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BCAAs Simplified

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Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are one of the most critical supplements you can use during and around your workout. Basically, BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. They aid muscle growth and recovery, however they also provide other functions such as increasing energy and fat loss. It’s important that we get extra BCAAs from supplementation, especially through times of intense training.

The proven 2:1:1 ratio is key in a BCAA -two parts leucine to one part valine and isoleucine. This specific ratio ensures that these three ingredients can work together to enhance energy, build muscle and boost your workout potential. Some BCAAs try to bump it up to a higher ratio in favour of leucine because this particular ingredient is critical for muscle growth. Leucine has been found to directly activate muscle protein synthesis. People assume that if you increase the amount of leucine or even just use it by itself, you’re going to have better results. This isn’t necessarily true. When studies were conducted, results showed that supplementary leucine post workout was surprisingly less effective than a complete BCAA in a standard 2:1:1 form. As all three amino acids play a vital, integrative role, they should be consumed as a complete product. The other two amino acids also provide individual benefits on their own.

The 2:1:1 ratio also ensures that BCAAs increase energy and lessen fatigue. Valine plays an essential role in this, by competing with tryptophan which is the chemical responsible for telling your brain that you’re tired. This helps your muscles crank out more reps in the gym, recover quicker, and maintain better strength and endurance. Isoleucine gives a BCAA it’s fat burning capability. Isoleucine encourages greater fat-burning in the body while decreasing the activity of genes that normally increase fat storage. Our muscles naturally contain a 2:1:1 ratio, so it makes perfect sense that we should use the same ratio to replenish our natural stores. If we do dose one specific BCAA too high, research has shown that we can deplete the other two BCAAs, which is counterproductive and can lead to less desirable outcomes.

At Muscle Coach Supplements, you’ll find optimally dosed 2:1:1 ratio BCAAs in the following products:

By Katy Roubin, featuring segments from Dan Cavalcante’s 2016 article.

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