Supplementation – BCAAs

Hey! Some nerd stuff today! (Here we go again)

gallon-jug-guyAnyone who’s been to a Globogym can picture the guy I’m about to describe. The guy who walks around the gym in a cutoff shirt that’s way too small, headphones that are way too big to be comfortable, 70’s style short shorts (sometimes a fanny pack) and a gallon jug full of some colorful liquid in tow.

A bit ridiculous. But this dude was usually pretty jacked too. When I first started going to the gym, I totally thought they were just drinking Kool-Aid. (Lately I’ve actually seen people use Koolaid as their intraworkout supplements)

In reality, I was a noobie when I first saw it happening. So I mustered all the courage I could and asked Mr. Gallon Jug what was up with the sugary goodness in the gym. What I actually found out is that they were drinking something called a Branched Chain Amino Acid. (But Mike, What the hell is that?)

I did some research. And here is my best attempt at divulging that information to you.

What are they and why do you see people chugging gallon jugs full of them in the gym?
primary-structure.pngIt all starts with protein. Protein is the building block of your body structure. Your hair, nails, bones, muscle, tendon, ligaments, skin and even blood is comprised of protein.

What makes up a protein?
Protein is comprised of 20 different amino acids which make up a ‘complete protein’. Of the 20 amino acids, there are three amino acids in particular that have been found to aid in muscle growth, reduce muscle wasting and help in recovery (Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine). These amino acids are referred to as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Since BCAAs are considered to be ‘free-form’ proteins, they don’t take nearly as much time to get into your body’s blood stream…which is why you will see people drinking them during their workout. A complete protein will need to go through your body’s digestion process in order to break the peptide bonds, whereas your body will almost immediately see a rise in blood amino acid concentration after ingestion.

Who should use BCAAs?
Individuals who are looking to build muscle, individuals looking to lose fat (in order to maintain muscle mass) and athletes. It is for folks looking to lose weight as well, as high protein diets have shown to be one of the best ways to burn fat when compared to similar diets containing high carbohydrate consumption..

Recommended dosage for BCAAs?
Optimal – 5g w/ breakfast, 5g preworkout, 10g post workout, 5 g before bed
Realistic – 5 g pre workout, 10 g post workout. With protein supplements and sound nutrition throughout the rest of the day.

For more information on nutrition, supplementation or exercise programs message us or leave a comment!

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