What if I told you that you don’t need to eat protein to gain muscles? Would you believe me? Now, before you start accusing me of being insane or just out of my mind, allow me to break it down for you. What you actually need to gain muscle is…amino acids.
When you consume whole-foods from proteins (eg. eggs, milk,meat), they will be broken down into their elements when they are being digested into your system. And these elements are amino acids. There are many types of amino acids that is produced from proteins, and 8 out of 22 amino acids are essential nutrients for your body.
Identify The Essential Amino Acids
Although all amino acids help build muscles, out of all 22 amino acids, there are selective few which is more essential in the muscle protein synthesis. There are 3 amino acids (isoleucine, leucine and valine. These three are collectively known as BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids). This is named as such because of it’s molecular structure.This type of amino acids are unique on their own, because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than in the liver. It is also know as the muscle aminos.
If you have ever seen any kind of advertisement that says you can overcome your genetic limitations while showing a complicated figure of protein synthesis, well that is the picture of BCAA molecules. And out of these 3 type of amino acids, leucine has the most anabolic properties.
BCAA’s can also be found in whey proteins as they are mixed together with other kind of amino’s in it. Other type of amino acids in whey protein also have their benefits for your health.
Branched Chain Amino Acids does an important job at providing good amount of proteins to your muscle during low calorie (low carb) diets. The source of muscle aminos will be the first to metabolize (break down) when the body runs out of energy coming from carbohydrates. This happens when you are on your cutting phase.
This happens most likely when you are already low in fat, and in aerobic type of exercises. Therefore taking good amount of BCAAs before your workout will reduce the risk of losing lean muscles.
Improve Your Training Performance.
There have been a lot of debate regarding whether does the BCAA will improve the workouts efficiency or the performance. Following this, research has been done and proven that a person with more fat would need more dose of branched chain amino acids for them to reach their anabolic state. It also shows that the persons testosterone level goes up.
In other words, using branched chain amino acids during pre-workout will reduce the level of cortisol and creatine kinase at the same time, it increase the production of testosterone (growth hormone)
Preserves Muscle Mass.
You can stop worrying about muscle loss after a hard and intense training when you have supplemented your body with adequate amount of branch chained amino acids. Research has shown that by taking essential amino acids before your exercise will enhance your anabolic system.
Another research also showed that by taking BCAAs, it will reduce muscle damage during workouts and block DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness) which normally happens the following day. You will recover faster and be fresh the next day.
Stimulates Anbolic Hormone.
Branch Chain Amino Acids stimulates 3 different type of anabolic hormones; testosterone, insulin and growth hormones. It also acts against stress hormone cortisol that breaks down muscle.