Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s)

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are essential nutrients that the body requires for overall functioning and development. BCAA’s include leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

 

For individuals on weight loss diet BCAA helps gain muscles and shed extra fat. It is low in calories which makes it favorable for low calorie diets. It prevents the breakdown of muscles which makes it a good choice for intra-workouts.

  • Athletes use branched-chain amino acids to improve exercise performance and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise. Endurance athletes require greater amount of BCAA’s in comparison with sedentary individuals.
  • BCAA’s were suggested to be the third fuel for skeletal muscle after carbohydrate and fats.
  • Leucine generally is said to have anti catabolic effect during and after exercise in individuals.
  • BCAAs have even more positive benefits than reduced breakdown and increased protein synthesis. They might also help improve workout intensity! BCAAs compete with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can (among other things) increase the perception of fatigue—that means a less intense workout for you.
  • BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced. This might allow you to work harder, longer.

Benefits of Branched chain amino acids

  • Spare muscle protein breakdown for energy.
  • Improves endurance performance.
  • Helps develop lean body mass.
  • Protection against muscle damage.
  • 35% amino acid pool in muscles.
  • Boosts growth hormone and insulin function.

Dosage

For individuals who are under training and working out can take 12-15 grams of BCAA’s.

When to have BCAA’s?

The most favorable time to take BCAA is close to workout or during workout. An individual should try to have 6-8 grams before workout. An athlete can also take it during workout to prevent muscle breakdown and faster muscle recovery.

 

Toxicity and health risks

  • Ingestion of BCAA’s a little over 3 times the required estimated average seems to have no adverse effects in healthy adults.

To conclude BCAA supplements are easily absorbed by the body. It reaches the muscles quickly and rapidly increases the BCAA levels in blood stream. As a result, it has a great impact when used as an intra-workout by reducing muscle loss and increasing muscle growth.

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