Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) is the collective name given to the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. Structurally, these 3 amino acids all contain an aliphatic side chain with a branch, hence why they are referred to as branched-chain amino acids.

Peptide-bound BCAA's can be found in almost every food that contains protein, while free-form BCAA's are commonly found in many intra-workout amino acid supplements. BCAA's account for approximately 35% of the essential amino acids in human muscle tissue.

Unlike most amino acids, BCAAs bypass the liver and are primarily oxidized in skeletal muscle.

Individually, L-Leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis, while L-Isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells and promotes glucose metabolism. L-Isoleucine & L-Valine can both also be converted into glucose and used by the body as a source of fuel, hence sparing other amino acids from being broken down from muscle tissue for energy production.

Collectively, BCAA's prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue (catabolism), reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and assist with muscle recovery.

BCAAs have also been shown to buffer the increase of serotonin in the brain during exercise, reducing the perception of fatigue and in turn enhancing exercise performance & endurance.

How to consume

To prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue for energy and enhance exercise performance, free-form BCAAs can be taken immediately before or sipped during workouts.

To reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and assist with muscle recovery, free-form BCAA's can be consumed immediately after workouts or throughout the day.

To improve muscle protein synthesis, free-form BCAA's can be consumed anytime during the day with, or in between, meals.

The most effective dose of free-form BCAA's is 5g-10g per serve.

The most effective ratio of free-form BCAA's is 2x L-Leucine to 1x L-Isoleucine to 1x L-Valine (2:1:1 Ratio).

BCAA's work as soon as they enter the bloodstream, which is typically within minutes of consumption. Although many of the effects of BCAA's are not immediately noticeable, you can expect to experience the full effects of BCAA's within the first few days of use when used in conjunction with a sensible diet and workout regime.