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How Athletes Benefit From BCAAs

by Debbi Carroll May 28, 2018 3 min read

triathlon hamstring pull

When you push your body with grueling workout sessions and long hard races, doesn’t it seem like you always pay for it the next day?

“The morning after a triathlon, your muscles are a maelstrom of damaged, disorganized fibers,” wrote Torbjorn Sindballe in an Inside Triathlon article called “Recovery Revealed: Why Proper Recovery Can Make You Faster Than Ever.” Sindballe described how scientists used biopsies to examine muscle damage that occurs during ironman-distance races.

Some athletes exhibited only minor muscle damage while others suffered muscle damage to as much as 25% of their muscle fibers. Scar tissue can make you slow and weak, sabotage your ability to run later in life and cut your athletic career short. Many experienced marathon runners form scar tissue, rather than heal, because their recovery is incomplete.

Supplementing with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) will heal, nourish and repair your muscles so they won’t fall apart when you push them beyond your training threshold.

International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

Researchers at the James Madison University published a 2007 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism that showed how BCAA-supplemented drinks reduce muscle damage and fatigue better than carbohydrate-only drinks. In this study, elite cyclists were given either a carbohydrate-only drink during an endurance workout or a carbohydrate drink mixed with the branched chain amino acids. Muscle damage can be estimated by measuring blood levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK); muscle cells release this enzyme when they are damaged.

Results: When CPK levels were measured, the BCAA plus carbohydrate group’s CPK levels were 83% lower than the carbohydrate only group, indicating a significant reduction in muscle damage from BCAA supplementation!

You probably aren’t getting enough BCAAs. Most athletes don’t. The human body doesn’t make them and endurance athletes don’t get enough in the foods that they eat.

Each of the three branched chain amino acids have their own special properties proven to repair and restore depleted muscles.

L-Leucine

L-Leucine is scientifically proven to increase time to fatigue. A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology documented the significant effects of L-Leucine on 13 canoeists. In the study the canoeists either took L-Leucine or a placebo before a six-week training session. Before and after the training they were tested on the time it took them to become exhausted rowing at 70-75% maximum aerobic power. The placebo group showed no improvement in the amount of time that they were able to row, but the L-Leucine group increased their time by a full minute – From 6.3 to 7.3 minutes!

L-Leucine is proven to prevent muscle breakdown. A study done by the Washington University School of Medicine compared the rate of muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly men and women. L-Leucine was given to all the subjects, who then followed a two-week weight-training program. Before training the elderly subjects synthesized new muscle protein slower than their younger counterparts. However, after the two-week program, the older subjects were synthesizing protein at a rate similar to the young subjects and presented a marked decrease in whole body protein breakdown.

L-Leucine is known as a “limiting nutrient.” However much protein you eat, the only way your body can use it is by having enough L-Leucine in proportion to other amino acids. The most effective ratio is two parts L-Leucine, one part L-Valine and one part L-Isoleucine.

L-Isoleucine

Increases energy and stamina in three different ways:

  • Improves glucose uptake
  • Produces hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body
  • Creates energy within muscle tissues

L-Valine

  • Enhances mental performance that can be compromised during intense physical activity
  • Reduces stress and frustration
  • Improves coordination and reflexes
  • Produces neurotransmitters and enzymes for brain metabolism
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Regulates the immune system
  • Suppresses the appetite
  • Increases bioavailability of complex carbohydrates

TriFuel has more than 6 grams of BCAAs per serving; more than any other product available on the market, giving you the greatest muscle recovery possible. Branched chain amino acids keep your muscles going mile after mile and prevent muscle tissue from breaking down when you push yourself to the limit.

Take the next step in your training regimen: Try any BRL Sports supplement risk-free! If our natural nutritional products aren’t the best you’ve ever used, simply return your purchase for a 100% refund — no questions asked!



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