For those looking to up their fitness game, branch chain amino acids may be one of the better options available. So-called because of their molecular structure, these amino acids help with protein synthesis, a creation of neurotransmitters, and even help increase energy. Also, the BCAAs may also help preserve glycogen stores in the muscles, which helps to minimize the breakdown of protein during work-outs and maximize the results of daily work-outs. It is thus important to find the best BCAAs for your work-out, making sure that you get the best benefit from your regimen.
The three basic BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. While there are others, these are the ones present in most supplements making them the ones to watch out for in the list of active ingredients. These three amino acids help your body maintain glycogen stores during the work-out, meaning that you can keep exercising longer, thus putting in more reps and getting more gains. The BCAAs also help safeguard your muscles by preventing the breakdown of muscle protein, making the introduction of BCAAs before working out something that helps make your workout safer and more productive.
The best combination is a higher ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine, with an ideal daily recommended allowance of five grams of leucine, four of valine, and two of isoleucine; leucine helps with regulating genetic signaling pathways which can increase muscle protein synthesis. Whey protein shakes provide the best combination of all three, and make sure that they used in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet. Besides supplements, leucine is found in brown rice and whole-wheat foods, isoleucine is found in nuts, and valine is best found in dairy, grains, mushrooms, and peanuts. Animal products and soy are also full of BCAAs for that added boost.
However, if you do use BCAAs do not overload on them. BCAAs can cause obesity, and there is some evidence that they can lead to diabetes. A degradation of the three due to build-up can also lead to maple syrup urine disease, so-called because of the smell of urine; the disorder is typified by various forms of erratic behavior. Keep in mind that these can be avoided by simply not over-dosing on BCAAs; a physician can better help you with dosing limits if you need more information.
Cautions aside, all of this means that to find the best BCAAs just means reading nutrition labels better. The best mix is one that only has a few grams of the various amino acids, and works well with your diet. Just pay attention to the labels and your body and you should do fine.