In the world of supplements, BCAAs are one of the leading sellers. Why?
BCAA supplements are ideal for any and all fitness goals.
Whether you want to pack on muscle mass or you want to boost your recovery time in order to get yourself back in the gym faster, BCAAs are there to help. Made up of three key amino acids, BCAAs are a beneficial supplement to use inside and outside of the weight room.
If you’re a newcomer to supplements or you simply want to make sure that your BCAA purchase is justified, this quick guide to BCAAs will help.
Let’s take a look at what BCAAs are, the benefits of BCAAs, and how you should be timing your intake.
What are BCAAs?
Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, are the building blocks of muscle tissue. In total, there are 20 amino acids; however, only nine of these are considered essential amino acids because they must be obtained from outside food and supplemental sources.
BCAA supplements focus on three of the nine essential amino acids:
The reason that BCAA supplements focus on only these three has everything to do with their fitness-related benefits.
Benefits of BCAAs
Arguably the most popular of the three BCAAs, Leucine has been the subject of various studies. It can be found in all types of supplements, most notably pre-workouts, intra-workouts, and nighttime recovery agents.
A popular study published in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that when you supplement with Leucine on a daily basis, you may experience the following benefits:
Isoleucine plays an important role inside and outside of the fitness realm. This unique amino acid is required to produce specific functional proteins in the body. From a fitness standpoint, Isoleucine is key to recovery and the following benefits:
Just like with Isoleucine, this amino acid has several important functions outside of the weight room. Valine is commonly recommended post-surgery as a way to improve recovery. Taken as a part of your workout program, Valine may be able to provide the following benefits:
When to Take BCAAs
The timing of BCAA consumption is going to be important to achieving your fitness goals. When you want to build muscle, protect the muscle you already have, or boost performance recovery, there are three key times to consume BCAAs.
BCAAs are an important staple for a variety of performance, muscle building, and weight loss goals. Do you supplement with BCAAs? What benefits have you noticed after using them? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Norton, Layne, Layman, Donald. Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise. J. Nutr. February 2006 vol. 136 no. 2 533S-537S.
2. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
3. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
4. Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
5. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
6. Doi M, Yamaoka I, Nakayama M, Mochizuki S, Sugahara K, Yoshizawa F. Isoleucine, a blood glucose-lowering amino acid, increases glucose uptake in rat skeletal muscle in the absence of increases in AMP-activated protein kinase activity. J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2103-8.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL SITE VISITORS are advised to consult a physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. NG NUTRA and the contributors do no accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content of this site.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
NG NUTRA’s and their Contract Manufacturer Organizations are third-party certified compliant with cGMPs (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) under 21 CFR part 111 regulated by the FDA.