The holy trinity of sports nutrition
Athletes and active individuals supplement with protein because protein is what muscles are made of, right?
Well, yes and no. Your body doesn’t just take the protein you ingest as-is and build new muscle tissue. It breaks down the protein you ingest and uses the raw materials contained within – amino acids - for countless purposes and functions.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) are composed of three essential amino acids - Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine - that form the largest pool of essential amino acids in the bodily pool (35 to 40%) and are present in high levels (14 to 18%) in muscle tissue.
If you’ve been dieting and exercising but just can’t seem to attain that hard musculature and physique you desire, branched-chain amino acid supplements may be the missing link.
How branched-chain aminos work
As you exercise, your body burns mostly carbohydrates for energy. Once you’ve used your limited carbohydrate stores, what’s next on the energy menu? Muscle tissue. Your body will begin to break it down to utilize the amino acids contained within as an alternative energy source.
If you’re not providing your body with the raw materials it needs to meet its energy expenditure, and its needs to build and repair muscle tissue, your body will break down your muscle tissue to produce energy.
The result is that you’re actually losing muscle instead of gaining it - probably not the reason you’re working out, huh?
The key is to ensure that your body is synthesizing more protein than it’s taking from your muscles; then you’ll gain lean muscle mass instead of losing it.
This is where BCAAs save the day (and your physique):
- Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine, are essential amino acids that can only be obtained from the diet.
- They’re ridiculously awesome at stimulating protein synthesis, as well as optimizing your cell’s capacity to synthesize protein.
- Better yet, they also help to reduce protein breakdown through several mechanisms of action. Sweet!
NOW® Sports Branched-Chain Amino Acid products are carefully screened for purity and potency and are manufactured with our industry-leading quality assurance procedures. And we always use the natural “L” form amino acids, because we believe that natural is better.