Of the twenty amino acids our bodies need, nine are considered essential, which the human body can’t produce, and are obtained from food sources or supplements. Branched-Chain amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) are three of the nine essential amino acids.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts incorporate food that contains BCAAs in their diet or take supplements. Athletes have seen the proven results with BCAA usage and increasing the amount of these essential amino acids in their diet. Some of the benefits of these acids are:
- Boost muscle growth
- Aid weight loss
- Improve endurance while exercising
- Reduce muscle pain
- Maintain muscle mass during illness
- Minimize symptoms of liver disease
Incorporating a BCAA supplement into your diet will help you achieve your bodybuilding goals faster. Leucine, one of the three BCAAs, is one of the most important when it comes to building muscles. It stimulates the pathway that’s responsible for the production of muscle protein and building and repairing muscles. You need to follow a healthy diet, exercise consistently, and increase your BCAA intake for the best results.
As mentioned above, BCAAs boost muscle growth, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, which helps you lose weight.
When you exercise or engage in any physically demanding activity, your muscles use BCAAs. As you work out, the levels of these acids in your bloodstream drop, and the anther amino acid in your brain, tryptophan, increases. Tryptophan is then converted to serotonin, making you feel tired or sleepy. Many people have noticed that taking BCCA supplements improves their stamina and endurance and gives them the energy they need to work out for longer.
Some athletes experience muscle soreness even a day or two after working out. The pain is usually due to muscle damage. BCAAs reduce protein breakdown, decreasing muscle damage while lowering the muscle recovery time and severity of pain. Athletes prefer to take a BCCA supplement before working out to minimize muscle damage and reduce the recovery time.
While it’s normal for muscle proteins to break down and be rebuilt, muscle wastage occurs in chronically sick, malnourished, or older people. It takes place when the speed of protein breakdown is faster than the time it takes to synthesize it. It results in a loss of muscle mass. Increasing your BCAA intake can slow down this process and maintain muscle mass.
People who suffer from liver disease can benefit from increased consumption of BCAA. Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that causes the liver to stop functioning efficiently. While taking BCAA supplements does not prolong the lifespan of someone with this disease, studies have shown that it does have a positive effect on the symptoms and improves the patient’s quality of life.
Source of BCAAs
There are many BCAA supplements on the market that athletes and gym-goers take. BCAA supplements are available in tablet and powder form. They are often incorporated with pre-workout and post-workout blends, but if supplements aren’t your thing, you can get your dose of BCAAs in food sources. Some may argue that natural food sources are more beneficial because they contain other essential amino acids.
Foods that contain BCAAs are rich in protein, like beef, chicken, soy, tuna, eggs, greek yogurt, and salmon.
BCAAs are essential amino acids that our body needs. It can’t be made by the body but comes from food sources or supplements. Some of the benefits of BCAAs are that they help grow muscles, increase stamina while working out, reduce muscle pain, maintain muscle mass, and improve liver function in people living with chronic liver diseases.
- Healthline: 5 Proven Benefits of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
- Medicalnewstoday: Health Benefits of BCAAs
- Webmed: BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) Are There Health Benefits?
- Grandecig: How to Leverage the Health Benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acids
- Insider: 5 benefits of BCAAs and How to Take These Supplements to Improve Your Workout
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