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BCAAs and whey protein jump-start muscle protein synthesis*

Of all the amino acids, probably the most important to athletes are the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine. The typical ratio used in studies is 2:1:1, or two parts leucine to one part isoleucine and valine. These muscle building blocks help increase muscle size and strength, protect muscle from breakdown, reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, increase athletic endurance and enhance recovery.*

Whey protein is a great source of BCAAs, which is why it’s one of the best muscle-building proteins on a gram-per-gram basis. When you drink a whey shake that has 25g of protein, you’re getting about 5-6g of BCAAs. This is an effective amount to jump-start muscle protein synthesis. If you don’t have time to make a shake, take 5g of BCAAs to help keep you out of a catabolic (muscle-breakdown) state.*

Timing and Ideal Use: Take 5g of BCAAs before and 5g after workouts. You can also add them to a drink that you sip during workouts. BCAAs taste bitter, so mix BCAAs in a flavored drink to improve the taste. Alternatively, drink a whey shake one hour before a workout and within one hour after a workout.

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