Fast 5 is one of my favorite supplements to use intra-workout, not only because of its amazing taste (Blue Razz), but because it supplies the correct ratio of BCAA’s needed to retain muscle mass! The second most abundant amino acids found in muscle tissue (the 1st being glutamine) are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They make up approximately 33% of all muscle tissue. During exercise, BCAA's are broken down and used for energy. Because they are so easily broken down and your body cannot produce them on its own, supplementation is needed to sustain sufficient amounts in your blood stream. If the amount of BCAA’s flowing through your body becomes depleted and not available during exercise, your body may turn to your muscle tissue for fuel (known as gluconeogenesis). We want to avoid this at all costs! So the million dollar question is: how do we maintain a high level of BCAA’s during exercise to prevent this muscle catabolism? The answer is to over saturate your body with BCAA’s through SUPPLEMENTATION. By maintaining optimal levels of BCAA's through supplementation, you can protect muscle tissue, thus maximizing muscle growth!
Fast 5 consists of a ratio of 2:2:1 for Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Why is this important? Let’s look at how these BCAAs work synergistically together. Isoleucine and Valine together are used as a direct source of energy. Leucine and Isoleucine together activate muscle glucose uptake and glycogen storage though insulin dependent pathways (which will promote a greater insulin response). Finally, Leucine by itself has the ability to amplify protein synthesis and stimulate the release of insulin which will initiate protein synthesis. These key players in the optimal ratio are the main reason I choose Fast 5 as my intra-workout supplement.
So you may ask yourself, what separates this product from the competition? The answer starts with the aforementioned patent pending 2:2:1 ratio of BCAAs. The initial belief was that the most effective BCAA ratio should be 2:1:1 in terms of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Although bumping up the Leucine was originally thought to be best in terms of increasing glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, recent studies have shown that oral administration of ISOLEUCINE alone was 73% more effective than that of Leucine administered alone. This means that Isoleucine is the key ingredient that drives glucose (our body’s main source of energy) into muscle cells through the process of activating Glucose Transporter 4 (GLUT-4). Glucose Transporter 4 plays an important role in regulating glucose transport into the cell, especially during exercise. GLUT-4 is highly expressed in cell types that exhibit regulated glucose uptake, such as adipose (fat) cells and skeletal muscle cells. When GLUT-4 is activated, it arrives at the cell surface allowing glucose to be transported into the cell. So, with activated GLUT-4 on the surface of muscle cells, this will ensure that glucose is being stored as muscle glycogen thus decreasing insulin resistance and increasing available energy for you to use to destroy that workout! Remember the body uses glucose to make ATP through cellular respiration. The more energy (ATP) the muscle cell has, the more output it can perform. This will enable you to work out longer, harder, and push more weight which will lead to increased skeletal muscle through the negative feedback loop of weight training!
In addition to the science-supported 2:2:1 ratio of BCAA’s, Fast 5 contains PeptoPro®, a highly advanced peptide formulation derived from casein protein. PeptoPro delivers amino acids in the form of di-peptides and tri-peptides. These molecules are so small that they need no digestion! This allows instant delivery of amino acids to the muscles, which means increases in physical performance, endurance, and stamina. PeptoPro also boosts muscle protein synthesis during and after exercise, and accelerates recovery and stimulates post-exercise insulin secretion. This potent combination of PeptoPro and the 2:2:1 ratio of BCAA’s make Fast 5 a potent powerhouse for muscle building and recovery.1
1"PeptoPro®." DSM - Products - Nutraceuticals - PeptoPro®. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2014. <http://www.dsm.com/markets/foodandbeverages/en_US/products/nutraceuticals/peptopro.html>.