No matter if you’re an elite athlete or more of a weekend warrior, essential amino acids are a key tool which can benefit to you and your recovery after training.
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What’s an amino acid?
Did you know that protein aka one of the main building blocks for muscle and good health, is actually made up of chains of amino acids – pretty crazy right?
Interestingly enough there are only 20 amino acids that make up proteins, but the number of combinations in which these can be arranged is never ending. Eight of these 20 amino acids are essential meaning that they cannot be made by the body and must be provided by a food source. These amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
So how do EAA’S fit into the picture post workout?
Remember those essential amino acids that you needed to source, well three of them benefit you directly both during and especially in the post workout phase: leucine, isoleucine and valine or as they are often termed BCAA’S (branched chain amino acids)
Instead of heading to your liver to be metabolised, these 3 amigos take a direct route via the blood stream and go straight to work helping your muscles post workout. The role of these BCAA’s is to assist with protein synthesis, and also prevent deterioration of your muscles. So, no matter if you’re looking to gain or maintain your muscle mass, BCAA’s are important.
So, when’s the ideal time to take BCAA’s? During a workout is best as they can help you to have the energy to make it through your workout, however you can also take them pre and post workout to both fuel and help your muscle repair and recover.