BCAA Supplements and BCAA Supplementation
Branched chain amino acids are leucin, isoleucin and valin. These essential amino acids are very important for any athlete because they are metabolized in the muscles, rather than in liver.
There are many great properties of BCAA, some of them are:
- BCAA help and promote protein synthesis in muscles,
- BCAA are used to provide energy,
- BCAA taken around training increase anabolism and anti-catabolism,
- BCAA decrease muscle soreness,
- Only 4-6 grams of BCAA can push body from catabolic state to an anabolic state.
Best sources of BCAA are foods that contain lots of protein, like fish, red meat, eggs, egg whites, chicken and turkey breasts. From supplement point of view, BCAA can be found in whey protein (naturally found in whey or added few grams per serving), BCAA tablets, BCAA powder or some kind of BCAA mix with creatine, glutamine or similar amino acids.
Daily doses of BCAA vary greatly from coach to coach and from study to study. Generally, BCAA should be taken before, during and after training in combination with whey, creatine, glutamine, C vitamin, glucose etc. What will be taken and how much depend on ones goals, weight, body type and of course – money. For example if somebody is on very low calorie diet and wants to keep as much muscles as possible, then one should take 5-10 grams of BCAA 3-5x a day (depending on body mass). Also 5-10 grams should be taken before, during and after training. After training, with BCAA, one should also take whey protein, creatine, glutamine, some quick carbohydrate etc. Again, this hugely depends on individual and his/her goals.
Is this amount really necessary? No, it is not. But results can be great. Some moderate dosage would include a scoop of whey protein before training session with added 5-10 grams of BCAA (whey protein usually has 5-6 grams of BCAA pro serving already in it), 5-10 grams of BCAA in first part of gym session (with some glucose and/or whey protein – to boost energy levels and to make BCAA drinkable :o) ) and 5-10 grams of BCAA in Post Workout Meal (PWM) shake.
As a pure supplement, BCAA can be found in form of tablets and powder. Pure powder tastes awfully, to say the least. Also, such powder doesn't mix with water and when mixed, BCAA powder will soon settle down. The 'best' way to consume such powder is to put dry powder in the mouth and flush it with water. Personally, I add some whey and fast carbs to my BCAA and mix it with water - it is little bit bitter, but much better than pure BCAA powder.
Some companies have BCAA powder with different taste which can be consumed as refreshing drink. BCAA in tablet form can be easily swallowed with some water.
Price of BCAA in tablet form is much higher than in powdered form.