As many athletes know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. And, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about the branched-chain amino acids (a.k.a. BCAAs). Many athletes take a BCAA supplement to maximize their workouts. Bottom line, BCAAs in general help prevent the breakdown of muscle protein, which is important for recovery and building muscle mass.
Many people do not know this but our body produces amino acids in small amounts to keep the body functioning. Since BCAAs occur naturally in food, specifically in animal-based proteins, an average person (not a hardcore athlete) can get enough BCAA utilizing food however, there are certain cases in which a BCAA supplement comes in handy, especially for those athletes that are looking to get their body to the next level. Here are my 5 reasons why I consider taking the Matrix Amino BCAA Blend made by Syntrax:
1. If You Are Trying To Build Up Muscle Mass
Many studies found that BCAAs successfully activate enzymes involved in building muscle and that’s Because one-third of muscle protein is composed of BCAAs. Gains require adequate BCAA consumption.
2. Participating In An Endurance Race, Such As HIIT Or A Marathon
BCAA supplements are now gaining popularity amongst endurance racers. Any training involved in these sports can be quite harsh on the body and requires many repetitive hours over many weeks and months. BCAA supplementation does seem to improve recovery and decrease the soreness associated with the long training involved. For muscle recovery I recommend endurance athletes take 3 grams of BCAAs both before and during training.
3. BCAA Can Help With Hydration Before Working Out
BCCAs may play a role in enhancing hydration... keeping your muscles hydrated during workout is essential, as you sweat and lose a lot of water during your workout. The last thing you want is dehydrated muscles. This leads to less pump and high risk of cramps. Having BCAAs before your training sessions, as part of your hydration strategy, is a good way to ensure you get the fluids you need and set the stage for recovery.
4. Preserve Muscles During “Fasted Workouts”
If you’re exercising first thing in the morning or going many hours without eating, a BCAA supplement can help replenish some of the building blocks you’ve depleted but are needed in order to perform and recover at your best. I personally find the best way to preserve muscles while being in Calorie deficit is to sip on BCAAs in the morning during your fasted cardio and throughout the day.
5. You’re Going To Have A Long Workout
I say most people burn through their nutritional stores within about 90 minutes of activity, depending on intensity level. For this reason, if you’re doing a long workout, it's recommended you take a BCAA supplement which can provide essential nutrients to your muscles. This may potentially minimize fatigue. I recommend taking at least 5 to 10 grams of Matrix Amino BCAA Blend throughout the workout, followed by 20 to 30 grams of post-workout protein such as Matrix protein or Nectar protein, plus an additional 5 to 10 grams of Matrix Amino BCAA Blend for replenishment.