Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
How does it work?
BCAAs are a combination of three essential amino acids isoleucine, leucine and valine.1 Unlike other amino acids from food which travel first to the liver and are broken down for fuel or muscle repair, BCAAs bypass the liver and metabolise directly in muscle tissue for fueling, building or repairing.2 BCAAs have also shown to influence neurotransmitter uptake to reduce both mental and physical fatigue during and after exercise.3 Due to bypassing liver metabolism, there is additional research shown to assist in the health-related quality of life for those suffering with liver disease.4
What results can be expected?
BCAAs may improve exercise fatigue and/or performance and assist in preventing muscle and protein breakdown caused by intense exercise.5
1Complete Nutrition. (2013). The Benefits of BCAAs. Retrieved Jan 2014, from Complete Nutrition: http://www.completenutrition.com/blog/posts/2013/august/the-benefits-of-bcaas/
2Complete Nutrition. (2013). The Benefits of BCAAs. Retrieved Jan 2014, from Complete Nutrition: http://www.completenutrition.com/blog/posts/2013/august/the-benefits-of-bcaas/
3Blomstrand, E. (1991). Administration of branched-chain amino acids during sustained exercise - effects on performance and on plasma concentration of some amino acids. Euro J App Physiol, 63, 83-88. Retrieved Jan 2014, from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00235174#page-2
4Holecek, M. (2010). Three targets of branched-chain amino acid supplementation in the treatment of liver disease. Nutrition, 26(5), 482-90. Retrieved Jan 2014, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900709003086
5WebMD. (2009). Vitamins and Supplements - Branched Chain Amino Acids. Retrieved Jan 2014, from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1005-BRANCHED-CHAIN%20AMINO%20ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=1005&activeIngredientName=BRANCHED-CHAIN%20AMINO%20ACIDS