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BCAA Supplements: Your Key to Enhanced Muscle Recovery

Published : Apr 21, 2020 10 mins read Updated On : Dec 07, 2023

Health Benefits of BCAA

Have you ever noticed that the longer you work out more difficult it gets to perform at your peak? During the last rep, you feel the pain in your muscles and you cannot wait to complete the set and get it over with. That’s because while you work out your muscles undergo a breakdown and you lose the strength to perform at your highest level. You need something that instantly helps you in muscle recovery and repair so that you can ace your workout till the very last rep. Branched-chain amino acids or BCAA are immediately processed in the skeletal muscle, rather than the liver, where you need them to work that’s why they are unique. They both have anabolic (muscle-building) and catabolic properties (prevent the breakdown or damage of hard-earned muscles). In this article, we are going to find out about the benefits of BCAA

5 Proven Health Benefits Of Taking BCAAs

The thousands of unique proteins in the human body are made up of 20 different types of amino acids. Nine of the 20 amino acids are regarded as essential, which means your body cannot produce them and you must consume them in your diet. Three branched-chain amino acids are among the nine essential amino acids (BCAAs) Branched Chain Amino Acids. (BCAA) refer to the three major amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine. They are the most effective and beneficial in any sports nutrition program. In fact, BCAAs make up to 35% of all the essential proteins in amino acids. The term branched-chain describes the chemical makeup of BCAAs, which are present in foods high in protein like eggs, meat, and dairy products. They are also well-liked dietary supplements, mainly available as a powder.

Now that we have some basic idea about what BCAA are and why are they important let’s understand BCAA benefits for our body 

Helps to increase muscle growth and strength 

The ability to grow muscle is one of the most well-known benefits of taking BCAA supplements. To build, repair, and add new muscle tissue, your body uses proteins such as BCAAs. Muscle protein synthesis is the name of this ongoing procedure (MPS).

Leucine seems to be the most crucial BCAA for promoting MPS out of the three. Athletes from a variety of sports frequently utilize BCAAs because, according to research, they aid to activate enzymes that are crucial for the process of creating muscle.

Reduce exercise fatigue and increases endurance 

Fatigue can frequently be a limiting issue when it comes to workout performance. It can affect the muscles as well as the brain, and once it does, it can activate the internal signal that instructs you to stop. However, by lowering tryptophan levels in the brain, BCAAs help to reduce weariness. Tryptophan, another amino acid in the bloodstream, is made to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain when the body detects a low blood level of BCAAs. You may have heard that turkey contains a lot of tryptophan and that tryptophan is the cause of your post-turkey-day fatigue. Tryptophan boosts serotonin production as it enters the brain, which causes weariness. Therefore, getting enough BCAA before and/or during aerobic exercise improves athletic performance by reducing fatigue by inhibiting the rise in brain serotonin levels.

Decreases muscle soreness and aids in recovery 

If you've ever felt uncomfortable and stiff days after a strenuous workout, you've experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Although DOMS can continue up to 72 hours post-workout, it often starts to set in the hours after you exercise. Training-induced muscle damage, or EIMD, is the term used by specialists to describe the microscopic tears that both resistance and endurance exercise creates in your muscles. It has been found that one of the benefits of BCAA supplements is they decrease the enzymes that are responsible for EMID.

Prevents muscle protein breakdown  

In addition to helping to build lean mass, BCAAs can also help to stop muscle wasting. Muscle protein undergoes ongoing turnover, which means that new protein is continuously created while aging proteins are degraded. Consuming BCAAs accelerates the synthesis of muscle protein. The body uses a mechanism called proteolysis to break down muscle tissue both during exercise and a hypocaloric diet. Leucine, a branched-chain amino acid, has been demonstrated to decrease proteolysis and muscle protein breakdown even after 24 hours of fasting. Even in the absence of exercise to promote muscle growth, taking enough BCAAs can reduce muscle atrophy. The Journal of Nutrition study found that adding BCAA supplements to a calorie-restricted diet allowed people to continue to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass.

Promotes Weight loss

The common prescription from many specialists for those attempting to lose weight with a hypocaloric diet includes the use of BCAA supplements. BCAAs promote better fat loss and overall weight loss when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Adults who consume more BCAAs are less likely to be overweight and have less excess body fat. Additionally, BCAAs aid in enhancing fat oxidation, which promotes greater fat burning.

Decreases the Appetite  

Leucine, a branched-chain amino acid, directly contributes to the reduction of hunger. Leucine appears to have a mind-body relationship. Muscle growth factor mTOR is stimulated by leucine. Leucine supplementation helps the brain recognize when nutrients are available. The brain knows that the body's nutritional requirements have been satisfied as mTOR levels rise, and signals of satiety are sent out to prevent you from eating more.

Increases the fat oxidation for fat reduction 

Losing weight is one of the many benefits of BCAAs. Numerous studies have revealed that adding BCAAs to the diet might boost fat oxidation, the process of using fat as an energy source. The body appears to switch from using carbs as an energy source to burning fat when BCAA supplements are taken. Those attempting to lose body fat could find this tactic very useful. Interestingly, a diet lacking in BCAAs will likewise cause a rise in fat oxidation. Therefore, it appears that there is a sweet spot for BCAA levels and carbohydrate utilization. Therefore, it appears that there are two options: provide the body with more BCAAs to burn fat or deprive it of BCAAs (reduce protein consumption) to burn fat. I believe I would prefer to take BCAAs!

