Should My Post-Workout Supplement Have BCAAs?
Look, you don’t have to be a newbie to ask this question. It’s a good question.
If you take BCAAs with your pre-workout, are they necessary with a post-workout supplement?
Do you buy them separately? Are they more effective at different times? Well, buff brain, your IQ is about to get some serious gains with….science.
Branched Chain Amino Acids in Post-Workout Supplementation
Let’s start with what they do. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are amino acids that repair and rebuild muscle after working out. The body perceives it as trauma or stress.
When that happens, muscle proteins are broken down and amino acids are scarfed up from the muscle to use as energy and to get more amino acids to repair muscles.
If you don’t have excess BCAAs in circulation, your muscles are the meal of the moment.
To understand the benefits of BCAAs in your post-workout, it’s important to understand how BCAAs are using during training.
BCAAs and Training
Muscle protein breakdown (proteolysis) is higher than protein synthesis during training. During this time, the body goes through some catabolic processes. Protein synthesis remains negative until you eat or take protein and amino acids.
The impact of the catabolic processes are dependent on your training type and intensity levels, but generally speaking, the body is forced through a series of catabolic and anabolic processes. Knowing these processes and how BCAAs can help them can reduce your muscle break down and increase its growth.
If your post-workout has BCAAs, it can promote protein synthesis (anabolic) and reduce muscle break down (catabolic).
How so? Because BCAAs regulate protein synthesis and turnover. They are also essentially the hall monitors of the intra and extra cellular communications that take place in your body to grow and multiply cells.
They do more than that, though. BCAAs can spare glycogen use by fueling muscles during and after working out, and also enhance muscle protein metabolism, recovery, lean mass, performance and endurance.
The most well-known, Leucine, plays an important role through regulating protein synthesis.
Leucine Triggers Muscle Protein Synthesis
Training and recovery causes major changes in amino acid and protein metabolism in muscles.
Recovery is dependent on leucine in order to increase intracellular leucine concentrations. This is because leucine triggers protein synthesis and allows muscles to organize and begin repair and rebuilding.
So—when you finish working out, muscle protein synthesis requires protein and/or BCAAs to increase the levels of leucine to start the recovery process.
If you don’t get leucine, protein synthesis is reduced which can force you in a catabolic stage until you replenish it.
Moral of the story—you need leucine to rebuild and recover.
Isoleucine Makes Energy Available and Reduces Catabolic States
Leucine plays a role in regulating and initiating muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine plays a role of increasing glucose uptake in the body, which diminishes catabolic processes and makes energy more available.
Isoleucine diminishes biological activities that suppress energy which makes ATP more available. It also creates energy through increased glucose uptake which reduces catabolic responses by your bod.
How this happens is a lot more complex than what we’re about to write, but to keep it simple, we’re going to keep it short and sweet.
There is a process called AMPK that is activated by a decrease in energy. This can come from caloric restriction, training or any perceived ‘trauma’ by the body. In turn, the body ‘hoards’ energy, as it prepares for survival. Part of what it does is scarf up the glucose in response to the ‘stress’ which shuts down anabolic pathways and triggers catabolic processes.
Moral of story: isoleucine diminishes catabolic states while increasing your energy needed to recover.
Valine Helps Build Muscle and Increases Glucose Uptake
As the third BCAA, valine is more effective when combined with the other two amigos.
Valine builds muscle, like leucine, and it also triggers glucose uptake like isoleucine. It plays a part in glycogen synthesis, too.
Valine is converted into glucose by the liver—parts of it are used to manufacture glycogen, too. Often it is oxidized into glucose to help with recovery and repair of muscles. It also increases insulin section to promote glucose uptake for energy. Finally, this third amigo aids in glycogen synthesis, like leucine, but at half the potency of leucine.
As you can see, all three work together to create an anabolic state of energy, protein synthesis and recovery.
Yes, Your Post-Workout Should Have BCAAs
So we’ve circled back to the original question: should your post-workout contain BCAAs? Um…we’re PRETTY sure you can answer that question by now.
Your next question should be-where do I get a post-workout with BCAAs dosed at optimum levels to achieve results faster?
Stop back soon, and it’ll be worth the wait. Until then, get a pre-workout or intra-workout supplement with RIDICULOUSLY dosed BCAAS to take before and during training here.