Tip: Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis

A simple, science-backed way to boost muscle building. Check it out.

Take BCAA Between Meals

Branched chain amino acids are staple supplement for bodybuilders, with research showing they can stimulate muscle protein synthesis while reducing muscle breakdown and even fatigue. Although BCAAs are most commonly used around the workout, they have another use which most people don't know about.

Based on new research, using BCAA with a small amount of carbs between meals can keep you growing all day, every day.

While this may sound odd, research has shown that muscle protein synthesis–the key biological driver in the body–spikes up with any protein-based meal, but drops back down at 2-3 hours afterwards. Based on this, research has shown that a small dose of BCAA and carbs can re-stimulate muscle protein synthesis just when it would normally decline.

This is very easy to do. Simply take around 10 grams of BCAA with 10-20 grams of carbs. This could be done with powdered BCAA and a piece of fruit, or just one serving of Mag-10®.

Here's a visual from the study:

Amino Acid Chart

This mini-dose can prolong the effects of the previous meal, keeping those amino acids flowing until your next full high-protein meal.

Sample Daily Plan

  • 6 AM: Meal 1
  • 8 AM: BCAA & Carb Snack
  • 10 AM: Meal 2
  • 12 PM: BCAA & Carb Snack
  • 2 PM: Meal 3
  • 4 PM: BCAA & Carb Snack
  • 6 PM: Meal 4
  • 8 PM: BCAA & Carb Snack
  • Pre-bed: Protein shake
  1. Wilson GJ et al. Leucine or carbohydrate supplementation reduces AMPK and eEF2 phosphorylation and extends postprandial muscle protein synthesis in rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Dec;301(6):E1236-42.
  2. Lowery RP et al. Meal Frequency and Nutrient Distribution: What is Ideal for Body Composition? J Nutrition Health Food Sci. 2014 Mar;1(2):1-4.
Rudy Mawer is a CISSN Nutritionist and trainer. His clients include professional athletes from the NBA, World Triathlon gold medalists, Hollywood celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. Rudy is currently at the University of Tampa researching human performance under the direction of Dr. Jacob Wilson. Follow Rudy Mawer on Facebook