First off let’s explore exactly what BCAA’s are.
Now I was going to give you a big breakdown but to be fair Go Nutrition have said it all on their website
What is iBCAA?
iBCAA is a Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) powder that’s been “instantised” to allow it to dissolve and mix well in a shake. Our iBCAA is an ultra pure powder containing the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine in a proven ratio. These essential amino acids have a similar structure to each other and play an important role in the development and preservation of muscle tissue. Of the three BCAAs, leucine appears to be the most important for muscle protein synthesis and can increase it by as much as 33%. It is for this reason that our BCAAs contain leucine, isoleucine and valine in the heavily researched ratio of 2:1:1.
What are the performance benefits of BCAA?
BCAAs have a number of performance benefits. As discussed they are key to the growth, recovery and repair of muscle tissue, as well as the prevention of muscle tissue breakdown. This is of particular importance during and around intense training, as muscle cells can begin to breakdown. As BCAAs are metabolised in the muscles they can be used directly as an energy source when required, delaying the onset of muscular fatigue. BCAAs and in particularly isoleucine have been linked to the replenishment of glycogen stores, meaning that BCAAs can have a direct impact on the bodies energy levels, allowing for prolonged physical exertion.
I have tried BCAAs before especially when fasting to protect against muscle breakdown and soon discovered that, for me at least, by far the greatest benefit was the reduction and often prevention of DOM’s. As anyone who trains hard and regular will attest this is like the holy grail, as the sooner your recovered the sooner your able to push hard again.
I genuinely feel that I recover better when drinking BCAAs through the day following a heavy session and do feel that I make greater gains when using it.
For the purposes of testing this particular iBCAA I decided that I would have to “throw my body under a bus” and decided on the 3 most DOM’s inducing days I could. These consisted of
Day 1 – Heavy squats 5×8 with split squats, leg curls and extensions as assistance work
Day 2 – Fran, 21-15-9 thrusters and pull ups
Day 3 – Heavy shoulder press, 5×8 with Lat pull down, lateral raises, shrugs and Tricep dips as assistance work.
I proposed to complete these workouts on three consecutive days and repeat it for two separate weeks, the first week whilst using IBCAA post workout and sipping it throughout the day then the second week without.
During these 3 days I kept all of my nutrition and supplements as normal with the exception of added iBCAA.
First off one of the known issues with BCAAs is their lack of mixing, I find that at first it looks like you’ve put washing powder in your shaker. What I find what works best is to mix it and then let it rest for a few minutes before shaking again and it mixed with the water fine. Let me be clear, this has been the same with all brands of pure BCAAs I have used and is in no way exclusive to Go Nutritions iBCAA or in any way an issue.
Ok on to my findings. Let’s just say WOW and leave it at that.
What you want more? Fine, well I’ll be honest in that I had the unflavoured version and it took a bit of getting used to, again not exclusive to Go Nutrition and not an issue (tastes don’t build muscles) usually a set of 3 heavy days like this, I hit PR’s on all 3 days would leave me reduced to a quivering wreck but on the first week whilst using the iBCAA I had little to no muscle soreness the following day. Bear in mind I hit thrusters the day after leg day and shoulder press the day after the thrusters so I was deliberately hitting what should have been fatigued muscles yet still no performance disrupting aches.
Week 2 brought the same again but without the iBCAA and wow where did that world of pain come from? I deliberately did it this way around to account for the adaption effect that I should have felt, in that DOM’s is reduced as you adapt to a training plan or style so I should have found week 2 easier. Man was I wrong, I was in pain by the end of day one and it didn’t go until 2 days after day three.
I realise that this is in no way scientific and is purely an N=1 experiment but for this N I can say that recovery and muscle breakdown was clearly improved and I will be continuing to use iBCAA’s in the future and have no hesitation what so ever in recommending you check out www.gonutrition.com
If your fancy trying out their protein then check out these awesome looking flavours I know I will be.
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