Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
There are three amino acids that comprise the BCAAs — leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are critical for muscle growth and energy. The BCAAs, unlike most other amino acids, are used directly by the muscles for fuel during exercise. Yet, after the workout’s over, the muscles rely mostly on fat for energy so the BCAAs can be used for muscle growth. This means that taking BCAAs before workouts will provide you with more energy during the workout, spare your muscle levels of BCAAs (which normally get burned for fuel during workouts), and boost muscle growth even after the workout is over. Take 5-10 grams immediately before your workout. Your best bet is to look for products that provide a 2:1 ratio of leucine to its companions, isoleucine and valine. This means a 5-gram dose should contain about 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.25 grams of isoleucine and 1.25 grams of valine.