In ancient African and Asian dynasties and even in Australian tribes, the kings would have their own secret herbalists to brew medical and isotonic mixtures to keep them healthy, strong, and fit.
Nowadays, things have changed. But not so much.
People often ask us what the best supplement for improving muscle performance is?
We would have to tell you BCAA, but not the best, rather essential!
Why is that?
BCAAs are made up of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They make up 35-40% of the body's protein and 15% of the amino acids of skeletal muscle.
From 1970-1990, much scientific research established that 'exercisers' are losing large amounts of alanine and glutamine, which are being excreted and lost.
Because there wasn't enough amount in the muscles to compensate, they thought that the BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) play a significant role in recouping.
Then they managed to measure only the losses of leucine and noticed a higher consumption of this amino acid compared to the other two, and that the rapid loss of leucine is immensely expressed in activities that require endurance, i.e., aerobic training.
Today it is widely known that the optimal ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine is 2: 1: 1, and all preparations are produced on this scale.
WHY DO YOU NEED THEM?
Let it put it this way...
Once upon a time, there were three anthills in a forest by the river.
The ants had a mission first to build storage and then to stack it with food.
In each of the anthills, there was a group of the most capable ants who found new sources of food for their anthills.
These ants wandered outside the usual ant trails and explored everything around them. They walked shorter and longer paths, climbed on blades of grass and twigs, discovered new food sources, trampled new tracks, while other ants kept building storage for food sources.
The forest was spacious, but ants were hard-working, keeping their focus on thriving and building.
One day the great flood came, leveling the forest and washing away everything that hard-working ants were working for.
This story applies to you too, and not having BCAA in your diet.
The key to getting stronger is to promote anabolism and simultaneously preserve lean body mass.
Branched-chain amino acids (L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine) play a significant role in preventing catabolic processes in muscles during strenuous and long-term training.
The body uses BCAAs as an indirect source of energy for the muscles, converting them into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis, which takes place in the liver.
BCAAs, and in particular leucine, stimulate the secretion of insulin, somatomedin-C (IGF-1), and growth hormone (GH). Thus, their anti-catabolic effect is complemented by the direct natural action of these hormones and growth factors.
And this means for you...
If you are serious about your muscle progress, it is imperative to take BCAA supplements before and after intense weight training, because valine, leucine, and isoleucine are consumed very quickly.
In terms of building and maintaining muscle mass, there are no more important amino acids than BCAAs.
HOW MUCH YOU NEED?
For all athletes, loss of muscle is undesirable. So, if energy intake can be reduced but muscle mass maintained, then 'hooray'!
Knowing how beneficial these three amino acids are to your physique goals, you'll want to ensure you're supplying your body with what it needs. While these compounds can be purchased individually, GENIUS NUTRITION® has taken the guesswork out of it for you and developed comprehensive BCAA products.
With one of our products, BCAA-X5, you can take one scoop (12g) before workout with 250ml water. Non-workout days: one scoop (12g) between meals.
Therefore, it is obvious that it is essential to provide your muscles with these amino acids and compensate them, ie. BCAA intake should be rule-based - before, during, and after training!
However, the great importance, role, and significance of these essential amino acids do not end there.
It has been investigated that the intake of BCAAs and Glutamine between meals and before bedtime have significant benefits in increasing the production of growth hormone, especially in people older than 30 years.
To increase the effect of BCAAs, you should be informed about their dosage. One of the easy ways to individually calculate the amount you should ingest is through the formula:
M x 0.44 g, where M is your weight excluding fat. An example for a man of 80 kg with 15% bf (body fat) is: (80 kg - (80 kg x 15%)) x 0.44 g = (80 kg - 12 kg of fat) x 0.44 g = about 30 g. So a man who weighs 80 kg with 15% fat should have a daily BCAA intake of about 30 g.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
It is crucial as soon as we get up to take a dose of BCAA. This is important because, after a starvation night, BCAA prevents muscles' breakdown, providing energy.
(Here we listed the amounts for advanced exercisers and competitors.)
Then 10g before training will provide energy, increase muscle mass, 10g during training, and 10g after training where it will renew muscle, prevent catabolism, and the feeling of hunger.
But if you're starting, then you can ease up a little to round up 25-30gr daily.
GLUTAMINE: THE ESSENTIAL NON-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID
Bodybuilders and recreational athletes often ask, "what can I take along with BCAA'?
Our vote goes for iGlutamine because it's a fantastic amino acid for faster recovery and much more...
So this is ours 10 times 'hurray' for Glutamine;
- Glutamine is vital for the proper functioning of the body - for the work of the brain, immune system, and organs.
- If there is not enough Glutamine, the body will reduce the amount of muscle tissue to get Glutamine, i.e., there will be catabolism - muscle breakdown.
- Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids when it comes to shortening the recovery period.
- The experience of athletes who use Glutamine is that the effects are felt very quickly. They feel better physically, less tired, and have more strength, more ready for the next training, and reduced muscle inflammation.
- Glutamine also has anabolic functions in the body - it helps protein synthesis within muscle cells, maintains acidity, and is an important raw material for energy production.
- Glutamine also has an essential function in strengthening immunity.
- Glutamine naturally increases growth hormone levels.
- Losses during training can amount to 20 - 30 g (during very strenuous workout). If they are not compensated in a short time after training, fatigue occurs due to deterioration of protein synthesis. Glutamine prevents it.
- It is important to note that it is impossible to immediately feel Glutamine's effect after taking it because its effect is best manifested later at the next training when the most important thing is for the athlete to be rested.
- You are free to add Glutamine to your protein shake after training with water, and you can take an extra amount before training and / or at bedtime.
In Genius Nutrition®, you can find iGlutamine in a package of 450g and 55 servings.
Many athletes will say that the recommended 5 g is minimal and ineffective when it comes to dosing. In conversations with athletes-competitors, the doses within 15-20 g after training proved to be the best.
Glutamine is an amino acid, so it has no harmful effects.
The most important thing is to add iGlutamine to your protein shake after your workout. If you are able, drink it with water both before training and before bed.
In the end...
The ancient folks had their herbalists and gurus; you have Genius Nutrition®
Tell us... are you taking BCAAs, and what are your observations?!