By now you already know that Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs for short, are integral to any serious fitness supplement routine, because it helps gain muscle and improve performance. It also helps with focus and fat loss.
BCAAs comprise of three key amino acids that are linked together, and these are valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They are essential amino acids, meaning your body is unable to produce them, but you still need them if you want a full amino acid profile in your diet which is going to help you gain muscle.
Most BCAAs in the market are made in a ratio of 2:1:1. That means you get 2 parts leucine, and one part isoleucine and valine. This is supposedly the ideal ratio for getting quality gains, because leucine is really the key to muscle growth. MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Energy Sport defies that ratio, but to what end? We dissect the product to see whether its worth it.
WHAT'S IN IT
This is a simple, no-frills BCAA supplement. It's made with l-leucine, l-valine, and l-isoleucine. It also contains caffeine anhydrous, green tea leaf extract and panax ginseng.
The increased amount of leucine here seems promising. Leucine is basically what jumpstarts the protein synthesis process, which is the process whereby you gain muscle growth. Research has shown that those who consume more leucine in a BCAA supplement do experience significantly more muscle protein synthesis. With an allowance for 3 parts leucine here, you'll have a higher propensity for muscle building.
Isoleucine is a glycogenic acid. Its main function is to create the glucose that your body uses as fuel for energy. Its presence in a BCAA supplement is what gives you that boost of energy when you take it, and it also aids in increasing mental focus, as well as performance.
Valine also bolsters your ability to build muscle by increasing your protein synthesis rates. It helps aid in muscle repair, so its increased presence in this BCAA supplement will definitely make you feel a lot less sore after a strenuous lifting session.
As for the other ingredients on the list, green tea leaf extract improves fat oxidation, and is a rich source of ECGCs. Caffeine Anhydrous increases your alertness, and panax ginseng helps lessen fatigue. One issue here is that some of these supplements mentioned aren't the most friendly to people with caffeine sensitivities.
FLAVOURS AND TASTE
This shake comes in 2 flavours — blue raspberry and watermelon. As with most BCAA supplements, you'll get a candy-like, sweet but not cloying drink that is quite refreshing.
HOW YOU SHOULD TAKE IT
Mix two scoops into 10 to 12 oz. of cold water. This makes one serving, and you can consume it two to three times daily. Ideally you should consume it between your meals, half an hour before exercising, and right through your workout.
At $39 for 30 servings, ypu're really getting bang for your buck. It is a comfortable price point for a BCAA supplement, but you're truly getting more value for your money with the increased ratio of ingredients.
WHO SHOULD TAKE IT
If you're at an intermediate training level and know exactly where your physique has to be, then this supplement can take you there. It's also best to have some familiarity with entry-level BCAA supplements first too.
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