All About Fermented Branch Chain Amino Acids
The push for more natural ingredients in food products is at an all-time high. So why should supplements be treated any differently? Unless you’re someone who doesn’t mind their BCAAs coming from duck feathers and hair, reading through the lines and determining exactly where the ingredients are coming from is important.
Unfortunately not all BCAAs are created equal. The production type is the #1 difference in a quality product and one that’s available at a low price point (aka you get what you pay for). Amino acid production is done by several different methods – the most common being the use of a very harsh acid extraction of animal products including duck feathers and human hair. Over the course of several hours, high heat and strong acids are applied to the raw ingredients causing hydrolysis (the breakdown of a molecule due to the reaction with water). The end result is amino acid hydrolysates that then must be filtered, dried, and refined to make them fit for human consumption. While this method may be cheaper and easier to manufacture, it could produce a product that’s riddled with contaminants and allergens.
The good news is there is a way to produce quality amino acids without the use of any animal products or resulting allergen risks. This method is accomplished through the fermentation of cultures in a pharmaceutical lab. Since no animal products are used as starting materials, and no harsh chemicals or high heat treatments are used to manufacture the aminos, the result is a higher quality, allergen-free, and more efficacious amino acid product.
Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAA exclusively uses only fermented BCAAs to ensure you’re getting the highest quality and value for your dollar, while protecting you from the contaminants found in lower quality BCAAs.
The answer is simple –– fermented BCAAs are a higher quality alternative to the traditional duck feather and hair derived mixture you religiously chug down before and after your workouts. You already know BCAAs are essential to athletic performance and give you an edge over your opponents.
Fermented Vegan BCAAs are not derived from human or animal parts, and instead come from corn. It’s that simple. Not only do they provide the same nutritional benefits as traditional BCAAs, but they also taste better and mix more easily. For every athlete, the choice is clear. As a whole BCAAs:
- Ignite muscle protein synthesis – leading to larger gains in lean mass accretion and faster recovery times.
- Assist in maintaining an anabolic (muscle building) environment - Exercise can put the body in a catabolic state (muscle degenerating). When this happens BCAAs are used for energy as opposed to growth and repair. BCAA supplementation can improve nitrogen retention by sparing other amino acid groups; which ultimately keeps the body in an anabolic state.
- Supports Lean Body Goals – BCAAs activate satellite cells that travel and attach to individual muscle fibers; helping the stressed or damaged muscle as a whole grow in size.
- Increase muscle strength - Going hand in hand with benefit #3, increases in lean mass mean large muscle fiber size and greater cross sectional area which equates to greater increases in muscle strength.
- Increase fat loss – This is largely due to isoleucine; which can stimulate receptors that inhibit fat storage and increase fat burning.
- Improve glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity – While isoleucine improves glucose tolerance on its own, the whole trio of BCAAs can support improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate for improved body composition.
- Increase endurance performance – During prolonged exercise, BCAA's are taken up by the skeletal muscle rather than the liver in order to contribute to energy production (oxidative metabolism). They also can help prevent muscle damage during long duration endurance sports by protecting muscle tissue
- May decrease post exercise soreness – Also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS); BCAAs help repair the muscular structural damage caused by strenuous exercise that is thought to be responsible for DOMS.
- Assist in maintaining lean muscle mass during periods of calorie restriction – When calories are cut as a whole this usual means a drop in protein consumption. Not enough protein and muscles may start to atrophy. Studies have shown BCAA supplementation during periods of calorie restriction can assist in maintaining lean muscle mass while also decreasing fat mass.
- Blunt muscle fatigue - Valine competes with tryptophan for entry into the brain, and prevails. This means less serotonin gets to the brain; ultimately leading to stronger muscular contractions, quicker recovery between sets, and prolonged muscular strength and endurance.
Over the years BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) have remained a staple in the fitness and athlete’s proverbial supplement arsenal, and for good reason. There are hundreds of studies on the ergogenic benefits of BCAAs.
Not only are BCAAs great for reducing recovery time, they’re also an important tool for building and maintaining muscle, especially while on a low-calorie diet when the body may be more likely to tap into its own protein stores (aka muscle) for use as fuel.
BCAAs are comprised of the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. Essential amino acids cannot be produced in the body and therefore must be provided through supplementation or diet. BCAAs make up about 30% of the proteins in muscle and are primarily used during exercise and other forms of physical stress. The body wants to use proteins from your muscles as energy during and after your workouts – BCAAs provide your body with the proteins it needs creating a muscle-sparing effect. Because of this, athletes are able to get the most out of their workouts while building muscle and maintaining what they already have.
A study published in 2009 compared the effects of BCAA supplementation on body composition and exercise performance to those who took the placebo. After an 8-week resistance training program, researchers found that those who supplemented with BCAAs experienced a greater decrease in body fat, an increase in lean mass, and greater strength gains on the bench press and squat compared to the non-BCAA group.
Hundreds of existing studies have found similar body composition and strength benefits. Additionally they show that BCAAs, whether consumed throughout the day or pre, during, or post-exercise, decrease protein catabolism (muscle breakdown) and support muscle protein synthesis –– a physiological process responsible for muscle growth and repair. Furthermore, BCAAs are vitally important to glucose (energy) production –– contributing to greater than 40% of glucose production during sustained endurance exercise. This means you can workout harder and for longer without a dip in energy. Finally, taking BCAA's immediately after or with a post-work out meal will lower cortisol (which destroys muscle) levels and replace BCAA levels in the muscles faster [8.].
L-LEUCINE (2.5g)Leucine, aka your workout secret weapon, is the primary amino acid responsible for muscle growth and recovery. That means if your supplement blend does not contain enough leucine (or any for that matter) you’re not giving your muscles the opportunity to grow and build strength to their fullest potential. Supplementing with at least 2 grams of leucine daily has been shown to decrease muscle soreness, reduce recovery time between workouts, and increase lean muscle mass. Howatson et al. (2012) discovered that leucine (combined with isoleucine and valine) administered before muscle damaging resistance exercises reduced indices of muscle damage and accelerated recovery in resistance trained males.
L-ISOLEUCINE (1.25g)Though Isoleucine doesn’t stimulate muscle growth as other amino acids, it does help the body utilize glucose during exercise leading to greater energy production and the ability to pump out one more rep. In addition, isoleucine may play a role in the fat burning abilities of BCAAs. Nishimura et al. (2010) found that mice consuming a high fat diet in conjunction with isoleucine gained less fat mass than mice not receiving isoleucine. This was due to isoleucine's ability to stimulate receptors that inhibit fat storage and increase fat burning.
L-VALINE (1.25g)Valine helps boost muscular endurance and reduce fatigue during exercise. This means you can train longer and more efficiently. When exercising, tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which signals to the brain that the body is fatigued. This leads to a reduction in strength and endurance. Since valine competes with tryptophan for entry into the brain, and prevails, less serotonin is able to get in. Because of this you’re able to benefit from stronger muscular contractions, quicker recovery between sets, and prolonged muscular strength and endurance.
Manufacturers have been taking the easy way out for decades by purchasing cheap ingredients that put dollars in their pockets and fool you into thinking you’re getting the best when really you’re not. We take our formulations seriously and put your health above our bottom line. Next time you’re shopping for BCAAs, or any supplement for that matter, it’s not always about dollars and cents – pay attention to ingredients and where they’re coming from. By choosing Truth Nutrition Vegan BCAAs you can feel safe knowing you’re getting the best possible ingredients at the best price.