There are 20 amino acids that comprise the thousands of unique proteins in the human body. Nine of these amino acids are considered “essential” (they are not produced by the body and must be obtained through one’s diet) and three of the essential amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine — have a distinct structure consisting of an aliphatic side-chain24 with a branch.
But enough with the Scrabble bonus words that only mean something to guys with lab coats and security clearance, what do these amino acids do?
Let’s take a look:
1. They increase muscle growth/prevent muscle wasting.
Of the “essential” amino acids, leucine tends to get the most attention. Because of its documented ability to activate mTOR25, which stands for mammalian target of rapamycin (just in case you are, in fact, playing Scrabble), leucine plays a vital role in the body’s use of protein (protein synthesis) and, thus, typically appears in higher serving ratios than isoleucine and valine in most commercial products. A 3:1:1 leucine-isoleucine-valine ratio is very common, although tour Bang® Energy Drinks come in a patent-pending 2:2:1 ratio, based on data suggesting that more isoleucine stimulates glucose uptake by the cells.26
What’s more, there are numerous studies illustrating that Amino Acid supplements inhibit muscle protein breakdown, commonly known as muscle wasting or atrophy.28,29,30
2. They decrease muscle soreness
There is a fair amount of research — and a ton of broscience — suggesting that Amino Acids can help mitigate muscle soreness after a workout. This soreness, called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by real scientists and other, more colorful terms by bro scientists can last up to 72 hours.31
What exactly causes DOMS is not completely understood, but most experts believe it’s the result of the micro-tears that occur in the muscles during heavy training.32
Amino Acids help in that they decrease protein breakdown during exercise, as well as creatine kinase levels (an indicator of muscle damage).33,34,35
Of course, the sooner one’s muscles recover, the sooner one can resume making “gainz” (bro scientists insist on using the “z”) in the gym.
3. They reduce fatigue while exercising
Muscle fatigue results from a variety of factors — workout intensity and duration, environmental conditions (try working out in Denver), overall nutrition, level of fitness and, of course, genetics.36
When levels of Amino Acids in the blood decline — which happens during exercise — levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan increase.37 This, in turn, leads to the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that is believed to contribute to fatigue during exercise.38,39,40
While less fatigue doesn’t necessarily ensure a better workout41, at least in theory it allows for longer training sessions and, thus, greater results. What’s more, supplementing with BCAAs is believed to improve mental focus.42 Once again, at least in theory, this could result in better, more fulfilling exercise sessions.
So, as you can see, Amino Acids are a crucial supplement for those wishing to add or retain lean muscle mass and get the most out of their workouts. Unlike most energy drinks, which simply give you a short energy spike, Bang® can help in this endeavor.