The benefits of supplementing with the three branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are clear:
- Improved muscle recovery and growth
- Improved exercise performance
- Improved exercise endurance
- Prevention of muscle loss during dieting
- Accelerated fat loss
As such, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) have long been a mainstay in bodybuilding and sport supplementation in general, but we've learned a lot along the way. Case in point, we now know that just taking the branched chains by themselves – without the company of the other amino acids – actually diminishes their effectiveness when it comes to increasing muscle protein synthesis.
The effect is fairly pronounced, too. One study showed that consuming a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs led to a 22% increase in muscle protein synthesis, but the effects were 50% less than what was observed when subjects consumed a whey protein shake that also contained 5.6 grams of BCAAs.
So just taking the three branched chain amino acids, as a whole lot of supplement manufacturers would have you do, doesn't do very much at all.
That's why Biotest's BCAA Structured Peptides formula actually works while a lot of other BCAA products don't – it contains not only the three BCAAs, but the other amino acids that are necessary to grow muscle, too.
The advantages don't just stop there, though. BCAA Structured Peptides have a lot of other things going for it that its wanna-be competitors don't.
Why BCAA Structured Peptides Are Better
- A lot of BCAA products come in tablet form. In addition to the challenge of having to swallow something the size of a horse suppository, you don't know if the big, honkin' things actually dissolve in your system. BCAA Structured Peptides come in powdered form for ease of use, dosing, and assimilation.
- One serving (5 grams) of BCAA Structured Peptides contains 1175 mg. of leucine, which is the king of the amino acids when it comes to muscle growth. (Leucine has an effect on muscle protein synthesis that's 10 times that of any other amino acid.)
- BCAA Structured Peptides contains the other amino acids (both essential and conditionally essential) that are necessary to grow muscle. That means that unlike other products, you don't have to add it to a whole protein source for it to do what it's supposed to do; it works just great on its own.
- BCAA Structured Peptides are superior to conventional free-form amino acids. The di- and tri-peptides contained in the product are manufactured in a precise, delicate, three-step process:
- Whey protein is hydrolyzed with selective enzymes to isolate BCAAs.
- These small peptides are then extracted from the hydrolyzed whey by passing the mixture through a series of filters, culminating with nano filtration.
- The "nano-mixture" is then subjected to a final reaction phase to further enhance its total BCAA content.
The resultant di- and tri-peptides (the "structured" amino acids) are up to 250% more effective in stimulating growth than traditional free-form amino acids.
Unlike free-form amino acids, these di- and tri-peptides are traversed through the intestines into the bloodstream by a protein transporter (PEPT-1) so they can quickly initiate protein transcription.
Five Proven Benefits of BCAA Supplementation
- BCAAs increase muscle growth. Study after study shows that supplementing with BCAAs increase muscle protein synthesis, but as mentioned, this effect is magnified when the BCAAs are accompanied by the essential (ones we have to obtain through diet or supplementation) and non-essential amino acids contained in Biotest's BCAA Structured Peptides formulation.
- They preserve muscle while dieting. When dieting, your body wants to tap into all that extra, "useless" muscle rather than deplete your fat stores. BCAAs prevent it from doing so by preserving hard-won muscle.
- They decrease muscle soreness. Several studies have found that taking BCAAs reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the day or two following a tough workout.
- They prevent muscle wasting. Overtraining, aging, malnutrition, and illness are among the things that can cause your body to eat up muscle, but supplementation with BCAAs has been shown repeatedly to slow down or stop muscle wasting.
- They can promote weight loss. While this benefit is more controversial than the others, a number of studies involving rats and humans has shown that supplementing with BCAAs either reduced body weight and fat levels, or changed body comp to the better.
- They can reduce exercise fatigue. While supplementing with BCAAs hasn't been shown to actually decrease exercise-induced muscle fatigue, they have been shown to reduce mental fatigue and thus influence exercise focus.
Ways to Use BCAA Structured Peptides
- Consume one scoop (a 5-gram serving) between meals to enhance muscle protein synthesis and recovery.
- Add a scoop to any protein drink to "spike" the anabolic effects. •Take one serving before workouts to support the anabolic stimulus and reduce the perceived effort of a tough workout.
- Take one serving after a workout to further support the anabolic stimulus and facilitate recovery.
- Drink down a scoop at bedtime to keep the muscle-building machinery churning through the night.
- Use as needed during the day during strict fat-loss diets to prevent the loss of any muscle.
Versatile and Easy
Making BCAA Structured Peptides is a lengthy, delicate process, but using them is incredibly easy.
I keep a ceramic container of it on my kitchen countertop (the kind you use to store coffee or tea) and regardless of whether I'm in a heavy lifting, wanna-get-stronger phase, or a dieting, don't-want-to-lose-any-muscle phase, I just throw a scoop of it in my coffee, my oatmeal, my protein shake, or most anything else I might be preparing.