Proteins are very important for humans, scientists have understood this for a long time. The term " protein " was coined, from the Greek word " first ." And this is true - for any athlete, and even more so for a bodybuilder, protein is a fundamental factor in all recovery processes.
Typically, a protein is synthesized from 20 standard amino acids. And if most of these amino acids the body can synthesize on its own, then there are essential amino acids that must enter the body from the outside. The most important for building muscle mass are three essential amino acids with branched side chains: leucine, isoleucine and valine . It was these three amino acids that were combined into one drug, which was called BCAA (English branched amino acids)
Role in the body
- Valine - One of the most active components in the regeneration of damaged muscle tissue fibers. If an athlete trains intensively and with a high load, then tears of fibers occur in the muscles. When these tears heal, muscle growth occurs. An additional intake of valine reduces the healing time of such microtraumas. In addition, taking valine significantly improves nitrogen balance , which also accelerates muscle growth and prevents protein breakdown.
- Leucine - Reduces blood sugar, helping to increase the production of growth hormone . Probably, it should not be said how important growth hormone is for increasing muscle mass and restoring muscle fibers after hard training. Leucine is also actively involved in the restoration of muscle tissue, skin and bones.
- Isoleucine - An essential amino acid in the production of hemoglobin. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps to increase the overall stamina of the body and accelerates the restoration of damaged muscle tissues .
Reception of the BCAA amino acid complex gives a powerful acceleration of muscle fiber recovery, stimulates an increase in the production of growth hormone by the body and restores the energy balance.
The most important amino acid for the bodybuilder in this three is leucine . During scientific research, it was found that taking leucine together with isoleucine and valine greatly enhances the effect of the former. It is believed that the optimal ratio of these amino acids is: 2: 1: 1 . That is, for every mg of valine and isoleucine there are 2 mg of leucine. But such proportions are not dogma.
BCAA - When to use and in what dosages.
The bodybuilder's body during training days and on days of rest, when the body is recovering, has a different need for quick amino acids, the BCAA regimen for these days is slightly different.
On training days
When an athlete is actively training, then not only anabolic processes (muscle growth), but also catabolic destructive processes are launched in his body. The challenge is to stimulate anabolic processes and inhibition of catabolic.
If anabolic processes are activated on rest days, then catabolic processes, on the contrary, are most dangerous during training. During intense exercise, the body needs additional nourishment. And if you do not give this recharge from the outside, then he will begin to look for additional reserves inside the body.
First of all, a stock of glycogen in the muscle of the liver is consumed. If they are not enough, the body begins to actively break down the amino acids that make up the muscles.
In this case, the BCAA acts as an assistant. So that the body does not even have a desire to start devouring itself, it needs to be allowed to “eat” something else. BCAA amino acids are ideally suited for this role! Due to the fact that amino acids with a branched side chain are instantly absorbed, they are actively involved in the process and not only prevent catabolism from developing during training , but also actively participate in building muscle mass and burning fat mass.
BCAAs should be taken immediately before and immediately after the workout. It will be useful to take a small amount of amino acids during training, if its duration exceeds 1 hour.
After training, when glucose is at a minimum, and there are practically no amino acids left, you should immediately replenish their supply. In this case, metabolic processes, which will continue for some time at a frantic pace, will receive material for processing.
On days of rest
It is believed that taking BCAAs on non-training days is not necessary. This is argued by the fact that since there is no effect on the body, then there is no catabolism. And for the anabolic process, protein is enough from regular nutrition. This is not true.
Catabolic processes are most powerful immediately after sleep. If at this moment you get protein from ordinary food or take protein, then the body will need some time to break down the protein into amino acids. Reception of BCAA in the morning solves this problem - amino acids instantly get to the muscles. It is recommended to take 0.5-1 of the standard portion immediately after sleep.
- Capsules - The most popular form of BCAA release. Branched chain amino acids were first produced in capsules. The main advantage of this form of release is ease of use . Capsules are easy to take with you and can be taken anywhere if you have a glass of water on hand.
Another advantage is the neutral taste . Due to the fact that the powder is packaged in capsules, you do not feel the bitter taste characteristic of a pure powder form of amino acids with a branched side chain.
Capsules containing from 250 to 1250 mg of BCAAs are available from 60 to 1000 capsules per pack. The main disadvantage of this form of administration is the high cost. At the recommended dosages, one package will last a maximum of a couple of weeks.
- Tablets - As a rule, they are compressed powder. The benefits are the same as capsules. In addition to the above disadvantages, you can add a relatively long digestibility , because tablets dissolve more slowly in the stomach.
- Powder - The most economical form of BCAA release. Until recently, BCAA powder was used mainly by those who wanted to save. At the same cost, you could get 1.5 times more BCAAs when you buy them in powder form.
Cons: pure powder is very poorly soluble in water and has a rather specific taste. Therefore, it is advised to take it in this way: put a portion of BCAA in your mouth and immediately drink it with water so that the bitter taste is not felt for so long.
In the past few years, quite a few BCAA powders have appeared on the sports nutrition market, which quickly dissolve in water and have pleasant fruity tastes.
Each manufacturer of sports nutrition indicates completely different dosages on its products, and regardless of the athlete’s own weight. How do you find the right dosage for your branched chain amino acids? And how to measure it in capsules, tablets and powder?
Most professional trainers agree that for every kilogram of their own weight an athlete should receive about 33 mg of leucine per workout . Thus, it is easy to calculate the dosage that is right for you.
For example, if your weight is 75 kg , then at least 2475 mg of leucine should be taken for training. With a standard 2: 1: 1 ratio, this will be approximately 5 grams of BCAA. If your weight is 90 kg , then take 6 grams of branched chain amino acids during training.
Knowing this formula, you can easily calculate how much BCAA is required specifically for you, regardless of the form of release: just look at the label for the content of leucine in one serving and carry out simple mathematical steps.
Despite the above, many people who begin to engage in bodybuilding, the question arises: “ Are BCAAs harmful? ". To dispel all doubts, we will answer it. Since branched-chain amino acids are necessary for the functioning of our body, with intensive loads, additional BCAA intake will not cause any disturbances and negative reactions in the human body, but will only benefit. Do not be afraid of an overdose: everything that does not have time to assimilate will exit the body without disturbing the internal balance in the body.
BCAA - how to take