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Tag Archives: BCAA benefits

  • 4 Ingredients That Will Boost Your Strength Gains

    It doesn't matter if you want to build huge muscles, lose excess body fat, or increase your performance, when it comes to strength, everyone can benefit.

     

    Building strength isn't just about being able to lift a lot of weight. It means being able to support yourself in a functional way. Building strength can happen at any point in life but the earlier you start, the better your chances of having an easier time in old age.

     

    Strength is built in the gym and in the kitchen. A healthy diet is key to recovery and growth. The role of supplements can play an equally important role when used in conjunction with a nutritious meal plan. There are four ingredients in particular that have been scientifically shown to promote strength gains.

     

    Let's take a look at the top 4 ingredients that will boost your strength.

     

    Whey Protein

    First and foremost is a fitness staple: whey protein.

     

    The reason whey protein is so popular in the fitness arena is because of its proven benefits. It has been shown to boost recovery, protect muscle from breakdown, support lean tissue growth, and promote strength gains.

     

    Whey protein is able to enhance your strength because it contains the very building blocks of muscle tissue: amino acids. Amino acids are quick to repair and rebuild. The end result is more muscle and more strength. (1-5)

     

    Creatine

    Creatine Monohydrate is our second choice for ideal strength boosting ingredients. Once ingested, creatine is broken down into a usable form of energy known as adenosine triphosphate; more commonly referred to as ATP. This is the preferred source of fuel for your muscles during a workout. When you supplement with creatine on a daily basis, you may be able to increase your workout performance and intra-workout strength, especially during lifts. (6-7)

     

    BCAAs

    Branched Chain Amino Acids are the end product of protein digestion. Why would you want to use whey protein AND amino acids?

     

    Whey protein is an ideal strength builder that you can take throughout the day, especially following your workout. BCAAs are equally as effective but they can be taken at different intervals. BCAAs are ideal as an intra-workout supplement to boost strength. Can you imagine trying to work out while drinking a full protein shake? BCAAs are an ideal low calorie, high octane option.

     

    What's more, BCAAs also allow you to follow an intermittent fasting regiment without the worry of protein breakdown. Just like protein, BCAAs support anabolism, recovery, and strength. (1-5)

     

    Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)

    One of the major things that could be stopping you from achieving the amount of strength that you want is inflammation. After a workout, you're sore and unable to perform at the same intensity as the day before. Sure, this is a sign of doing great work in the weight room but it is also limiting you.

     

    Medium Chain Triglycerides, more commonly called MCT, can help to alleviate inflammation so you're able to get yourself back in the gym sooner. (8)

     

    Make Your Own Strength Supplement

    You know exactly what ingredients you need to enhance your strength so why bother looking through hundreds of supplements when you can make your own?

     

    With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you're able to hand select the ingredients you want at the dosages you want. No more struggling to find the perfect supplement. Make your own supplement today with the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    References

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.

     

    1. Mercola, Dr. Joseph. 'The Anti-Cancer, Fat-Burning Ingredient That's Even More Powerful than Coconut Oil.' Mercola.com. 22 Aug. 2016.
  • How to Make Your Own BCAA Supplement for Insane Results

    Branched Chain Amino Acids, more commonly known as BCAAs, are an incredibly effective supplement for supporting a variety of fitness goals including muscle building, weight loss, and performance enhancement.

     

    When purchased from a popular brand, BCAA supplements can be expensive and under-dosed. If you want to avoid high cost and under-dosed supplements, the best thing you can do is create your own BCAA supplement.

     

    Let's take a look at everything you need to know when it comes to creating your own BCAA supplement.

     

    Ingredients to Include

     

    Leucine

    Considered the superstar of the three essential amino acids for fitness, Leucine is used in a variety of supplements including pre-workouts, muscle builders, post-workouts, and, of course, BCAA blends. Studies have suggested that when used as directed, Leucine may be able to promote the following benefits:

     

    • May trigger protein synthesis
    • May boost lean muscle mass
    • May increase energy levels
    • May promote fat burning (1-5)

     

    Isoleucine

    Despite not getting as much publicity as Leucine, the essential amino acid, Isoleucine is just as important thanks to its ability to manufacture functional proteins in the body. Essential for energy levels and recovery, Isoleucine may be able to promote the following benefits:

