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What do Amino Acids Do? Liverpool

Valine, leucine and isoleucine are considered 'essential' amino acids because they need to be present in your diet - as opposed to 'non-essential' amino acids, which your body can produce itself. Amino acids help stop your body breaking down muscle tissue, but what else do they do?

Abaca
0151 722 6669
255 Woolton Road
Liverpool
 
Windmill Wholefoods
0151 734 1919
337 Smithdown Road
Liverpool
 
Legacy Fitness
07800580819
75 Aspen Grove
Liverpool
Alternate Phone Number
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Personal Training, Group Fitness Classes and Nutritional and Lifestyle analysis specialists
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Nutritional Advisory Service
0151 7335745
15 Croxteth Grove
Liverpool
 
First Call Nutrition
0151-625 5510
Barton Hey Dr
Wirral
 
Holland & Barrett Ltd
0151 708 9343
3a Bold Street
Liverpool
 
Taits
0151 236 2338
83 85 Dale Street
Liverpool
 
Health Rack
0151 709 8822
5 Richmond Street
Liverpool
 
Debra Seddon Nutritionist
01704 573040
658A Liverpool Road
Liverpool
 
Libra
01772 816100
98 Church Road
Preston
 

What do Amino Acids Do?

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What are they? BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) supplements contain valine, leucine and isoleucine. These are considered 'essential' amino acids because they need to be present in your diet - as opposed to 'non-essential' amino acids, which your body can produce itself. Together, they can comprise up to one-third of muscle protein.

What do they do? The theory is that they can help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during intense exercise. They also increase the release of human growth hormone.

Who should take them? 'BCAAs should be taken by anyone who weight trains,' says Gregg Marsh, 'preferably in capsule form rather than tablet or liquid.' There's little evidence that BCAAs will improve performance among endurance athletes, though, and unless you're training seriously hard it's possible you can get enough BCAAs from a recovery drink to make a separate supplement unnecessary.

How much should I take? 'Anything less than 20 capsules per workout is a waste of time,' says Marsh. 'Many professional rugby and football clubs have seen huge improvements in performance, using 40 caps of BCAAs every workout.' Anita Bean is more conservative: 'Doses of 6-15g may help improve your recovery during hard training periods.'

When should I take them? 'They work best if taken pre, during and post-workout,' says Marsh, 'Studies have shown that taking BCAA supplements during and after exercise can reduce muscle breakdown, and, taken before resistance training, reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.' They might also be beneficial if taken last thing at night - but the evidence here is sketchier.

Do they have any side effects? BCAAs are fairly safe, since you'd normally find them in protein in your diet anyway. Excessive intake might reduce the absorption of other amino acids, but that's about it.

Click on the links below to find out all you could possibly want to know about the other major supplements:

Protein
Creatine
Amino acids
Antioxidants
Fat burners
Lesser known supplements
Supplement FAQs

What do amino acids do?

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