Welcome to ProSource.net! »
SIGN-UP FOR EMAILS
FREE SHIPPING OVER $200!*
*Everyday Flat Rate Shipping $5.95
New Product Showcase
ProSource Brand Products
ProSource Gift Cards
Top 50 Products
Research & Development
Featured Athlete Profiles
ProSource Advisory Board
Free Supplement Encyclopedia
Free VIP E-mails
Deals & Coupons
Deal of the Day
Deal of the Month
Coupons and Promos
Connect with Us
Call Us at 1-800-310-1555
Help and Customer Support
4 Dimension Nutrition
AI Sports Nutrition
All American EFX
Alpha Pro Nutrition
American Body Building
Arnold Schwarzenegger Series
Athletic Edge Nutrition
Barn Dad Nutrition
Beast Sports Nutrition
Chef Jay's Foods
CON-CRET Promera Health
German American Tech / GAT
Gunnar Peterson System
Hair No More
Health From the Sun
Healthy N Fit
Isatori Global Tech
Lenny & Larry's
Millennium Sport Technologies
MuscleTech Essential Series
New Whey Nutrition
NO OPPORTUNITY WASTED
NRG X Labs
Nuts 'N More
PES Physique Enhancing Science
Ronnie Coleman Signature Series
Serious Nutrition Solutions / SNS
Six Star Pro Nutrition
Supreme Protein Inc
Swole Sports Nutrition
Top Secret Nutrition
Books and DVDs
Branch Chain Aminos
Energy and Endurance
Equipment & Apparel
Especially For Men
Especially For Women
Growth Support Formulas
Health and Wellness
Mass and Strength Builders
Multi-Vitamins & Minerals
New Product Showcase
Post-Workout / Muscle Recovery
Protein & Energy Bars
RTD (Ready to Drink) Formulas
All supplement brands listed A-Z
Products listed by product type.
Top Rated Products
Best in Class
Top products that hold the coveted "Best in Class" awards
Top 50 Supplements
ProSource.net's top selling products
Exclusive Deals and Sales
Deal of the Day
Every day a single top-brand supplement is featured at extreme savings.
Deal of the Month
Each month a single top-brand product is featured at extreme savings.
Coupon codes and sale items, up to an additional 60% off already low prices!
FREE SUPPLEMENT CATALOG HERE >>
Bcaas: Essential Building Blocks Of Muscle Growth
Articles by ProSource
| Feb 21, 2007
With new and exciting supplement breakthroughs making their debut all the time, it's sometimes easy to forget the less glamorous nutritional stand-bys of muscle growth. Yes, the new norepinephrine-stimulating super-thermogenics and the muscle-gorging hemodilators (to pick two examples), show terrific anabolic potential. But real lean mass gains start with the basics. And the most basic and essential building block of all is the
branched-chain amino acid
. Amino acids facilitate the synthesis of structural proteins, enzymes, and some hormones and neurotransmitters. Amino acids are also involved in numerous metabolic pathways that affect exercise metabolism. For decades, medical researchers have known that athletes involved in intense training require additional protein in the diet and that they should supplement their diet with specific amino acids in order to achieve peak performance. There are two kinds of amino acids: essential and nonessential. While all amino acids are necessary for metabolism, growth and other physical processes, the key distinction between the two classes lies in the fact that nonessential amino acids are manufactured by your body and essential amino acids are not.
Branched-chain amino acids
, so named because of their unique branching structure, are essential amino acids, which means that the body alone cannot produce them. To store up sufficient quantities, athletes must obtain them from dietary sources.
There are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
is a potent muscle-sparring nutrient, while isoleucine is needed for hemoglobin formation and to help stabilize and regulate energy levels. Valine is necessary for muscle metabolism, tissue repair, and proper maintenance of nitrogen balance. Synergistically, their combined effect engages a multitude of processes to energize, protect and build muscle tissue.
Potent Fuel for Peak Athletic Performance
BCAAs are unique in that they are metabolized directly by muscle tissue. During prolonged workouts,
are burned as fuel to provide as much as 15% of your total energy requirement. Since your body only has a limited store of these essential amino acids, it is forced to break down lean muscle tissue when dietary sources aren't meeting your needs. Consuming sufficient BCAAs before and after training helps to prevent training-induced muscle breakdown thereby improving recovery times. BCAAs may also play a key role in delaying fatigue so you can push yourself harder, faster, and longer through the most intense training bouts and competitive events. BCAAs are unlike most other aminos in that your muscles use them for fuel, an end result that becomes more likely the longer a particular activity continues, such as during a long, intense workout or run. Thus,
may benefit your training indirectly by keeping muscle tissue from being burned by the body when primary energy stores run low. A 2001
American Journal of Physiology--Endocrinology and Metabolism
study found that muscle protein was spared during post-exercise recovery when subjects took BCAAs. A 1996 study published in the journal
showed BCAAs can protect muscle-glycogen stores from being tapped. BCAAs also act as nitrogen carriers which assist the muscles in synthesizing other aminos needed for anabolic muscle action. Finally, BCAAs stimulate the production of insulin, the main function of which is to allow circulating blood sugar to be taken up by the muscle cells and used as a source of energy. This insulin production promotes amino acid uptake by the muscle.
BCAAs are both anabolic and anti-catabolic
because of their ability to significantly increase protein synthesis, facilitate the release of hormones such as growth hormone, IGF-1, and insulin, and help maintain a favorable testosterone-to-cortisol ratio.
