Think of the products we’re going to cover in this post as the good-looking cherry on top to everything. Without that solid base and everything underneath, they would be rather underwhelming. I want to take a moment to briefly touch on two of the many, with short simple explanations.
The two most popular, amino acids products that fall into this category: Branch Chained Amino Acis (BCAA), Essential Amino Acids (EAA), and Beta-Alanine.
BCAA are everywhere these days and depending on what you read they are marketed for fat loss, recovery, energy, fixing a broken arm (kidding… but wouldn’t surprise me if someone out there claimed that).
Is there science behind BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)?
Yes, there is! BCAA’s are simply three amino acids (Leucine, IsoLeucine, Valine) that are responsible for activating muscle protein synthesis.
As we learned earlier, we want to activate muscle protein synthesis. The downside, or where people go wrong with BCAA’s is that many companies don’t use an effective dose. With this, we still need the other amino acids to get work done. At a minimum, the other 6 essential amino acids.
Think of it like this. BCAA’s are the job site foreman. They show up early, they get the machines running… but if no workers (other amino acids) show up… not much work actually gets done!
That’s where EAA’s come in. There are 9 EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids), 3 of which are the BCAA’s. When referring to something dietary, Essential means that your body cannot produce it on its own, and you must get it from your diet, or in this case, nutrition supplementation.
A complete protein source or whey protein shake will have all of the essential amino acids to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. When you can’t eat a meal, or even drink a protein shake, you can use an EAA product, such as 1st Phorm Anabolic Bridge, to give your body the EAA’s needed to stay in an anabolic state of building muscle, and burning fat.
Beta-Alanine is great for endurance while training and competing. When we take in beta-alanine, your body breaks it down into carnosine. We have to take beta-alanine because ingesting carnosine alone does not work.
When this break down happens, there is an increase in stamina and strength. The more carnosine in your system, the less lactic acid build-up, due to its role in regulating your muscular pH. In simple terms, beta-alanine is just helping to make sure your body is in a good state for maximum performance. Who knew one ingredient could do so much?
Many times, you can find products that combine creatine, and some pinnacle products to kill two birds with one stone.
We will just want to always make sure there are effective dosages of all the ingredients in there. 1st Phorm AlphaCreHD and Project 1 are great examples of products that combine Creatine Monohydrate and Beta-Alanine into one effective product. In the end, though, we will always want to make sure the other steps are checked off before shopping in this category.
This concludes the Supplement 101 blog series. I hope this gives you a better overall understanding as to what supplements do, and their role in maximizing your results!
*This post was written by Will Grumke. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.
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