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BCAAs are three Amino Acids: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine
There are nine Essential Amino Acids that the body cannot produce itself, so they must be consumed through food or supplement form. Of those nine, the three BCAAs play a vital role in muscle development because they are metabolised in muscle rather than the liver.
They are very valuable when taken before, during or after training as they provide your body with fuel (energy) and help to kickstart protein synthesis in your muscles for faster recovery. Faster recovery means faster results!
If your body doesn't have enough readily available BCAAs, it may look to your muscles to find some - this may actually reduce muscle size!
BCAAs are known to be responsible for kick-starting protein synthesis after your workout. Remember, muscles begin to repair and grow shortly after you train.
They also blunt cortisol, which competes with testosterone and breaks-down muscle. Cortisol is at its highest levels first-thing in the morning and straight after your workout, so these are ideal times to supplement BCAAs. Taking 6g BCAAs per day was found to reduce cortisol by 48% in endurance athletes in a study by SupplementWatch.
For hard-training individuals, BCAAs have been shown to enhance physical preformance, reduce muscle breakdown, and aid weight-loss.