BCAAs is an acronym for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. The proteins in your body are made up of a combination of 20 amino acids, and out of these, three are branched-chain and readily found in protein-rich food. These include Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. This article helps explain why BCAAs are important to us.
1. Keep Your Energy Levels High During Endurance Exercises
It’s normal to feel tired when exercising, but what if you could delay this fatigue until the end of your exercise? Your body uses its glycogen stores as an energy source as you perform extraneous work. When these provisions are depleted, your body will feel exhausted. When you take BCAAs, your body pulls them from your muscles to supplement your energy levels. These drinks also help suppress the production of lactic acid, which is the leading cause of fatigue during exercise.
2. Increases Muscle Growth
According to the latest research, leucine doesn't usually work alone. The amino acid works together with others to become successful, which is why it's provided as a part of a meal. Drinking BCAAs has been seen as effective in muscle protein synthesis and slowing down protein degradation. This is especially suitable for people that are looking to boost and maintain muscular growth.
3. Protection against Muscle Wasting
Protein synthesis and degradation are normal processes in a human being's body. There has to be a balance between the number of muscle proteins being degraded and those being synthesized, or else muscle wasting occurs. Muscle wasting occurs when there’s more muscle protein degradation compared to what is being made. Exercise routines are a sure-fire way of muscle protein degradation; prolonged disease and malnutrition are other causes. It’s crucial to replace the essential amino acids that occur during muscle wasting. BCAAs usually make up around 40% of the amino acids a human body requires, and BCAA drinks are a great way of replenishing the levels.
4. Decreases Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Studies have shown that the soreness experienced after exercising results from small muscle tears. This is also known as exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). Introducing Branched-Chain Amino Acids into your exercise routine reduces muscle protein breakdown. It allows the body to synthesize more protein, which then reduces the adverse effects of the muscle tears. A study from 2012 supports this claim, with evidence from test subjects who used BCAAs while performing strenuous exercises.
5. Burn More Fat with BCAAs
Studies have shown that supplementing your diet with BCAAs can help you lose weight. There isn’t much information on these studies, but they seem to use the wrestlers’ protein-rich diet to support their claims. You can also use these drinks during fasted exercises. Fasted exercises are an excellent way of losing fat fast by lessening food intake throughout the day. Because BCAAs are essentially calorie-free, they can help you feel full, boost your energy levels when exercising. They are also known to increase a body’s metabolism while using minimal calories.