Updated: Nov 11
Written by: Victoria Thierens
There are hundreds of BCAA drink mixes available on the market, but how do BCAA's actually benefit the body and why is the BCAA Shock powder from NANO Rx one of the best BCAA products available? Well, that is exactly what we are about to answer.
Protein is the foundation of muscle development, and every protein contained within your body is assembled of varying combinations of smaller subunits called amino acids. Think of amino acids as the building blocks of protein.
There are 20 different amino acids that can be used to make protein within your muscles. However, not all of these amino acids are the same. We can actually further divide amino acids into two categories, essential and non-essential.
Essential amino acids are those that the body can not naturally produce, thus we must obtain these building blocks through our diet. Non-essential amino acids are those that we can naturally produce within our bodies that we don't need to get from outside sources like food or supplements.
There are a total of nine essential amino acids which are Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Histidine, Methionine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Threonine. The first three of the essential amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) are unique from the rest in that they are commonly referred to as Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAA's.
These three amino acids are unique because not only are they essential, but they also contain a branched carbon chain. Not only is this branched-chain part of the group's namesake, but also heavily contributes to their overall function.
“Protein contained within your body is assembled of varying combinations of smaller subunits called amino acids.”
Protein Synthesis & Muscle Growth
One function of BCAA's is the promotion of protein synthesis and muscle generation, also known as hypertrophy. The way BCAA's stimulate muscle growth is through activation of a specific signaling pathway within your cells called mTOR, which stands for mammalian target of rapamycin.
Activation of the mTOR pathway stimulates the creation of new mRNA from DNA in your chromosomes. This mRNA is then used by ribosomes to assemble chains of amino acids into proteins. These proteins can then be integrated into the structure of your skeletal muscle cells, strengthening them and causing them to grow.
Research has shown that the best ratio to consume BCAA's is at a ratio of 2:1:1 of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Glutamine respectively. At NANO we often refer to this as the "Golden Ratio" as this is the ratio of BCAA's at which muscle synthesis is maximized!
As we previously mentioned, a unique feature of BCAA's is that they contain a carbon chain. All other amino acids when passing through the digestive system are usually first taken up by the liver from the blood for processing. However, the carbon chain on BCAA's allows them to bypass this initial absorption and processing and travel straight to other tissues like the muscle.
Not only can this carbon chain be removed from the various BCAA's and used for energy if necessary, the uptake of these BCAA's, specifically Isoleucine, stimulates muscles to take up glucose. Which is your body's primary source of energy when you're exercising, particularly if the exercise has a high demand for immediate energy (i.e. lifting weights, sprints, HIIT training). Making BCAA's perfect not for only post-exercise recovery and muscle synthesis but as a pre/during drink for added energy support!
Unlike the three BCAA's, Glutamine is not an essential amino acid. It can naturally be produced within the body. thus making it a non-essential amino acid. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't also important.
Not only is glutamine play a key role in many energy processing pathways, but based on research it can also boost the muscle-building effects of BCAA's when consumed together. This match made in heaven between BCAA's and Glutamine made it a no-brainer to include Glutamine in our BCAA Shock formula.
“One function of BCAA's is the promotion of protein synthesis and muscle generation, also known as hypertrophy.”
Now you know why BCAA's are a great and easy way to promote recovery, muscle synthesis, and provide energy support. Plus you know why NANO BCAA Shock stands above the rest. Not only does it contain the BCAA's Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in the "Golden Ratio", but it also contains a significant amount of the amino acid Glutamine to supercharge the muscle stimulating effects of the three BCAA's.
See for yourself. Try NANO BCAA Shock today!
Edited by: Dr. Jonny Lisano, Ph.D.