There's a lot of talk in the fitness industry when it comes to branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs for short). Some people swear by their benefits while others argue that they're not necessary.
So, in this article we wish to shed some light on the above issue and try and help you make an informed decision on whether to add a BCAA supplement to your regimen or not. We have tried to detail out what branched chain amino acids are and what benefit they provide, plus who is most likely to get results from using them.
What Are Branched-Chain Amino Acids?
So, basics first, amino acids are building blocks of protein. Period. There are 20 amino acids that are combined to create thousands of different proteins that the body needs to function in the most optimal way. Of these 20 amino acids, nine are considered essential. So what does these essential amino acids mean- This means that the body cannot make them on its own and we need to get them from food or supplements.
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are three of the nine essential amino acids that are known as branched-chain amino acids. “Branch Chain” is a term that refers to the chemical structure and these amino acids have a chain which branches off to the sides and thereby makes them different from other amino acids.
These three amino acids are found in many protein-rich foods, especially animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy. You can also buy them in powder form like various products Musclemantra Arm3d, Scivation Xtend etc
Benefits of BCAAs
BCAA powders have been on the supplement market for a long time, and they offer a lot of potential benefits. The following are some of the key benefits to keep in mind if you are a little confused about adding BCAAs to your supplement stack:
Increased Muscle Growth
If increasing your muscle mass is a priority for you, you might want to consider supplementing with BCAAs. There is some research that suggests BCAA supplementation can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the process by which muscle is made.
Minimized Muscle Soreness
BCAAs can play a big role in speeding up recovery and minimizing muscle soreness for athletes and gym-goers, too.
When you feel sore after a tough workout, this feeling comes from the fact that your muscles have sustained a series of tiny tears. BCAAs help to minimize this damage, which helps to reduce the amount of soreness you may feel after exercising.
Supplementing with BCAAs can help you to last longer and become less fatigued during your workout. This is especially advantageous to endurance athletes, as well as those who exercise for long periods of time or who perform multiple workouts in one day.
When you exercise, your muscles use BCAAs for energy. As your levels of BCAAs decline, your levels of another amino acid, tryptophan, starts to increase. This contributes to an increase in serotonin production, which can cause you to feel more fatigued. Adding in BCAAs can help to combat this effect, improve your endurance, and minimize feelings of tiredness during and after your workout.
Minimized Muscle Wasting
In addition to minimizing muscle breakdown during your workouts, BCAAs can also play an important role in preventing muscle wasting during periods when you're unable to exercise. It is a great practice to keep taking a BCAA supplement even when you are not working out.
Maintain Blood Sugar Balance
If you have concerns about blood sugar balance, you might benefit from BCAA supplementation. A few studies suggest that BCAAs (leucine and isoleucine, specifically) can stimulate insulin secretion and help your muscles to take in more sugar from your blood. This, in turn, helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Strengthened Immune System
BCAAs may strengthen your immune system as well. If you feel as though you're always getting sick, or if you just want to protect yourself from all the germs circulating in gyms, consider adding some BCAAs to your pre, intra, or post-workout drink.
Who Should Use BCAAs?
There are advantages that come with BCAA supplementation. It's important to note, though, that some people are more likely to benefit from BCAAs than others, including those who belong to these groups:
High Intensity Training Athletes
Whether you're doing intense weightlifting or plyometric workouts, you're likely experiencing a lot of muscle damage during your training sessions, and BCAAs can help you to combat this.
A common criticism against BCAA supplementation is that you can get all the BCAAs your body needs from protein-rich foods. Remember, though, that most foods that contain BCAAs are animal-based and, therefore, not suitable to those who eat a vegan diet. BCAA supplementation allows vegans to continue sticking to their preferred diet without sacrificing essential amino acids.
Owing to the fatigue-fighting benefits of BCAAs, they can be a great choice as a supplement for endurance athletes. Endurance athletes usually run for long distances, are likely see some improvements in their performance and ability to fight off tiredness when they sip on BCAAs during their training sessions.
Those Who Don't Drink Enough Water
A lot of people find that they don't drink a lot of water throughout the day because they forget or are too busy or they just don’t bother. Adding BCAAs to your water can makes it tastier and help you ensure you're staying hydrated. This is especially true if you choose a BCAA drink mix like Musclemantra BCAA which contains electrolytes in addition to essential amino acids.
People Who Train Fasted
If you work out on an empty stomach, you might be more prone to excessive muscle damage. Sipping on BCAAs before and during your workout can help you to combat this effect and ensure you're recovering quickly from your workouts.
People Who Are Dieting
A lot of people diet for varied reasons- trying to get fitter, leaner or trying to get in shape for a wedding/ event etc. These people benefit from BCAAs, too. BCAA supplementation can reduce potential muscle loss. It may also help with low energy levels, especially if you're reducing carbs and calories leading up to a big event and find that you're struggling with your endurance.
Tips for Taking BCAAs
If you can relate to any of the above-mentioned groups of people, be sure to pick up a pack of BCAA. When supplementing with BCAA supplements please look at the following tips:
- Start with a conservative dose (one scoop of BCAA powder is a good starting point, although you may choose to incorporate more later)
- Be consistent (you'll see better results if you make BCAAs a consistent part of your routine, rather than supplementing with them sporadically)
- Use them before, during, or after workouts (pick a time that works for your schedule and is easy for you to remember)
- Look for a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine (this has been shown to yield the best results)
Buy the Best BCAAs Today
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you ought to add branched-chain amino acids to your supplement regimen. This is especially true if you need help recovering from your workouts or have a hard time meeting your daily protein and amino acid needs.
There are tons of different BCAA products on the market these days, but Muscle Mantra Arm3d, BCAA and Glutamine support stands out from the rest. Not only does it feature an ideal 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, but it also gives you a full dose of L Glutamine (5g) to keep you hydrated and helping your body recover faster during even the toughest of workouts.
Order Muscle Mantra Arm3d (available in four different and delicious flavors) today.