BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. These are often called the building blocks of protein and can only be obtained through the diet because the body cannot synthesize them. There are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine, Put simply, BCAA supplementation protects muscles during exercise. This has benefits for both strength and endurance athletes. Recent research has shown an improvement in muscle recovery too.
It has also been shown that when consuming BCAAs in your training results in significantly less muscle breakdown. Adding just 12 grams of BCAAs per day was all that was needed to accomplish this effect. This can be incredibly important while dieting, as maintaining lean mass is vital to maximizing fat loss, as well as to achieve the body composition you began different dieting.
Recently it has also been shown that leucine is one of the key igniters of protein synthesis. It seems that leucine itself can stimulate insulin production, increase protein synthesis, and modulate blood sugar. This may partly explain why BCAA supplementation while dieting is so effective at maintaining muscle mass, as they stimulate the muscle building components even while in a caloric deficit.
The main recommendation of BCAA supplementation is to consume it before early morning training sessions. If you are someone who simply can’t train after eating, or prefers to train on an empty stomach, BCAA supplementation could be incredibly important for you.