branched-chain amino acids (bcAa)

Our bodies do not produce branched-chain amino acids, this classifies them as essential amino acids. Amino acids are essentially the smallest denominator (building blocks) of protein.

There are 3 important amino acids called branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which are called valine, leucine and isoleucine. These have many functions to help improve your performance and results. They help to:

  • Preserve and repair muscle
  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Increase muscle function
  • Give you energy while training

We are trying to create a scenario where the rate of protein synthesis exceeds the rate of protein breakdown. Creating a positive protein balance is the reason YBP recommends BCAA when training. It has been shown that BCAA (especially leucine) both stimulate and increase the rate of protein synthesis, while decreasing the rate of protein breakdown.

The BCAA valine competes for absorption with the amino acid tryptophan. Through a complicated series of steps, tryptophan is synthesised to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps with sleep amongst other things. By consuming valine during training it reduces the amount of tryptophan taken up, therefore decreasing the amount of serotonin produced inhibiting tiredness during exercise.

This article has
been written by
Terry Fairclough