If protein is considered the building blocks of muscle then amino acids are the materials needed to make those blocks. When protein is ingested into the body it is eventually broken down into something called a polypeptide, then eventually into individual amino acids once they reach the small intestine. BCAAs are a certain group of amino acids. Branch Chain Amino Acids are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are three of the nine essential amino acids needed by the body through diet. These three have been shown to be very important in protein synthesis, especially leucine. Many types of athletes and those just looking to improve their performance and appearance use amino acid products as a way to complement their current protein intake.
Amino acids can be used around workouts or between meals to increase protein synthesis which is essentially the recovery and growth of muscle tissue. A nice feature of amino acids are they are virtually calorie free. This is great for those times when you're dieting and may have a lower than normal protein intake. A good amino acids product can help prevent muscle loss often associated with long diets by providing your body with the stuff it needs to recover optimally without adding extra calories. Another great use is during challenging, long weight training or cardio sessions as a way to help prevent muscle loss that can occur when your body is running low on glucose. Although we can't completely stop taking in whole protein and use solely amino acid products, they can be a great addition to your supplement list.
- Improve muscle size and strength
- Limit muscle loss during long diets or workouts
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