Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Muscles cannot grow without them.
Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are a special group of amino acids. They are some of the most proven athletic supplements you can take. The benefits of BCAAs include less muscle fatigue, faster recovery, higher levels of other amino acids, and better protein absorption. Not getting enough of them can cause muscle loss.
Here’s a closer look at how these supplements work and why you should include BCAA supplementation in your regimen.
Amino acids do various things:
- Build cells and repair tissue
- Create energy
- Form antibodies
- Take part in the enzyme and hormonal system
- Build RNA and DNA
- Carry oxygen throughout the body
Amino acids are needed to build muscle, red blood cells, and hundreds of other molecules. The human body can produce all but nine of these, which you have to get through your diet or supplementation. You can get them from eating protein or taking amino acid supplements.
The group of nine aminos the body can’t produce are called essential amino acids. These include isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, histidine, and valine.
Non-Essential Amino Acids
- Aspartic Acid
- Glutamic Acid
Essential Amino Acids
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
The branched-chain amino acids are a group of three essential amino acids:
The branched-chain group is different from other essential amino acids in that they are mostly metabolized in skeletal muscle instead of the liver.
Roles Of BCAAs
BCAAs play many roles:
- protein synthesis
- energy production
- forming other amino acids (alanine and glutamine)
- leptin regulation
Why Take BCAAs Supplements?
Branched-chain amino acids are rapidly depleted from the muscles when training. Taking them pre-workout and/or during your session can delay fatigue. Taking them post-workout, or with a post-workout meal, will lower muscle damage and feed the muscles faster to keep you in an anabolic state.
Branched-chain amino acids are components of protein that maintain muscle tissue during intense exercise. They function as anabolic agents, which allow the body to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss. They can also be used for energy.
BCAA supplementation can result in gains in strength, muscularity, and energy. Taking them before and during a workout can delay fatigue and protect your muscles. Taking them after a workout can help with recovery. They’ll reach your muscles faster than aminos from whole proteins.
If you’re on a quest for muscle growth, BCAA supplements can be a powerful ally.