     

    • May boost intra-workout energy levels
    • May protect muscle from catabolism
    • May support lean muscle gains
    • Ideal for weight management (1-5)

     

    Valine

    The third essential amino, Valine is just as important as the others but it appeals to people outside of the fitness market as it is a great way to support recovery after an injury or surgery. As a standalone ingredient, Valine may promote the following benefits:

     

    • May help with recovery
    • May support muscle growth
    • May boost performance
    • May increase natural energy levels (1-5)

     

    Proper Dosage of Each Ingredient

     

    When making your own BCAA supplement, it will be critical to get the correct dosage. Do you know exactly how much of each amino acid you should be using? Check out the Amino Z supplement dosage guide below:

     

    Leucine

    • The ideal dosage per serving for Leucine 3,200 mg. However, if you are extremely active, you may consider using up to 4,000 mg.

     

    Isoleucine

    • The ideal dosage for Isoleucine is 1,600 mg; however, you can increase this amount to 2,000 mg, if you are very active.

     

    Valine

    • The ideal dosage per serving for Valine is 1,600 mg; however, you can increase this amount to 2,000 mg, if you are very active.

     

    Other Ingredients to Consider

     

    If you want to upgrade your BCAA supplement to the next level, you may consider adding in the following ingredients to support performance and results:

     

    Beta Alanine

    • May boost strength
    • May support muscle growth
    • May help with recovery (6-8)

     

    Caffeine

    • May boost performance
    • May increase metabolism
    • May support cognitive ability (9-11)

     

    Make Your Own BCAA Supplement Now

     

    Ready to get started with making your very own custom BCAA supplement? Use the Amino Z Supplement Builder today!

     

    The Amino Z Supplement Builder allows you to create your own unique supplements with the ingredients and dosages that you choose. Why waste money on under-dosed supplements from big name brands when you can create your own?

     

    Try the Amino Z Supplement Builder now!

     

    References

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. Doi M, Yamaoka I, Nakayama M, Mochizuki S, Sugahara K, Yoshizawa F. Isoleucine, a blood glucose-lowering amino acid, increases glucose uptake in rat skeletal muscle in the absence of increases in AMP-activated protein kinase activity. J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2103-8.

     

    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

     

    1. Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH Jr. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c74e38.

     

    1. Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. (2006) Effect of Creatine and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Endocrine Responses in Strength/Power Athletes. IJSNEM, 16(4).

     

    1. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97.

     

    1. Daniel Borota, Elizabeth Murray, Gizem Keceli, Allen Chang, Joseph M Watabe, Maria Ly, John P Toscano, & Michael A Yassa. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience 17, 201–203 (2014) doi:10.1038/nn.3623.

     

    1. David Furman, Junlei Chang, Lydia Lartigue, et al. Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states. Nature Medicine 23, 174–184 (2017) doi:10.1038/nm.4267.
  • EHP Labs Beyond BCAA vs. BSN Amino X

    What is EHP Labs Beyond BCAA?

     

    EHP Labs Beyond BCAA is a branched chain amino acid supplement that is an industry favourite thanks to its properly dosed amino acid formula. Featuring a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, respectively, Beyond BCAA may be able to help boost protein synthesis, trigger muscle growth, and support post-workout recovery.

     

    Highlights:

    • Provides 5 grams of BCAAs, which have proven to be essential for performance, growth, and recovery
    • Features an electrolyte blend to support intra-workout performance
    • B-Vitamin complex is essential for recovery
    • Citrulline Malate has been suggested to promote intra-workout performance (1-6)

     

    Why You Should Use EHP Labs Beyond BCAA

     

    What are your fitness goals?

    Do you want to increase lean muscle tissue?

    Looking to promote healthy weight loss?

    Need to recover faster?

     

    An elite branched chain amino acid supplement can help you achieve all of these goals. The amino acids that you'll find in EHP Labs Beyond BCAA are properly dosed to take advantage of the scientifically validated 2:1:1 ratio for maximum benefits.

     

    BSN Amino X offers a greater dosage of amino acids at 10 grams per serving; however, BSN does not include a breakdown of the quantity of each ingredient. Without knowing the exact amount of the essential amino acids per serving, you can't know if you're getting the 2:1:1 ratio that is so critical for results. You can easily reach a pure 10-gram dosage of Beyond BCAA by simply doubling the dose, assuming you aren't worried about cost.

