We’ve seen through the research and studies that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are effective in preventing catabolism and promoting muscle growth and energy within the cells. But where do they fit into your supplementation schedule, and how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of them?
Let’s start by examining what a product like Katalyst’s IBCAA, NUTRISHOP’s featured product of the week, does exactly. The amino acids leucine, valine and isoleucine are all considered “essential” amino acids — meaning your body does not produce them, instead relying on your own dietary intake. But when you work out, your muscles go into a catabolic state, using up the amino acids that are readily available within the muscle itself. This is one of the reasons your muscles get fatigued and weak as you continue to lift; you’re purposely tearing them down and your body is doing what it needs to in order to stop that process.
Having a surplus of amino acids stops this, since they are metabolized in the muscles and not in the liver. Once your system absorbs them, they go straight to the muscles in demand and begin to work. Exercise Prescription online points out that “amino acids will be used for protein synthesis, which is optimal for advanced human performance.” It continues to state that “BCAAs are of essential importance to athletes due to their ability to alleviate any deficiencies the body alone cannot produce.”
So, knowing all that, here’s the take-home: Take a serving of IBCAA before your workout, allowing time for it to absorb in the digestive system before it immediately goes to your muscles. By the time you start working, so will the BCAAs (remember, they’re instantized in Katalyst’s formula)! If you plan on an intense workout nearing the two-hour mark, IBCAA mixes deliciously into your shaker bottle and you can drink it during your workout for sustained recovery and energy.