How do BCAAs work?

Unlike other essential amino acids, which are broken down in the liver, BCAAs are oxidized, or used for energy, primarily in the skeletal muscle.  BCAA oxidation in skeletal muscle increases 2-3 fold during exercise (Tarnopolsky, 2004; Shimomura et al., 2006).

In addition to being a source of fuel for working muscles, BCAAs are critical to muscle recovery and synthesis (reviewed in Shimomura et al., 2006; Blomstrand et al., 2006) and supplementation  with BCAAs has been shown to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS (Greer et al., 2007; Shimomura et al., 2010).

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