WHY ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT BCAA's AND WHY DO WE NEED THEM?
You may have heard a thing or two about BCAAs from your supplement-savvy training partner, but unless you have a background in biochemistry, you might not know why they matter or how to incorporate them into your training and nutrition regimen.
WHAT ARE BCAAs?
There are only three BCAAs among the proteinogenic amino acids. These are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), so named because of their “branched” carbon atom configuration. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins, as you probably know, make up the structure of the body. Amino acids are either produced in the body and termed “nonessential”, or they must be supplied from the diet and termed, “essential”.
WHAT MAKES BCAAs "ESSENTIAL" AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
Essential amino acids are essential because the body cannot synthesize them on its own. They must be obtained from food or supplements.
BCAAs are important for muscle protein synthesis and the building and repair of muscle tissue. They are also important for regulating blood sugar levels and energy metabolism. When the body is under stress, such as during exercise, it relies on BCAAs for energy and muscle recovery.
It is very important to ensure that you are getting enough BCAAs in your diet or through supplementation to support your overall health and well-being.
Overall, BCAAs are important for muscle growth and recovery, reducing muscle soreness and fatigue, improving endurance and mental focus, and preventing muscle loss during weight loss. They are particularly beneficial for athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone who wants to improve their overall physical performance.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BCAAs?
As we mentioned above, BCAAs are particularly important for muscle building and recovery.
Below are some of the key benefits of BCAAs:
Muscle growth and repair - BCAAs, especially leucine, are essential for muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building new muscle tissue. This makes them particularly beneficial for athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone who wants to build and maintain muscle mass.
Reduced muscle soreness - BCAAs can help to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue after exercise, which can help to improve recovery time and overall performance.
Increased endurance- BCAAs can help to delay fatigue during exercise, allowing athletes and active individuals to work out for longer periods of time.
Improved mental focus - BCAAs can help to improve mental focus and reduce fatigue during exercise, which can improve overall performance.
Reduced muscle loss during weight loss - BCAAs can help to prevent muscle loss during periods of calorie restriction or weight loss, which is important for maintaining muscle mass and preventing a decrease in metabolism.
Improved insulin sensitivity - BCAAs can improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for regulating blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes.
Improved immune system - Intense, high volume training repeated over days and weeks can lead to immune suppression, and overtraining if an athlete does not recover adequately between training bouts. BCAAs supplementation has been shown to improve the immune response. BCAAs can also be used by immune cells as a fuel source, which allows the immune system to regenerate itself more efficiently and protect against harmful pathogens.
Improved athletic performance - Serotonin levels in the brain rise during exercise which can cause an increased sensation of fatigue. BCAA supplementation can improve athletic performance by reducing the amount of tryptophan in the brain, which, in turn, reduces the amount of serotonin produced, resulting in less fatigue during workouts. Due to the fact that BCAAs go directly into your bloodstream, they can immediately be used as an energy source during your workouts. Valine and isoleucine are considered glycogenic amino acids, which means they can be converted to glucose to provide energy during exercise, and fight off fatigue.
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