BCAAs - Branched Chain Amino Acids - are rapidly gaining popularity in the fitness industry. These supplements are being taken by everyone from novices to pros. The branched chain amino acids are a group of 3 amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three are the main active ingredients in the most popular BCAA supplements such as Scivation Xtend.
BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids: Benefits
BCAAs provide several key benefits to those looking to gain muscle. Branched chain amino acids taken in supplement form will stimulate the process of protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the process your body uses to build muscle. In order to gain muscle mass, the rate of protein synthesis must exceed the rate of protein breakdown in your body. BCAAs not only increase the rate of synthesis, but they also reduce the rate of protein breakdown by reducing the activity of each cellular component responsible for that process. In other words, taking BCAAs will set the equation for muscle gain in your favor!
BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids: Side Effects
BCAA supplements may have some side effects in some individuals. The most likely side effect would be a slight reduction in the trainee's appetite. This could be seen as an advantage if the BCAA drink is consumed before the workout since it would allow the trainee to continue without having to stop for a rumbling stomach. Decreased appetite could be a problem for those trying to maintain a caloric surplus, however. It is important to track your numbers and not rely on your appetite to tell you when to eat.
BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids: Scivation Xtend
Scivation Xtend is one of the most popular BCAA supplements on the market. Many professionals choose this brand due to its solid history, advanced formula, and impeccable flavor. Xtend contains not only the BCAAs but also l-glutamine, citrulline malate, and an electrolyte blend. Many who have tried the whole range of BCAA supplements end up returning to Xtend due its wide range of flavor offerings - raspberry, apple, orange, lemon lime, watermelon, and grape. Xtend is also sugar-free and has 0 calories.
Scivation Xtend Active Ingredients (per serving):
Citrulline Malate 1000mg
Electrolyte Blend 1171mg
Vitamin B6 640mcg
BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids: Conclusion
BCAA supplements are probably worth a try due to their many documented benefits and relatively low cost per serving. The ability of these supplements to be rapidly absorbed lends well to pre-workout ingestion. The increased protein synthesis and decreased protein breakdown, along with the appetite suppression make these supplements a good choice before weight-training. Results can be maximized by taking a quality natural multivitamin, creatine, NAC, and also following a good bulking diet and training routine.