Amino Acids are complex chemical compounds that are building blocks of protein and lean muscle mass. Essential amino acids (EAAs) can’t be created within your body and must be supplied via your diet. The main essential amino acids are:
Three of these (leucine, valine and isoleucine) are branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). They are vital for building muscle mass, burning fat and muscle repair. Leucine is the most beneficial out of all three of the BCAAs and research suggests that it can boost protein synthesis by activating the mTOR pathway.
BCAAs have the following benefits:
- They increase muscle growth by binding a higher number of amino acids together to form stronger muscle tissues
- They increase insulin levels which is a catalyst for protein synthesis to occur
- They blunt the levels of cortisol in the blood
- They increase human growth hormone levels which is an anabolic hormone that essential for muscle growth
- They reduce the risk of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle fatigue)
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