If you are into bodybuilding then it is important that you take calculated measures to ensure your body remains fit and in shape. BCAA are branched chain amino acids. Let’s begin by understanding what BCAAs are before moving on to their benefits.
What Is BCAA?
BCAAs comprise of three essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are categorized as essential because the human body is unable to produce these amino acids and they need to be ingested in the form of food or supplements. BCAAs make up to 40% of the daily requirement of all nine essential amino acids, so you can very well understand their importance.
As the name suggests BCAAs have branched chain amino acids that simplify the job of conversion of amino acids into energy. These BCAAs make up to 35% of muscle tissue.
Given below are the Top 5 Benefits of BCAAs.
- Increase Fat Burning and can help in Fat Loss
When talking about bodybuilding and fitness, fat loss is one of the most important things. People who take a high dosage of BCAA Supplements have less body fat and more muscle. They also have a better body composition. BCAA supplements help decrease the food intake and body weight by increasing the gene signaling of muscle building pathways.
Amidst the three essential amino acids found in BCAAs, leucine is the element associated with a lean and fit body. Isoleucine improves glucose tolerance, while leucine increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation. All this combined helps in fat burning and fat loss.
- Enhance Endurance and Decrease Fatigue
With regular intake of BCAA supplements you can enhance endurance and decrease fatigue. In both these aspects BCAAs perform impressively. BCAAs bypass the liver and gut and directly go into the bloodstream, so they can be used as an immediate energy source during workouts.
They prevent the central fatigue of the nervous system by inhibiting uptake of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is used in production of serotonin which increases tiredness and fatigue.
- Support Hormone Balance During Intense Workout
BCAA supplements support hormone balance which is essential for an athlete’s ability to respond to extreme training. It also improves power and endurance adaptations from intense training.
A study showed that when BCAA, arginine, and carbs were combined and given to trainees, they had better hormone balance and better T:C ratio after an exhaustive workout session. The study also revealed that the trainees who received BCAA drink could recover more quickly and had lower fatigue as compared to those who did not consume BCAA drink.
- May Improve Strength Development with Training
In a study conducted it was shown that a group of young men taking 4g of leucine per day gained more strength as compared to placebo group after 12 weeks of training. The BCAA group also showed an increase in strength by 31% in all exercises as compared to placebo group.
A lot of other studies have corroborated that BCAA supplements are effective in improving strength development with training. A diet rich in amino acids from sources like eggs, protein powders, and BCAAs is effective in maximizing strength results from training.
- Enhances Muscle Protein Synthesis
One of the best-known benefits of BCAAs is their ability to trigger protein synthesis. When BCAA supplements are combined with the right resistance exercises, it results in maximization of protein synthesis. They help by absorbing the essential amino acids and breaking them to perform body functions.
Another benefit of BCAAs is that if you take a break from training due to an injury or any other reason and increase the intake of BCAA supplements, you can minimize muscle loss. They trigger protein synthesis even in the absence of exercise. By preserving lean muscle tissue you can maintain your metabolism and help prevent fat gain when inactive.
Some Other Benefits
Apart from these 5 benefits, some other Benefits of BCAAs are –
- Improves Appetite
- Effective in Treating Anorexia
- Improves Brain Function
- Decreases Muscle Soreness
- Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
When taken in limited quantity, BCAA supplements can have great benefits for your body.
Make sure you talk to your trainer about the most suitable BCAA supplements. Also, it is advisable to consult your doctor or certified health/fitness expert before including BCAA supplements in your diet.
Do not exceed the required daily dosage because excess of everything is bad. Despite the numerous benefits of BCAAs, over-dosage may lead to side effects.