The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ isn’t one that people like to experience, but often that’s the way it turns out.
Even if you don’t feel the pain during your workout, an intense weight training session (or even a long, strenuous cardio session) can leave its mark days afterward. This unpleasant reminder is a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.
One way to battle this is to hit the sauna. Another way is to supplement with branched chain amino acids or BCAAs. These are the building blocks of muscle that not only battle DOMS but can also put your body in an anabolic or muscle-building state. Because of this, many strength and figure athletes will supplement with BCAAs in between meals to jump-start protein synthesis.
Benefits During Training
That’s not the only benefit of BCAAs though. BCAAs halt muscle breakdown, such as that caused by intense training. For this reason, weight lifters will often use BCAAs during training sessions and immediately afterward. Another argument for taking BCAAs is that they can improve performance by providing more fuel for athletic events or training sessions. How?
BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS SPUR YOUR BODY TO PRODUCE INSULIN.
This is important because insulin then causes circulating blood sugar to be absorbed by working muscle cells and used for fuel. This means you’ll be able to work out longer and at a higher intensity because you’ll have more energy.
Reduce Cortisol and Boost Testosterone
If the effects listed above were the only reasons to use BCAAs, they’d be worthwhile. However, a new study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicates that BCAAs have additional, even more powerful effects, such as manipulating testosterone and cortisol levels. Sound too good to be true? According to research from Ball State University, it’s legitimate.
The Ball State study involved a group of bodybuilders that supplemented with 6 grams of BCAAs daily for four weeks. During the first three weeks, the group only took the supplement, and in the fourth week, the athletes trained four times in conjunction with the supplements. Even with just one week of combined supplementation and training, the effect of the BCAAs was clear.
Corisol is the sworn enemy of muscular development. When levels of the stress hormone cortisol were measured 12 hours after training, the levels of the supplemented group dropped tenfold. When the same individuals trained without BCAAs, the 12-hour post test revealed that cortisol levels were 1000% above baseline, due to the stress caused by the intense exercise.
The BCAA supplementation seemed to act as a testosterone booster as well. Testosterone levels rose nearly 50% above the baseline with BCAA supplementation in conjunction with working out, while they dropped about 40% below baseline with just the workouts. The researchers also found that concentration of creatine kinase (an indicator of muscle damage – the opposite of anabolism) was significantly higher without BCAA supplementation.
EVEN IN THIS SHORT STUDY, THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR – BCAAS NOT ONLY SUPPORT ENDURANCE AND ANABOLISM BUT OPTIMAL TESTOSTERONE TO CORTISOL RATIOS.
As the research team noted, the findings support the idea that BCAAs can “reduce skeletal muscle cell damage, increase testosterone, and decrease cortisol.” That research just pertains to BCAAs in general. You can maximize your results by using AMINOCORE. This particular formulation was shown to increase anabolic signaling by 350%.
In addition, AMINOCORE has over 8 grams per serving in a research-directed 45:30:25 ratio and offers seven different forms of B vitamins, which means you’ll be energized without having to rely on harsh stimulants to take you through your workout. Unlike most BCAA formulas, AMINOCORE has a rich, fruity flavor that mixes instantly and comes in convenient, single-serve packages so you’re not that guy in the locker room fumbling with a plastic bag full of mystery powder.
So whether you’re using BCAAs for intra-workout supplementation or for a between-meal boost of anabolism, Aminocore is your best bet.
- Sharp, Carwyn P M; Pearson, David R. Amino Acid Supplements and Recovery from High-Intensity Resistance Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2010; 24(4): 1125-1130