BCAA is an abbreviation for branched-chain amino acids that have been found to be essential to muscle growth – leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
These amino acids earned the nomenclature “branched” due to their molecular structure, and are referred to as “essential” because they cannot be produced by the human body and must come from outside sources.
If you are in the fitness game, you’ve probably heard about BCAA before, along with a bewildering array of other supplements that claim to help enhance your performance, increase gains, improve your strength, and attain your dream body.
Here is a closer look at BCAA and discover how it may help improve your fitness routine.
BCAA in Numbers
Of the twenty amino acids making up the thousands of protein varieties in your body, only eleven can be produced by themselves. The nine others can only be obtained by consuming them as a part of your diet, thus making them essential.
Three of these nine have forked or branched molecular structures which give them their name – branched-chain amino acids, or BCAA.
Essential amino acids can be found in protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. However, eating large amounts of these foods may be impractical or unattainable for the average fitness enthusiast – and this is where powder-form supplements come in handy.
These supplements simplify intake by concentrating your required dose of BCAA into a few scoops of powder that make great-tasting pre-, mid-, and post-workout drinks.
What BCAA Does
In order to maximize the hard work you put into your workouts, it is essential to supplement correctly.
You can optimize and maximize muscle growth, fat loss, help in recovery and improve performance if you supplement with the correct quantities of high-quality BCAA.
This assertion is backed by decades of scientific research showing evidence pointing to a significantly increased rate of skeletal muscle synthesis when specific amino acids like BCAA are taken alongside resistance exercise routines.
BCAA and Muscle Growth
Among the most popular uses and benefits of BCAA is muscle growth. The essential amino acid leucine activates the key pathway called mTOR. This activation gets muscle protein synthesis – the process of forming new muscle cells – going.
Best results are achieved when BCAA is ingested along with the other essential amino acids, which may increase gains up to 22%.
BCAA Effects on Muscle Recovery and Performance
BCAA helps in recovery from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) – the pain felt a day or two after working out due to muscle hypertrophy.
Muscle hypertrophy is the process of building muscle through the tiny tears in the muscle fiber sustained through exercise, which ishttps://garagegymplanner.com/ultimate-guide-to-the-dumbbell-shoulder-press/ then fused by the body during its recovery period, resulting in an increase in mass.
BCAA helps decrease protein damage and helps suppress the levels of creatine kinase, ammonia, and lactate levels – indicators of muscle breakdown which manifest in fatigue and soreness.
This helps shorten the duration of DOMS and decrease its severity, leading to optimized performance.
BCAA and Fat Loss
Another popular use of BCAA is promoting fat loss through an increase in metabolic rate and resting energy expenditure.
Through an optimized combination of nutrition, training, and supplementation, BCAA promotes muscle growth and fat loss by assisting in bringing about a fat-burning or lipolytic hormonal pattern which makes the body use stored fat, instead of blood sugar, as a source of energy.
The Bottom Line
BCAA plays a significant role in increasing muscle growth, promoting fat loss, helping in recovery, and optimizing performance. With all these benefits in mind, athletes should consider BCAA as an important part of their fitness arsenal.