Written by Charles Poliquin
For over fifteen years, I strongly recommended to use branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) while you train if you want to increase your lean body mass.
I have learned this trick a while ago from Drs. Serrano and Di Pasquale and I have been using it with athletes who have difficulty gaining size. How does it work? There could be a variety of reasons, namely :
- Leucine is an important regulator of protein synthesis through reducing protein degradation in humans. Leucine is also very at sparing glucose as a fuel.
2.BCAAs promote protein synthesis in the fat-free bodymass.
3. BCAA consumed during training raise both growth hormone and insulin at the same time, hence the increased anti-catabolism and anabolism.
4. The BCAAs, unlike the other amino acids, are used as a form of energy by muscle cells.
5. The study by Carli et al. (1992) showed that supplementing with branched chain amino acids prior to a workout not only prevents a decrease in post-workout testosterone levels, but actually allowed testosterone levels to increase following exercise.
6. BCAAs administration has an anti-catabolic effect by favoring a better testosterone/cortisol ratio.
7. BCAAs administration also reduces the exercise induced increase in the muscle concentration of tyrosine and phenylalanine, therefore indicating a decreased net rate of protein degradation during exercise.
8. There is a serious decrement is post workout soreness when you use BCAA during the training unit.
9. An Italian study on natural bodybuilders showed that 0.2 g of BCAA per kg of bodyweight 30 minutes before workout and 30 minutes after workouts lead to greater increases in lean bodymass and strength in the bench press and squat.
10. BCAA decrease body fat (especially visceral fat, the fat that accumulates inside the abdomen and results in that beer gut look.
11. A group of researchers through three different studies demonstrated that BCAA supplementation may also improve exercise-induced declines in some aspects of mental functioning.
12. prolonging endurance performance in the heat and the prevention of muscle loss at high altitudes
13. One of the cause of fatigue during exercise is the enhanced conversion of the amino acid tryptophan in to 5-HTP which makes you drowsy and fatigues. As you may be aware, 5 HTP is sold a supplement to enhance sleep, particularly for the fibromyalgia market.
How much BCAAs should you take?
I recommend taking 0.44 g per Kg of bodyweight. Take half of this within 30 minutes before training, And the other half right after training. So if you weigh 90 kilograms (198 lbs), take 40 grams of branch chain amino acids. If you are on a restricted budget, use at least 20 grams, otherwise don’t bother. Using this type of dosage, it is uncommon for some of my clients to gain 9 lbs of lean body mass in just 3 weeks using this protocol.
Some people have recommend taking BCAA during sleep, suggesting to use an alarm clock during the night to wake the trainee, to take some tablets. The rationale being that a greater anabolic state will be created. That is completely worthless. Sleep should not be interrupted no matter what, as soon as you wake up for more than three seconds, you suppress completely the production of melatonin, the restorative, anti-aging hormone.
BCAAs are best used as an « intra-workout » workout supplement.
Why is the BCAA Excellence superior?
° It contains the exact ratio of 4 leucine to 1 isoleucine and 1 valine that exercises physiologists recommend for promoting exercise recovery and anabolism. Leucine has to be the primary BCAA because:
1) it modulates insulin signaling
2) It regulates muscle protein translation initiation
3) It donates nitrogen for alanine and glutamine
4) It prevents free tryptophan in plasma from having a downer effect on the brain and CNS.
° Easy to digest capsules not tablets
° It has no fillers. Just straight amino acids. 750 mg per capsule!
° 500 capsules of 750 mg for just 51.75. That works to 4 dollars per 40 grams servings. That is cheaper that most Varsol processed protein drinks sold at your local gym. PICP certified coaches are welcome to open up a wholesale account by contacting
You can now find BCAA Excellence at Axellite.
Call or come see us, it will be a pleasure to assist you !