Have you heard people discuss BCAAs and wondered what on earth they are talking about? In this article we hope to clear up a few things from what they to exactly what those ratios mean for you.
What are BCAAs?
Well, firstly BCAAs is short for Branched-Chain Amino Acids and they are made up of the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. We call them essential amino acids (EAAs) because the body can't produce these acids on their own and this is why BCAA supplementation is so popular. There have been countless scientific studies that have backed up the use of BCAA's an example of which being a study conducted in 1998. The study had two different groups take an endurance cycle ride in the heat. The results from the experiment showed that the Experimental Group (the group that is exposed to the independent variable, in this case the BCAA) cycled 153.1 minutes on average in comparison to the Control Group (the group who will take a placebo as opposed to the actual BCAA) who only cycled 137 minutes on average. This particular experiment shows that BCAAs can be an integral part of your supplement regime if used correctly.
Who Can Take BCAAs?
BCAAs are designed for individuals and athletes who take part in intense physical exercise on a regular basis. Recovery is the number one limiting factor in terms of progress and gains, the better the recovery the better the progress and gains. BCAAs are the perfect addition to your supplement stack for those who want to enhance recovery, whilst also having a tasty, intra-workout drink to sip during their training.
What Can BCAAs Do For You?
There are many benefits to taking BCAAs that even those who don't religiously workout still have a lot to gain from BCAA supplementation. Here’s a few of the main ones:
✔ A trigger for Protein synthesis
✔ An increase in your glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity
✔ Reduce muscle soreness
✔ Increased energy levels
✔ Minimised muscle Loss
✔ Increased fat loss
✔ Increase longevity
The multiple benefits of BCAAs means that they are a good supplement addition for those who want to build muscle, tone up or even drop fat. You will notice on site that we offer instantised BCAAs in a ratio of 2:1:1, 4:1:1 and 8:1:1 and if you’re looking at BCAAs for the first time this can seem pretty daunting and confusing – so what does this mean for you?
What Is The Difference In BCAA Ratios?
When looking at the ratios of BCAAs, the first number represents the amount of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. So 2:1:1 has twice the amount of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. The ratio of Leucine is important as research has shown that Leucine is the magic ingredient when it comes to creating that lean look. However, the Leucine must be taken in conjunction with other BCAAs to have any effect. The 2:1:1 ratio has been shown to be the minimum ratio needed to feel the benefits of BCAA
supplementation and the 8:1:1 ratio ensures that you have a high dose of that Magic Leucine. Which one you decide to take may depend on how often you train and how intense your average training sessions are. If you train with high intensity and want to achieve maximum results from each session, we would recommend the 8:1:1 ratio.
What Is The Best Time To Take BCAAs?
BCAAs can be taken any time of day and even work to reduce muscle loss when taken during the times that you are not exercising or are off training due to illness. Also, due to the positive impact on energy levels and endurance, taking BCAAs during your workout is an ideal time; You will work out for longer and your body will get a kick start in protein synthesis so that it is then ready to optimise the gains from your post workout shake. Supplementing with BCCAs intra workout can should also reduce muscle soreness after your session which means less or no DOMS!
The Key Points to BCAAs
✔ BCAAs help your body burn fuel in a more efficient way which improves endurance.
✔ BCAAs cause a reduction in DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness which can occur 24-48 hours after intense exercise) meaning you can train more frequently and get better results.
✔ BCAAs will help your body utilise protein which meansgreater strength gains,
✔ The higher the Leucine ratio the more fat burning power your BCAAs have,
When looking at BCAAS, scientists note that BCAAs “behave as evolutionary conserved modulators of lifespan” This means that they should help you live longer if you manage to get enough of them in your system. They also have been found to improve cognition because of the effect they have on the neurotransmitters, improving synthesis of glutamate and GABA and inhibiting serotonin.
Of course, you can consume your BCAAs in the standard way which is either through a tasty BCAA drink or through 6:1:1 Capsules, but we’re also going to show you the super simple way to mix it up and make your very own BCAA Jelly!
BCAA Berry Jelly is quite possibly the simplest recipe you will ever make! There's no fussy cooking involved and you are left with an amino jelly recovery treat which is perfectly cold and tasty. You could even try this is a dessert in order to decrease recovery time and get an amino kick and we have 4 tasty flavours to choose from including Red Berry, Pomegranate, Raspberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime.
What you need:
✔ 1 Serving of BCAA 11.4g
✔ 1 Sachet of Powdered Gelatin – you can buy this from any supermarket!
✔ 500ml of Hot (not boiling) water
✔ 1/4 cup (30g) of raspberries blended (This is optional but super tasty if you’ve chosen to with Raspberry Lemenoade or Red Berry flavour)
What to do:
✔ Firstly, simply add one sachet of powdered Gelatin (10g) together with a scoop of your BCAA into a mixing bowl,
✔ Slowly add the hot water (remember to ensure that it’s not at boiling point) and stir the mix as you go,
✔ All of the powdered ingredients should slowly dissolve whilst stirring,
✔ Once dissolved, simply add the blended raspberries and stir until smooth.
✔ Place the bowl and leave this is the fridge until its set – this can usually take around 4 hours so if you have chance to leave it overnight this would be perfect!
Hopefully this article has given you a little more of an insight into what BCAAs are and how they can seriously benefit your body and your workouts along with a simple Amino Jelly Recipe. Let us know how BCAAs improve your workouts and how you found the tasty Recipe by letting us know on Instagram or Twitter via @BBWarehouse