Prevents Muscle Loss 

Muscle loss frequently occurs along with fat loss. This can be very discouraging for anyone trying to gain muscle and lose weight. When you eat fewer calories, BCAAs can prevent muscle loss, conserving lean muscle mass in favor of body fat. A sufficient intake of BCAAs daily can reduce muscle protein breakdown even in the absence of exercise to promote muscular growth.

Improves Energy Level 

Your muscles need glucose to make the biochemical ATP, which is the actual fuel used by muscle fibers to drive their contractions. In the form of glycogen, the muscle stores some glucose. But when this runs out, the bloodstream must be used to provide more. According to studies, the BCAA isoleucine treatment enhanced the muscle's ability to absorb glucose by as much as 73%.

The more glucose that is accessible, the more calories the muscles may burn. All athletes utilize this glucose for aerobic metabolism. This is particularly crucial for physical endurance.

Supports your immune system 

Your immune system defends you from harmful substances including bacteria, viruses, and rogue cells. The immune system relies heavily on BCAAs to promote cellular health and function. Each of the three branched-chain amino acids plays both a unique role and a group function. In addition to being essential for the synthesis of proteins, BCAAs serve as a vital fuel supply for these cells.

The individual benefits of the BCAAs are:

• Levels of the antibacterial substance -defensin are elevated by isoleucine.
• Leucine helps the immune system respond to infections in the body and maintain overall immunological health.
• Valine makes dendritic cells more functional, which raises the alarm and alerts the body when harmful compounds are present.

Provides Gut Support 

The gut is highly important for immunological, digestive, and absorption processes. In addition to ensuring optimal nutrient absorption, the intestine must guard against poisons and germs entering the bloodstream. BCAAs are necessary for the regular operation of the intestinal lining cells. The function of the intestine is influenced by BCAAs because of their part in gene expression and signaling.

BCAA help in the following way

• Support normal intestinal cells
• Support absorption of amino acids

• Support the healthy immune cells in the intestine

Supports Hormonal Balance  

The balance of testosterone and cortisol in your body after exercise has also been found to be improved by BCAAs. To facilitate recovery, fat loss, and muscular building, the proper ratios of testosterone and cortisol must be maintained. On average, athletes who utilize BCAA have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol.

With so many benefits of consuming BCAA powder, Let's also find out which natural foods are high in BCAAs so that you can include them in your regular diet. Thankfully, BCAAs are widely distributed in a variety of meals and complete protein supplements. Because of this, most people don't need BCAA supplements, especially if they get enough protein from their diets already.

• meat, poultry, and fish
• beans and lentils
• dairy items such as cheese and milk
• tofu
• eggs
• quinoa
• nuts and seeds

It is difficult to incorporate all of these foods into your regular diet so it is recommended that people who are physically active and fitness enthusiasts should take BCAA supplements. Most of the supplements available in the market are in powder form. It is very easy to get confused regarding which BCAA supplement to use. Let’s understand some key factors that will help you to choose the right supplement that is high quality, and will provide all the essential benefits to your body.

2:1:1 ratio of BCAA  

Due to the fact that BCAA supplements work best when they are given in the ideal ratio, their effectiveness ratio is vital for muscle protein synthesis. Many people like to just concentrate on L-Leucine because of its powerful health advantages and metabolic characteristics. Despite the fact that L-Leucine is the most important BCAA for boosting muscle protein synthesis, supplementing L-Leucine alone could lead to an unbalanced BCAA level. Therefore, it's crucial to select the 2:1:1 optimum ratio.

 Ultra granulation technology 

The best-in-class Ultra Granulation Technology is used to process the micro-ionized BCAA to produce Ultra Instantized BCAA, which is necessary for the BCAA supplement to be effective and absorbed in the bloodstream.

Muscle activation complex 

In order to provide a complete formula and performance-enhancing ingredients like L-Glutamine for muscle recovery, L-Arginine for reducing muscle fatigue, L-Citrulline for boosting nitric oxide (NO), Taurine for energy, as well as an essential combination of electrolytes and vitamins for the performance-driven phase of intra-workout, a BCAA supplement should provide more than just basic BCAA.

What is the right time to consume BCAA supplements? 

To avoid becoming more exhausted during your workout, it is preferable to take BCAA supplements benefits during the workout or up to 15 minutes before you begin. It can also be consumed post-workout for quick muscle recovery. A typical gym goer can consume 500ml of water per scoop each day while working out. However, someone who exercises frequently and perspires heavily can take 2 scoops per day.

If you've read thus far, you now know more about BCAAs than the majority of people and likely understand how to include them in your exercise and dietary plans. This should cover everything, to assist you to understand. Benefits of BCAA supplementation include easier fat reduction, better energy levels, and greater muscular growth. The research suggests that taking BCAAs alone won't be adequate to increase muscle growth; nonetheless, as with most things in the realm of sports nutrition, context and relevance are vital. According to current thinking, including BCAAs benefits with a meal that contains little protein can assist your body produce more muscle protein than usual. It might also be helpful for people who have trouble getting enough protein because a high-protein diet makes them feel full or because altitude-induced hypoxia makes them feel exhausted.

Dipesh Sharma
Dipesh Sharma
Sports and Fitness

Dipesh Sharma is a sports freak, who loves All things Sports who loves to play cricket, badminton. He has been covering topics related to sporting events, news, sports nutrition. Apart from... Read More

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