In their quest to put on muscle, many people frequently struggle to consume enough protein. We eat a lot of fish, chicken, eggs, and beef to get it. We extract different protein types like whey and casein and powderize them so that we can take advantage of different rates of digestion. But we go further than that; we also separate the individual amino acids that make up protein and consume them separately.
Even the most devoted lifters find it difficult to understand why they should take additional amino acids when they are already consuming so much protein, which is rich in amino acids. In actuality, branched-chain amino acids have been discovered to have the greatest impact on the muscle growth of all the amino acids.
Branched-chain amino acid supplements (BCAAs) have been around longer than other supplements like creatine and beta-alanine, but few were aware of their full potential for enhancing muscle growth and performance. BCAA research has become more prominent in recent years, and the results are causing a stir in the bodybuilding community. We now know that BCAA has a variety of effects on muscle growth besides just acting as the building blocks for muscle tissue.
WHAT ARE BCAAs?
BCAA is the abbreviation for a branched-chain amino acid. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three amino acids that are essential for life and are found in the BCAAs. Given that these three are the only amino acids with a “branched-chain,” or a chain that branches to one side, in their chemical structure, their grouping together should not come as a surprise.
Each protein has a different arrangement of the 20 amino acids, which can be anywhere between a few dozen and thousands. Only nine of the 20 amino acids are thought to be essential, while the other eleven are not. Both produce proteins and provide energy, but while our systems are very good at producing the extras, we frequently lack the necessities. This is where food and nutritional supplements (like protein powder, salmon, chia seeds, almonds, and other sources of amino acids) come into play. Since our bodies cannot naturally produce the essential amino acids, we must get them from our diet or from supplements.
HOW DO BCAAS WORK?
BCAAs make up a large portion of the body’s essential amino acids, which account for about 35–40% of the total, and the amino acids found in muscles, which account for about 14–18% of the total.
BCAAs are crucial for the body’s capacity to produce energy during exercise because they are mostly metabolized in the muscles as opposed to the liver, where the majority of other amino acids are metabolized. Additionally, BCAAs play other significant roles in the body. The body uses the BCAAs as building blocks for both muscle and protein synthesis. Because they safeguard the liver’s and muscles’ sugar reserves and promote the use of blood sugar by cells, BCAAs may be crucial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Additionally, BCAAs assist in reducing the amount of serotonin released during exercise in the brain, which may lessen fatigue.
The three BCAA types are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine, one of the three, is thought to have the greatest impact on the body’s capacity to develop muscle, while isoleucine and valine are thought to help the body produce energy and regulate blood sugar.
Role Of Each BCAA:
Let’s examine the roles played by each of our three branched-chain amino acids in order to significantly enhance your overall growth and recovery. Each one has a particular function.
Leucine is the first essential amino acid needed to begin combining other amino acids to produce protein for muscles. This will facilitate protein synthesis, which promotes muscle growth. It further encourages protein synthesis by increasing levels of the anabolic hormone insulin. Additionally, because it lowers cortisol, which can lead to muscle breakdown, it increases growth hormone, which aids in muscle growth and is crucial for supporting healthy muscles.
Isoleucine addresses a few of the BCAAs’ fat-burning properties, completing the desired change in body composition. It causes PPAR receptors to become active, causing them to start moving stored fat and accelerating the rate at which fat is burned for energy. When this stored fat is used as fuel, the unwanted and resistant body fat will actually begin to disappear.
Valine competes with tryptophan, another essential amino acid that the brain uses to create serotonin. It delays tryptophan’s ability to act as the body’s means of alerting the brain that it is tired. As a result, you are able to keep pushing yourself mentally harder.
Benefits of BCAA
The advantages of BCAAs supplements are essential for your overall growth and performance and shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about these supplements.
- Muscle growth: In order to support protein synthesis and deliver the desired growth, the body’s pathways are activated.
- Reduce soreness: They shorten the duration of the ache itself by protecting muscles and preventing muscle breakdown.
- Reduce fatigue by preventing tryptophan from settling in your brain, where it could cause you to feel exhausted.
- Reduce muscle wasting by giving your muscles the missing amino acids they need to stay primed and prepared.
While the benefits are hotly debated, it’s important to remember that not every supplement is appropriate for everyone. While it should be noted that BCAAs are necessary for your development whether or not you take supplements, they can also support your growth and performance, which is exactly what you need to reach your bodybuilding goals.
The use of BCAA for performance, fat loss, and muscle growth is still the subject of a lot of fascinating new research. Few dietary supplements are available that have as many potential channels for influencing growth and performance as BCAAs. While the benefits of BCAA as a component of muscle tissue are well known, their benefits as signaling molecules are still being fully appreciated. The most effective dietary supplement we have may ultimately be BCAAs. You now know how to disprove the claim that all you talk about when it comes to protein is eating beef and chicken to someone who thinks you’re just another meathead!