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Everything to know about BCAAs

3D image of fictional, non-existing BCAA Amino Acids supplement package. Copy Space

Your body utilises amino acids to make proteins. After all, they are the building blocks of the body. Fifty per cent of the amino acid in muscle protein is branched-chain amino acids. Your body might not be able to produce these amino acids. Hence, it is crucial to gain them from your diet or supplementation. Well, nowadays, many athletes and gym enthusiasts are achieving their fitness or weight loss goals with the help of the bcaa powder. They are becoming extremely popular and help in building muscle. There are many advantages of this supplement. So, you can read further and learn about them. Additionally, get to know how to use them.


What are BCAAs?

Nine essential amino acids out of the twenty cannot make protein by themselves. Three of these like leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are grouped together. As per the Precision Nutrition-certified nutrition counsellor and the NSCA-certified personal trainer, John Fawkes, the branched-chain amino acids are present in different foods, including cottage cheese, chicken, eggs, turkey, and fish such as salmon and tuna. You can find them in pills and powder and purchase them from a variety of online retailers.


What are the advantages of BCAAs?

The branched-chain amino acids are well-known supplements that can decrease muscle soreness, reduce fatigue, and so on. You can keep reading to know more about their advantages.

  1. It reduces fatigue: The branched-chain amino acids can help you fight and reduce fatigue. For instance, they can reduce the rate of tryptophan. If you don’t know what tryptophan is, it is an amino acid that can reduce fatigue during exercises. It can also lower the serotonin level, which is a neurotransmitter and has been linked to fatigue. According to a 2013 study, participants who took the branched-chain amino acids before an exercise had low levels of serotonin after the exercise than those who took the placebo.
  2. It can decrease muscle soreness: As per experts, the recovery rate accelerated by the amino acids can decrease muscle breakdown and improve muscle repair. In addition to this, experts have stated that it can reduce muscle soreness. In a small 2012 study, supplementing with the branched-chain amino acids can decrease muscle soreness after an intense workout than a placebo. Another study of 2013 states that women who were given this supplement had 33 per cent lower muscle soreness.
  3. It can promote weight loss: Achieving your weight loss and fitness goals are easy with the branched-chain amino acids. As per John Fawkes, BCAAs can increase muscle mass and burn more calories because of the increased muscle metabolic rate. A small 2009 study states that strength-trained men who consumed 14 grams of branched-chain amino acids each day gained 4.4 pounds of muscle and lost 1 per cent body fat. Another small study of 2013 states that men who supplemented with bcaa after the workout did not experience loss of fat when compared to those who took the placebo.
  4. It can support muscle growth: Due to the amino acid called leucine, BCAAs can support the growth of the muscles. A 2014 study states that this supplement can improve the composition of the body and increase muscle mass due to the high proportion of leucine. According to Andreas Ayesta, a certified strength coach and Founder of Planos Nutrition, leucine can result in muscle tissue repair and growth since it produces more proteins. So, you can purchase the BCAA powder from online retailers to support your muscle growth.


How to use BCAAs?

Whether you are following a plant-based diet or a well-rounded diet, you can consume this supplement. You can ask your healthcare provider or dietician about the dosage or check the instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Well, some prefer consuming them pre-workout to fuel their performance, whereas others consume them post-workout to support muscle recovery. In a small study of 2018, men who supplemented with the branched-chain amino acids before the workout experienced less muscle damage and muscle soreness.