Adequate levels of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential in increasing protein synthesis and aiding recovery.  All athletes/ bodybuilders want to avoid muscle breakdown and increase protein synthesis and good levels of BCAAs will ensure you keep your gains.  A depletion in BCAA levels can cause training plateaus, stagnation and also inadequate recovery after sessions.  In this article we investigate just what role BCAAs play in recovery and why BCAAs are so special for bodybuilders and athletes.

The Effects of BCAAs

When taken on their own, BCAAs have been proven to stimulate protein synthesis.  The interesting part of the research into BCAAs is that this was found to happen independent of training.  In short, BCAAs have been proven to make your body put down muscle tissue without you even training.  These studies showed that BCAA supplementation caused an increase in testosterone, growth hormone and insulin, all of which are highly potent in increasing muscle mass and decreasing muscle wastage.

Another key hormone that BCAAs influence is cortisol.  Studies have shown that athletes taking BCAAs have lower levels of cortisol during training.  Cortisol encourages muscular breakdown and also inhibits your muscle building hormones.  Numerous studies have shown that BCAAs cause significantly less muscle breakdown after training and far quicker recovery rates.

BCAAs and Recovery

BCAAs are essential to recovery because of the metabolic recovery they stimulate.  This is essential because the more frequently and the harder you can train, the quicker you can attain your goals.  Every training session damages muscle tissue, the adaptation to the training stress is normally for the body to grow back the muscles bigger and stronger.  The quicker your body can do this, the faster the gains.  BCAA supplementation boosts all the hormones that are needed to make muscle tissue and helps to suppress hormones that would break down your hard earned muscle tissue.  This will speed up recovery times and increase the intensity you can work at when you are hitting the gym, making BCAAs an invaluable nutritional tool.

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