Strength & Recovery combines the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—along with the amino acid, L-glutamine, in a great-tasting, orange flavoured powder. BCAAs make up 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle protein, and approximately 40% of the total amino acids required by mammals. BCAAs are unique in that they are a direct source of energy for skeletal muscles while also serving as intermediates in the ATP-producing citric acid cycle. They stimulate the building of protein in muscle, reduce muscle breakdown during exercise, and regulate protein metabolism throughout the body. BCAAs stimulate lean muscle synthesis even in the absence of resistance training, making them an effective raw material for lean tissue maintenance in athletes as well as in populations who are unable to exercise, but are at risk for muscle loss.
Non-Medical Ingredients:Lecithin, maltodextrin.
Adults: Mix 1 scoop (approx. 8 g) well in 1-2 cups of liquid (water, juice, etc.) immediately before consumption. Take once daily or as otherwise recommended by a health care practitioner.
Warnings: Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ensure to drink enough fluid before, during, and after exercise.
BCAAs can be oxidized as a fuel source in skeletal muscle cells. Supplementation with BCAAs before and after exercise has been shown to attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage and promote muscle protein synthesis, making them a useful addition to exercise and bodybuilding regimens. Supplemental BCAAs help reduce post-effort muscle soreness and suppress the rise in creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase after exercise, suggesting an inhibitory effect on the breakdown of muscle protein. Moreover, due to the increased oxidation of BCAAs during endurance exercise, athletes may have higher requirements for these nutrients than sedentary populations. Although not considered an athletic performance enhancer, per se, supplemental BCAAs reduced the perceived rate of exertion among untrained athletes during physical exertion, which may allow exercisers to increase the intensity of their efforts, potentially leading to improved results. Immune system support is another benefit of BCAAs for athletes.
Intense exercise, particularly of high frequency and long duration, is known to be immunosuppressive. Supplemental BCAAs may reduce the negative impact of strenuous exercise on the immune system. Another area where BCAAs are of particular benefit is in attenuating the breakdown of muscle tissue in post-operative patients and those recovering from physical trauma. Under normal conditions in healthy populations, BCAA oxidation accounts for 6-7% of energy in skeletal muscle, but in highly catabolic states this may be as high as 20%.9 Compared to a dextrose-only solution, post-operative patients receiving dextrose plus 22%, 35% or 100% BCAAs showed significant reductions in weight loss and muscle catabolism. While the dextrose-only group was in a mean negative nitrogen balance, all three BCAA groups were in nitrogen equilibrium or a slight positive nitrogen balance. Compared to the dextrose-only group, the 22% and 35% BCAA groups lost less body weight, and the 100% BCAA infusion group actually gained a small amount of weight.
BCAAs could be a powerful adjunct to post-operative care, particularly for patients who may have been underweight or weakened. In addition to the post-surgical setting, the muscle-sparing effect of BCAAs may be beneficial in attenuating the dramatic weight loss and muscle wasting that are the most commonly reported causes of morbidity and mortality among cancer patients. Patients who received oral BCAA supplementation while undergoing surgical and non-surgical treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma showed reduced morbidity, reduced peripheral edema and lower rates of ascites compared to non-supplemented controls.
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