Have you ever heard of Branched-Chain Amino Acids? If not, don’t worry - we’ll explain everything! BCAAs (or branched-chain amino acids) are essential in keeping your body healthy and strong.
They provide a huge range of benefits and can be found in many foods including eggs, beef, fish, and dairy products. But if that’s not enough for you, there are lots of ways to get your BCAAs in supplement form, too.
So, let's take a look at the many benefits of BCAAs and how best to consume them.
What Are BCAAs?
Our bodies consist of an incredible variety of proteins, all composed from 20 different amino acids. While the majority can be produced through our own metabolism, nine essential ones must come from dietary sources such as eggs, meat and dairy products.
Among these nine essentials lie three special "branched-chain" types: leucine, isoleucine and valine - so named due their chemical structure which can be obtained naturally through foods like eggs, meat or dairy products but may also come as part of popular dietary supplements on today's market.
What Are The Benefits Of BCAAs?
There are many proven benefits of consuming BCAAs. For starters, they help build muscle mass, which is an obvious benefit for anyone looking to increase their muscle size and strength. Leucine, one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), plays an important role in promoting muscle growth. In fact, ingesting 5.6g of BCAAs after a strength training session can increase muscle protein synthesis by over 20%, allowing you to bulk up faster than ever before! You can get all of the BCAAs you need for muscle growth from whey protein powder.
Additionally, BCAAs can boost energy levels during a workout and reduce fatigue afterward, making them especially beneficial for athletes who participate in endurance sports or high-intensity activities like CrossFit or HIIT workouts. While exercising, your muscles draw on BCAAs to keep going. When the levels in blood decrease, tryptophan is activated. This essential amino acid prompts serotonin production in the brain which can result in fatigue and worse performance during exercise - something we've all experienced! However, two studies have shown that supplementing with BCAA's may help reduce central fatigue leading to increased athletic prowess.
Furthermore, research has shown that consuming BCAAs can reduce muscle soreness after a workout and speed up post-workout recovery time. Exercise can sometimes lead to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is typically felt 12-24 hours after working out and may last up to 3 days. The exact cause of DOMS remains a mystery, but research suggests it could be due to tiny tears in the muscles caused by exercise itself. Luckily, researchers have found that Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) might help reduce the length and intensity of DOMS - giving your body some extra support while it recovers! This makes them ideal for anyone who trains frequently and needs to recover quickly in between sessions.
To prevent muscle wasting, you need to ensure a balance between protein breakdown and synthesis. BCAAs make up 35% of the essential amino acids found in muscles proteins - they account for nearly half of all necessary body aminos! Adding BCAA supplements during times when your muscle are deteriorating can help slow or even stop this process from occurring.
Finally, consuming BCAAs has been linked with improved mental clarity and focus during exercise—which can be especially helpful when pushing yourself to the limit!
The Best Way To Consume BCAA's
So now that you know why it’s important to get your daily fill of BCAAs, let's look at the best ways to consume them. The most popular way is through a BCAA supplement like powders or capsules which contain all three essential amino acids - leucine, isoleucine and valine - in their optimal ratios for maximum results.
These supplements can be taken before or after a workout depending on your needs and preferences but either way they will help boost performance while providing an array of other health benefits such as increased lean muscle mass and enhanced muscle recovery time after exercise.
For those who prefer to get their BCAAs from food sources then there are plenty of options available too! Foods such as eggs, beef, chicken, fish and dairy products all contain varying amounts of these essential amino acids so if you are looking for an alternative way then this could be a great option for you! Check out my blog on the best pre-workout supplements to see which BCAA supplement is right for you.
Now that you know all about the amazing benefits of consuming BCAA's it should come as no surprise why they have become so popular amongst gym goers! Whether you're looking for increased energy levels during workouts or improved muscle recovery time afterwards then BCAA's could definitely be worth considering as part of your daily routine!
With so many different ways to consume them from food sources to supplements there really is something out there for everyone so why not give it a try today! Who knows – maybe those extra few reps will come easier than before!