     

    Things to Watch Out for with EHP Labs Beyond BCAA

     

    Continuing with the idea above with getting a 10-gram dosage from Beyond BCAA, the label advertises itself as a 10-gram dosage. The truth is that Beyond BCAA requires you to double the dosage if you want reach that 10-gram dose. BSN Amino X, on the other hand, provides 10 grams of amino acids with one serving. The catch there is that you don't know the exact amount of each amino acid. This results in something of a draw for both brands, making them equal with the amino acids they provide in a single serving.

     

    What is BSN Amino X?

     

    Amino X features a unique amino acid and electrolyte blend. Not only will you find essential amino acids, which are necessary for muscle growth, performance, and recovery but you'll also get a variety of non-essential amino acids that can further your fitness gains.

     

    Highlights:

    • Provides 10 grams of amino acids for performance and muscle building
    • Electrolyte blend supports intra-workout performance
    • Features Taurine to boost energy levels
    • L-Citrulline is included and this may help to boost nitric oxide production (1-6)

     

    Why You Should Use BSN Amino X

     

    BSN Amino X is a high performing amino acid supplement that features the essentials as well as some extras that have all been suggested to support your fitness goals.

     

    At 10 grams per serving, BSN Amino X may arguably be superior to EHP Labs Beyond BCAA; however, this cannot be confirmed because Amino X uses a proprietary blend. Within a proprietary blend, you aren't told the exact amount of the ingredients that you're getting. Still, with that said, at 10 grams, there is a good chance that Amino X is following the scientifically proven 2:1:1 ratio.

     

    What's more, Amino X provides electrolytes to help support performance along with a few other non-essential amino acids, which may promote energy levels and recovery. (1-6)

     

    Things to Watch Out for With BSN Amino X

     

    The only thing you have to be aware of is that BSN Amino X uses a proprietary blend, which means it's a guessing game with the exact amount of each ingredient. EHP Labs doesn't do this and that alone may be the deciding factor for you.

     

    However, at 10 grams per serving, there's a good chance that your body is getting an effective dose of amino acids without the need to double dose.

     

    Conclusion

     

    You have two highly effective amino acid supplements that can both do an excellent job at supporting your fitness goals of muscle building, weight loss, and performance enhancement.

     

    If you aren't a fan of putting your trust into proprietary blends then you may opt to go with the EHP Labs Beyond BCAA. If you want a high dose per serving of different essential amino acids, then your best bet is BSN Amino X.

     

    Still not sure? Try both and see which one your body responds best to.

     

    References

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.
  • Product Review: Scivation Xtend

    If you're like most supplement advocates out there, you have a tub or two of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) on your shelf. BCAAs have become one of the most popular supplements to pick up because of a series of studies demonstrating the numerous benefits of amino acid supplementation in regards to fitness goals. Studies suggest that using BCAAs as directed may be able to support recovery, boost lean muscle gains, and protect your from protein breakdown.

     

    One of the most popular BCAA supplements on the market, Scivation Xtend, promises to be able to do that and much more. Let's take a look to see if this BCAA supplement can deliver on its promises.

     

    PROS OF SCIVATION XTEND

     

    The first thing we noticed about Xtend from Scivation is the fact that it has a higher dosage of BCAAs when compared to most brands. It is still offering you a 2:1:1 ratio BUT the dosage itself is higher. In every serving of Scivation Xtend, you'll be getting the following dosage of essential amino acids that may help you achieve your muscle building and weight loss goals:

     

    • L-Leucine 5 grams
    • L-Isoleucine 75 grams
    • L-Valine 75 grams

     

    They also throw in L-Glutamine at 2.5 grams, which we feel is an excellent addition to a BCAA supplement as Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in muscle tissue. It's also used up the fastest during exercise so it's important to supplement with it.

     

    Two other additions that are impressive for a BCAA supplement are Vitamin B6 and Citrulline Malate. Both of these ingredients may be able to support your recovery while encouraging muscle development.

