9 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking BCAA Supplements
What are BCAAs?
ARE BCAAS NEEDED FOR ULTIMATE MUSCLE GROWTH? – The protein compound is made up of about 20 building blocks referred to as amino acids. Out of these 20, nine are considered to be essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot make them.
Of these nine, three are the BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino acids, namely: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. They are referred to as -branched-chain- because they are the only amino acids with a chemical structure that branches off to one side.
Leucine plays a major role in enhancing the body’s capacity to build muscle while Isoleucine and Valine are active in regulating blood sugar levels and producing energy.
What’s the Source?
Since the body cannot make BCAAs on its own, they are obtained from protein-rich foods or dietary supplements. These protein rich foods include: fish, eggs, turkey, soy, almonds, cashew nuts, beans, milk, cheese etc.
BCAA and Muscle Growth.
The fundamental question here is, do BCAAs assist muscle growth? Or rather, what is the relationship between BCAA and Muscle Growth? Is it the best way to help muscle growth or build fast muscle?
Muscle protein synthesis is the metabolic process where muscle is made. That is, amino acids combine to form muscle tissue. The Leucine amino acid activates a pathway called mTORC1 in the body which stimulates this process.
It triggers insulin production which in turn facilitates amino acid intake by the muscle. So when protein is low, it helps the body prevent muscle loss or promote muscle gain. This property makes Leucine an anabolic factor.
These essential amino acids also facilitate muscle growth by helping the body retain muscle. It is difficult for the body to retain muscle mass when trying to slim down and shed off some weight especially when on a low-calorie diet.
The more the body loses its fat stores, it turns to breaking down protein muscle to satisfy its energy needs. This reduces protein synthesis hence compounding muscle loss.
Simply, BCAAs protect muscle mass from the catabolic effects of dieting. Increased BCAA levels reduce the rate of protein breakdown.
More protein intake has been proved to be one of the most efficient ways of building muscle mass. BCAAs are a fast and efficient way to facilitate protein synthesis. However, these supplements will require other facilitators for optimum results.
These include: increasing your training volume, getting enough sleep, eating more, proper training, rest so that your muscles get to grow bigger and stronger, calorie intake and above all the focus and discipline required to grow those muscles. It takes work and consistency.
Despite the role played by BCAAs to promote muscle growth, the muscles still require all the other essential amino acids for best results.
Also, if you are consuming enough BCAA protein-rich foods, taking supplements may be a waste of time and money. The extra won’t help you get any better results in building fast muscle.
Note: Amino acids in supplement form are absorbed into the bloodstream faster since they require no digestion. This means they are put into work faster to avoid muscle catabolism.
When to Consume BCAA Supplements.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids can be taken before, during and/or after exercise. It is important to note that these supplements need not be consumed for every single workout.
You best need them for intense workouts since that’s when your muscles tear and repair hence growing stronger in the process. Also, the right amount for your individual needs depends on factors such as the intensity of your workouts, how much protein you eat and body size. For optimal results, they need to be consumed alongside a healthy and balanced diet.
9 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking BCAA Supplements
Branched-Chain Amino Acids not only promote muscle growth but also repair and reduce muscle soreness after workout. This soreness is referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which results from tiny tears of muscles after exercise.
They minimize protein breakdown during exercise.
BCAAs help preserve muscle glycogen stores which fuel the muscles. Thus you get the edge needed to push your limits during training.
Since they are broken in the muscle rather than in the liver like other amino acids, they help in energy production during exercise. As a result, your body gets a reliable source of energy to tap into when working out. Furthermore, Isoleucine facilitates glucose uptake in cells.
BCAAs help prevent muscle wasting. When the protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis, an imbalance occurs therefore resulting to muscle wasting.
Study’s shows that Leucine improves sensitivity to the hunger hormone Leptin therefore making you feel fuller. Hence, helps manage a healthy weight.
Balancing blood sugar levels by promoting fat burning in the body. They stimulate body cells to absorb sugar from your bloodstream by preserving the sugar stores in the liver and muscle. (Imbalanced blood sugar levels could lead to unhealthy weight gain.)
Research shows that BCAA supplements offer nutrition intervention for people with liver disease by improving their health outcome. They may also offer protection against liver cancer.
They have the ability to manage fatigue.
BCAAs don’t improve your overall athletic performance. They can only make you feel less tired after a workout session.They may cause decrease in production of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that enables the body to get some sleep. As result, sleep disruption occurs.
The body requires Vitamin B to metabolize branched-chain amino acids. This can potentially lead to its depletion in the body especially when the supplements are taken in high doses.
The supplements may cause side effects such as fatigue or loss of coordination.
They are harmful for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis since they may lead to lung failure.
They are not suitable during pregnancy or when breast feeding.
BCAAs help you get more out of your workout sessions by improving efficiency. They also come in handy for people on a vegetarian diet since there aren’t enough proteins for muscle building in these diets.
It is best to conduct a thorough research or consult an expert before taking up these three essential amino acids supplements. The best way to help muscle growth depends on the individual. What works for one person may not work for another.