto, E. C., Rogeri, P. & Costa Rosa, L. F. (2002) Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and the immune response of long-distance athletes. Nutrition 18:376-379
[7] Ispoglou T, et al. “Daily L-leucine supplementation in novice trainees during a 12-week weight training program.” Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011 Mar;6(1):38-50.
[8] Yoshiharu Shimomura, et al. “Exercise Promotes BCAA Catabolism: Effects of BCAA Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle during Exercise.” J. Nutr. June 1, 2004 vol. 134 no. 6 1583S-1587S

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