     

    As a whole, these ingredients working together may be able to trigger a higher level of protein synthesis to support recovery and muscle building. (1-3)

     

    CONS OF SCIVATION XTEND

     

    For those of you looking to avoid artificial additives, you'll be hard pressed to do so with Scivation Xtend. It contains artificial flavouring as well as artificial sweeteners including sucralose and acesulfame potassium, more commonly called Ace-K. With that said, we've seen supplements with much worse in it. In comparison, it's not too bad.

     

    Outside of artificial additives, it is nearly impossible to find anything else that's wrong with this BCAA supplement. Given the well-designed formula, it's easy to see why this is a fan favourite. I suppose if you really are looking for a bone to pick with the supplement, perhaps you won't agree with one of the many flavours it offers.

     

    SHOULD YOU BUY SCIVATION XTEND?

     

    If you are going to buy a BCAA supplement, which you absolutely need to if your goals include muscle building or fasting, then Xtend from Scivation is a perfect choice. It gives you a properly dosed formula of essential amino acids as well as several additions that only make the product that much better. Artificial flavouring aside, you are going to love this BCAA supplement.

     

    Click here to buy Scivation Xtend.

     

    REFERENCES

     

    1. Pasiakos SM, Cao JJ, Margolis LM, Sauter ER, Whigham LD, McClung JP, Rood JC, Carbone JW, Combs GF Jr, Young AJ. Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J. 2013 Sep;27(9):3837-47. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-230227. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

     

    1. Symes EK, Bender DA, Bowden JF, Coulson WF. Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. J Steroid Biochem. 1984 May;20(5):1089-93.

     

    1. D Bendahan, J P Mattei, B Ghattas, S Confort-Gouny, M E Le Guern, P J Cozzone. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. Br J Sports Med 2002;36:282-289 doi:10.1136/bjsm.36.4.282.
  • 4 Things You Must Know About BCAAs

    If you've ever walked into a supplement store or if you've ever browsed fitness websites, you have certainly seen the acronym 'BCAA'. Short for branched chain amino acids, BCAAs are one of the most important supplements you should be using if your goal is muscle building or weight loss. Let's take a look at the 4 things you need to know about BCAAs and why you should take them.

     

    1. BCAAs Come from Protein

     

    You sit down to a plate of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. When you eat that piece of chicken, your body takes the protein and starts to break it down. It's trying to get to the thing that counts: amino acids. BCAAs come from protein-based sources. What's more, there are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Your body can actually make non-essential amino acids from different vitamin, minerals, and other compounds. Essential amino acids must be ingested through whole foods or supplements.

     

    1. The Essential Amino Acids

     

    There are a total of nine essential amino acids.

     

    • Histidine
    • Lysine
    • Methionine
    • Phenylalanine
    • Threonine
    • Tryptophan
    • Isoleucine
    • Leucine
    • Valine

     

    Even though there are nine, only three are focused on for the purposes of fitness. When you're goals are muscle building and fat loss, the three essential amino acids to focus on are…

     

    • Isoleucine
    • Leucine
    • Valine

     

     

    1. The Benefits of Taking Amino Acids

     

    As mentioned above, amino acids are very important if you want to build solid lean muscle mass, support fat burning goals, or simply maintain your weight. Each of the amino acids supports one another in a large list of fitness related benefits including the following:

     

    • Promotes protein synthesis
    • Supports post-workout recovery
    • Helps to avoid muscle breakdown
    • Enhances fat oxidation
    • Promotes lean muscle tissue development
    • Boosts the immune system (1-4)

     

    1. The Best Sources of Amino Acids

     

    You always want to strive to reach your daily protein intake via whole foods. It is through eating whole foods that your body will respond the best to ingestion, digestion, and assimilation. Here are some of the best whole food sources for amino acids:

     

    • Eggs
    • Chicken
    • Salmon
    • Beef
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Greek yogurt

     

    With that said, supplementation has come a long way and there are many excellent supplements with a high rate of bioavailability. You can purchase a whey protein or plant-based protein supplement but if you want to skip the middle man, just buy BCAAs directly. It saves your body the process of breaking down the protein.

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    On par with whey protein, amino acids have cemented their importance in the world of health and fitness for years to come. Able to promote fat burning and muscle recovery, amino acids are easily one of the best supplements to invest in. Just remember that they are a supplement. You should be striving to get your dietary protein from whole food sources. A supplement is just that: supplementary.
    REFERENCES

     

    1. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
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