BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are known as the building blacks of muscle tissue, they support everything from anabolic muscle building to high-intensity endurance training to improving mental function and mood. They are among the nine essential amino acids that the body is unable to make, meaning they must be ingested through food or supplements.
As their name suggests, BCAAs have a branched side chain that simplifies the job of converting each amino acid into energy during intense exertion. The more BCAAs that are present in the muscles, the more they will be used for energy, slowing the breakdown of muscles cells and preventing catabolism. At the most basic level, BCAAs trigger protein synthesis, increase energy expenditure and have been shown to improve glucose tolerance. What’s exciting about this is that BCAAs work even when you aren’t working out, meaning that if you have to take time off, BCAAs will help minimize fat gain and muscle loss from inactivity. Equally, on days when you don’t exercise, BCAAs are just as important as during and post-workout.
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