Powerful Anti-Catabolic Activity
BCAAs are among the most powerful anti-catabolics that protect muscle from the constant breakdown that occurs as a natural part of metabolism. Because they can also be broken down and used for an energy source, they are particularly susceptible to rapid depletion. In fact, even moderate exercise has been shown to substantially increase the oxidation of leucine by 240%--almost an entire da's worth of this muscle fuel. Though some foods naturally contain these vital amino acids, even modest physical training can remarkably increase the need to replenish them for optimum performance and recovery. There is evidence that suggests
taken one or two hours before intense training spare muscle stores of BCAAs and testosterone during training and increase testosterone levels after training, thus producing the most favorable environment for muscle growth. BCAA's are also an excellent anti-catabolic because they can help prevent protein breakdown and muscle loss, which is significantly important to those who are on pre-contest diets. During these times of low caloric intake, the use of BCAA is strongly recommended because there is a greater risk of muscle loss due to a decrease in the rate of protein synthesis and an increase of proteolysis, which is the hydrolytic breakdown of proteins into simpler, soluble substances such aspeptides and amino acids, as occurs during digestion.
Glutamine: The Essential "Non-Essential"
While we're on the subject of essential amino acids, we should address the case for glutamine.
Glutamine is not a BCAA
, and for many years, it was lumped into the category of non-essential amino acids. This is because, under normal circumstances, your body produces enough glutamine to meet its needs. But during high-intensity training, your body's vital glutamine stores are swiftly depleted at precisely the time when your body needs them most, triggering a catabolic state in which muscle breakdown is prevalent. That's why
supplementation with free-form L-glutamine
--both before and after working out--is an indispensable component of the
serious athlete's bodybuilding regimen
. Recent research also reveals that glutamine's value goes beyond enhanced muscle recovery and repair. In fact, one landmark study indicated that a two-gram oral dose of glutamine elevated growth hormone levels by over 400%! Another recent study has reported that
can increase body weight, body cell mass, and intracellular water in a manner not unlike
Finally, a clinical study has identified L-Glutamine as an essential amino acid for nitric oxide synthesis and the conversion of Arginine to NO. This should be of great interest to those athletes who are supplementing with one of the promising new NO2 hemodilators (like
A Clearly Superior BCAA Supplement
While there is no shortage of BCAA formulations available on the market, many lack the needed potency to offer much benefit. One ultra-potent product specifically designed for the needs of serious bodybuilders and endurance athletes is available, however.
product contains a precise ratio of key anti-catabolic, muscle-sparing amino acids made from premium-grade ingredients for maximum assimilation. Adding new
to your diet regimen will greatly increase your chances for impressive gains in strength and size, while promoting rapid recovery.
Atkins, Robert C. Dr Atkins Vita-Nutrient Solution p. 187 Fireside 1998
Evans, WJ et al Protein metabolism during exercise. Physician and Sports Med 1983: 11:63
Carli G, et al. Changes in the exercise-induced hormone response to branched chain amino acid administration. Eur J Appl Physiol 1992: 64:272:277
Balch J, Balch P. Prescription for Nutritional Healing?Second Edition. Avery 1997
T.C. Welbourne, Increased Plasma Bicarbonate and Growth Hormone after an oral Glutamine Load. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61.5 (1995): 1058-1061.
Shabert, Nutrition, 1999; Nov.-Dec.; 15 (11-12):860-4.
Bellows-J Surge Res. 1999 Oct.; 86 (2): 213-9.
Blomstrand et al., Influence of Ingesting a Solution of Branched Chain Amino Acids on Perceived Exertion During Exercise, Clin. Sci.:87, 52, 1994.
Carli et al., Changes in the Exercise Induced Hormone Response to Branched-Chain Amino Acids, Eur. J. Appl. Physiol.: 64, 272, 1992.
Goldberg, A., The Regulation and Significance of Amino Acid Metabolism in Skeletal Muscle, Fed. Proc.: 37, 2301, 1978.
Goto, Masaru; Miyahara, Ikuko; Hayashi, Hideyuki., Crystal Structures of Branced-Chain Amino Acid Aminotransfease Complexed with Glutamate and Glutarate: True Reaction Intermediate and Double Substrate Recognition of the Enzyme. Biochemistry (American Chemical Society) v. 42 no. 14 (April 8 2003) p. 3725-33.
Kelley, G., Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements for Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes, Med. Rev.: 2, 184, 1997.
McLean et al., Branched-Chain Amino Acids Augment Ammonia Metabolism While Attenuating Protein Breakdown During Exercise, Am. J. Physiol.: 267, E1010, 1994.
Mero A, Leucine Supplementation and intensive training. Sports Med. 1999:27:(6):347-358.
LEAVE A COMMENT
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read all product labels and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Return to Top
Report Site Errors
Click Here for Important Safety Information
More Ways to Score Deals & Discounts
FREE Catalog by Mail
FREE Catalog Online
Sign Up for VIP E-mails
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Shop Us on Your Mobile Phone
Terms & Conditions
New Product Showcase
Order Tracking & Order History
Ask the Experts
Best Discounted Bodybuilding and Nutritional Supplements!
Hot Muscle Building Supplements
BSN NO Xplode
Hot Fat Loss Supplements
100% Whey Gold Standard
Nutrex Lipo 6
Supplement Discounts & Coupons
Gaspari Superpump MAX
CytoSport Muscle Milk
Hot Selling Brands
ProSource.net - Lowest Price Bodybuilding and Nutrition Supplements!
ProSource, 2231 Landmark Place, Manasquan, NJ 08736
Contact Customer Service