Branched chained amino acids (BCAAS) and glutamine are two very popular muscle building and recovery supplements but which one is better for gaining muscle and boosting performance? Should you use BCAAS or glutamine?
What are BCAAS?
BCAAS are three specific amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine, which can be directly absorbed by skeletal muscle. Unlike other amino acids which need to be broken down, BCAAS act directly on the muscle cell.
Unlike protein, like a chicken breast for example, must first be broken down before your body can use those amino acids for energy, whereas BCAAS are already broken down and will be readily absorbed. The benefits of BCAAs range from increased muscle mass to preventing muscle damage to even some potential blood sugar help. You can even stay in ketosis with BCAAS , they are multi functional!
Primer on Glutamine
While glutamine is an amino acid, it has several different benefits than BCAAS. Research shows the glutamine plays a role in muscle building and increasing the ability to buffer fatigue and extend a workout.
The majority of glutamine is stored in the muscle which means it gets depleted from weight training and other intense activity. Studies on triathletes shows that they often get sick after a big event because they have depleted their glutamine stores. Recent research shows glutamine can enhance glycogen resynthesis, reduce muscle soreness and reduce inflammation post workout.
The biggest benefit of glutamine may be for improving leaky gut syndrome. Foods like bone broth, which are high in
I like glutamine as a supplement but it has fallen short when it comes to strength and muscle gain in athletes. As stated above, it increases immune system and gut health. The key benefit of glutamine is that is decreases the absorption time of the BCAA leucine so that leucine can exert its fantastic muscle building benefits. Individuals with muscle wasting disease or bed ridden people seem to benefit from using glutamine to prevent the lose of muscle mass.
So the biggest benefits for glutamine in athlete is that it prevents and slows down central nervous fatigue when combined with BCAAs.
Branched chain amino acids seem to “turn on” the muscle building process and increases muscle growth. This anabolic trigger can play multiple roles in muscle and strength gain. Valine and isoleucine have their own individual benefits including increase glucose uptake and may play a role in preventing diabetes. Valine and isoleucine muscle be taken with leucine in the scientific proven ratio of 2:1:1 which is what the Physique Formula uses.
It’s not just BCAAs or Glutamine, the Physique Formula BCAA contains 3 grams of glutamine to increase workout energy, prevent central nervous system fatigue and increase the benefits of the BCAAS for building muscle. You can use both by buying a BCAA with glutamine!