Greg says: Branched chain amino acids are essential amino acids which contain a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, which are essential (i.e. must be consumed).
During workouts we increase the breakdown of muscle (termed catabolism) and in order to maintain muscle mass we must ensure this is balanced with muscle rebuilding (protein synthesis).
To increase muscle mass we need to be in a positive protein balance (i.e. greater synthesis than catabolism).
The equation to think about is this:
Increasing consumption of protein such as BCAAs can support synthesis and create a positive protein balance.
When should you consume protein? There is much debate on the subject of whether we should consume pre-, during, or post-exercise. In general, it will come down to personal preference as long as you consume proteins close to exercise.
About the author: Greg Whyte competed in two Olympic Games and is a European and World Championship medalist. With an MSc in Human Performance and a PhD completed at London’s St. Georges Hospital Medical School, he is most recently known for his involvement in Comic Relief where he assisted various celebrities in challenges, including Davina McCall who he trained for her ‘Beyond Breaking Point’ 506 mile ultra-triathlon.
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