Now that BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are one of the most purchased sports supplements it makes sense to discuss the different ratio’s and what this means to someone considering using them or to those who might already be using them and are considering a change of product.
The three amino acids contained in BCAA’s are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.
The ratio refers to the amount of each amino contained in the product in the order laid out i.e. 2/1/1 (2)Leucine/(1)Isoleucine/(1)Valine so simply the product will be 50% Leucine, 25% Isoleucine, and 25% Valine.
So a higher ratio product 12/1/1 will have (12)Leucine/(1)Isoleucine/(1)Valine which means the product will be 86% Leucine, 7% Isoleucine, and 7% Valine.
Leucine converts to HMB, which is the compound that encourages protein synthesis. Simply put, it helps with generating muscle fibre. Isoleucine and Valine, like many other amino acids, become building blocks in these protein chains.
Leucine to HMB conversion can be dose dependant meaning the more Leucine you consume the more HMB you may generate. The more HMB you create the more muscle fibre you can repair and rebuild.
Generally you will get 2.5 to 3.5 grams of Leucine in a scoop of protein powder and a certain amount will be ingested through food.
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine present in muscle in a 2/1/1 ratio which led to most research being done on this specific ratio. However if you take into account the individual biochemistry of each amino acid you may come to the conclusion that Leucine may be more relevant to consume in higher doses and may have a more specific action for muscle growth and repair.
Are BCAAs For Me?
You can consider BCAA supplementation if your muscle recovery is slow or you can use them to replace some of your protein powder intake.
Is Timing Important?
Contrary to popular thought BCAA timing is mostly unimportant. They provide little energy or recovery during a workout so can be consumed at any time throughout the day or night. They are absorbed in about 20 to 30 minutes and will be mostly used at night at rest.
So check your product for Leucine content and consider how much protein powder you’re consuming and how your muscles are responding post training.
Some Our Top Selling BCAA Supplements are....
If you are unsure about whether or not you should be taking BCAAs, do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9670 1346 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team of qualified staff are here to help you.
Written by Adam Rigby
Sports Nutritionist at our Bourke Street Store
360 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000