If you think all branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) supplements - the most popular muscle-building supplements - will help you build up muscle, think again...
New researchers from the University of Stirling shows that BCAA supplements are ineffective when they're taken in isolation. If you're trying to build up muscle by taking these supplements in combination with weight training, read on for the full scoop!
Study finds that not all popular muscle-building supplements help build up muscle
The study involved the universities of Exeter and Birmingham in Englandwho published their findings in Frontiers in Physiology
. It found that while BCAA supplements stimulate the muscle building response in people after they lift weight, other muscle-building supplements are much more effective.
The researchers said that other supplements that are packed with all the necessary amino acids stimulate a greater muscle growth response, which suggests that taking BCAA supplements on their own isn’t the best way to build up muscle with weight training.
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BCAA supplements lack some essential amino acids that are critical to maximal muscle growth response
The researchers also looked at how effective BCAA supplements were at stimulating the machinery inside the muscle itself that helps build up muscle, only to find that while these supplements stimulate the body’s muscle building systems, they lack some essential amino acids that are critical to maximal muscle growth response.
“Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and the special class of amino acids, known as BCAA, stimulate the muscle growth response. These supplements are considered to be an important part of the nutrition plan for many bodybuilders, weightlifters and others seeking muscle growth,” Professor Kevin Tipton, Chair in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of Stirling, said.
“Our results show that the common practice of taking BCAA supplements in isolation will stimulate muscle protein synthesis -- the metabolic mechanism that leads to muscle growth – but the total response will not be maximal because BCAA supplements do not provide other amino acids essential for the best response,” Tipton added.
The bottom line: Drinking a whey protein shake before every weightlifting session isn’t guaranteed to help you build up muscle!
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