Imagine you have a crew of construction workers that you’ve hired to built a large and unnecessary skyscraper in the middle of a blossoming city. Your plan is to basically build the greatest city ever, complete with strip malls, yogurt shops, horrible traffic and even worse drivers (YES SEATTLE I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU). Throw in a few million bike lanes and even worse bikers (STILL TALKING ABOUT YOU SEATTLE) and even compound it by adding a lot of toll to pay for messed up roads (YES, STILL SEATTLE). To even start this project you’ll need these workers to kick ass and take names. Now let’s imagine like most cities you put too much money in the pockets of vacationing politicians and not into the actual job infrastructure (YUP, MORE SEATTLE) and shit, let’s jack the rent up every year too (SEATTLE). So now you have to lay off a lot of the construction workers to build these awesome skyscrapers. YOU CAN ONLY AFFORD TO KEEP NINE ESSENTIAL WORKERS.
I swear there was a point here. Branched Chain Amino Acid’s (BCAA’s) are the building blocks of protein and of which, nine are the essential “must have’s”. Even more so out of these nine, three are the cream of the crop that make up around a third of the muscle tissue (leucine, isoleucine and valine, which oddly enough were the three girls you dated in High School). Without these essentials, you can’t function, breathe or live. Ever heard of essential fatty acids? Same thing. And no, there aren’t an essential pile of doughnuts, as much as you want to believe otherwise.
So when you kickass in the gym, you’re breaking down muscle. So pushing these essential components into the muscles while and after training would make sense right? Right. Even though there are a bunch of those “supplements don’t do dick for you” articles, those are primarily written by people who work for opposing groups that want to buy more of something else. But you can’t trick science. As a recent study (or a lot of recent studies have shown) BCAA’s worked to increase exercise endurance and threshold. This was done with a 3:1 ratio carb to BCAA drink during and after exercise. BCAA’s have show to benefit post training recovery, from muscle damage or help the repair process. And for a lot of folks that are working the calorie deficient diet process to lean down and become the anti-dad bod, BCAA’s are important in maintaining muscle mass and building during all this, otherwise your hot bod goes dad bod.
And of course, if you read up on them like we did, you find what we did so here you go. People who consume a threshold dose of essential amino acids that contain BCAA’s with every meal have less visceral belly fat and more muscle mass. Also BCAA’s improve glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity. In diabetics, BCAA intake with other interventions may improve markers. BCAA’s reduce muscle soreness and play an important role in energy production.
And unlike a protein drink that takes a while for the body to process and get uploaded, like a super slow internet connection, BCAA’s in liquid form require no digestion and are absorbed into the bloodstream like a fast assimilating enterprise crew member by the Borg. And the reason BCAA’s have a powerful effect on blood-BCAA levels is that unlike amino acids, BCAA’s are not significantly metabolized by the small intestine or liver.
So if you’re training and looking to take shit to the next level in creating the body you have been busting ass for, BCAA’s might be worth the attempt to add to your diet and nutrition plan. I probably should have just said that instead of making so many Seattle jokes. But if you wanna make an omelette…..