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5 Proven Benefits of branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

Published : Dec 31, 2021 2 mins read Updated On : Jul 26, 2022

5 Proven Benefits of branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are organic compound that contains amino and carboxylate functional groups along with side chain specific to each amino acid. Amino acids consist of Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Sulfur. There are 20 amino acids 9 essential and 11 non-essentials.

Essential amino acids are

  1. Histadine
  2. Leucin
  3. Isoleucine
  4. Valine
  5. Threonine
  6. Lysine
  7. Methionine
  8. Phenylalanine
  9. Tryptophan

Out of these leucin, Isoleucine and Lysin are branched chain amino acids

What is branched chain amino acid?

Branched chain amino acid is an amino acid having an aliphatic side-chain. Branched chain amino acids accounts for 35% of essential amino acids in muscle protein. Branched chain amino acids are part of essential amino acids hence they cannot be produced by the body and have to acquire through external food sources. The food sources that are rich in branched chain amino acids are meat, fish, dairy products, legumes and nuts such as almond and cashew.

What are the proven benefits of Branched Chain Amino Acid?

1. BCAA Increases muscle growth

The amino acid responsible for this function is leucin. It activates certain pathway in the body that stimulates muscle growth. Consuming whey protein which is rich in BCAAs post work out is the best way to optimize muscle growth. This is very important in bodybuilding.

2. BCAA reduces muscle soreness

For those who are regular in doing exercise, muscle soreness after the workout is a well-known problem. It can last up to 48 hours. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Branched chain amino acids decrease protein breakdown during exercise. 

BCAA reduces muscle soreness

3. BCAA reduces exercise fatigue

Anybody who does intense workout for longer duration experiences exhaustion and fatigue. Muscle uses BCAAs from the blood during the workout. This results in level of tryptophan increasing in the brain. Tryptophan gets converted into serotonin in the brain which causes fatigue and exhaustion. Using BCAA supplement helps to improve mental focus.

4. BCAA prevents muscle breakdown

Muscle breakdown occurs when protein breakdown exceeds protein synthesis. BCAAs accounts for 40% of total amino acid in the body. Hence it is very important to replace these BCAA during breakdown. It is recommended to use BCAA supplement to inhibit muscle breakdown

5. BCAA supports immune function

Each BCAA perform both individual and collective function supporting immunity. Leucin is responsible for general immune health and how it adapts to pathogens. Isoleucine is responsible for increasing level of β-defensin which is an antimicrobial compound. Valine is responsible for increasing dendritic cell function signals the presence of toxins to the body.


Proteins are the building blocks of the body and they are responsible for all the major function in the body. Long chains of amino acids form different proteins. Many studies suggest that taking a supplement that has good quality of BCAA blend can boosts your muscle health and energy.

Soumil Vartak
Soumil Vartak
Fitness and Nutrition

Soumil is a health & wellbeing enthusiast whose passion is to explore new about fitness. He enjoys writing about health, fitness, nutrition and anything related to health. His technical knowledge o... Read More

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