What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids?

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in Muscle Nutrition

What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) And Why Do You Need Them?..

Seasoned bodybuilders did not achieve their freakish mass by simply spending hours and hours at the weight pit. In order to achieve your body’s full potential, in order to unleash the proverbial beast, you must also pay attention to nutrition, and that includes supplementation.

However, if you are new to bodybuilding, it can be quite confusing to select which supplements to take.

Make a quick trip to the store and you’ll find aisle after aisle of supplements promising a diverse number of benefits. Some that you may readily encounter are supplements with branched chain amino acids.

But what are branched chain amino acids?

Valine, leucine and isoleucine are collectively known as branched chain amino acids or BCAAs.

They are also called essential amino acids because the human body cannot produce these by itself. Instead, these amino acids can only be obtained through the consumption of food like meat, legumes and dairy products.

These amino acids have long been used by medical professionals for the treatment of a variety of diseases including Lou Gehrig’s disease, kidney failure, cancer and liver disease. They can also help prevent fatigue and increase concentration.

But if you are an aspiring bodybuilder, you may be wondering how these amino acids can help put on quality muscle mass.

Here are some branched chain amino acids benefits to look into.

BCAAs Reduce Serotonin Levels

One of the immediate effects of exercising is a spike in a person’s serotonin level. An increase in the serotonin level translates to fatigue.

Many studies report that the intake of BCAAs can significantly reduce the serotonin levels in a person, thus allowing him to combat fatigue and perform better in the gym.

Additionally, some studies suggest that taking BCAAs can help improve the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen.

BCAAs Reduce the Impact of Catabolism

Consumed as pre- and post-workout supplements, these amino acids can aid in the repair of muscle tissues broken down during exercise while minimizing muscle soreness.

BCAAs Can Help Combat Fat (weight loss) and Build Muscle

Leucine allows a person to use more energy and burn fat while isoleucine is beneficial for improving glucose tolerance. Leucine also significantly increases protein synthesis when consumed after working out.

BCAAs Can Help Improve Strength and Endurance

If you have been labelled as a hard gainer, the primary reason for that may be your low level of testosterone.

In previous studies conducted, people who consumed BCAAs had high levels of testosterone and a minimal amount of the stress hormone cortisol.

For bodybuilders, this can translate to improved adaptation to the stress of strength training.

Ideally, BCAAs should be consumed for up to six months. Additionally, when you are taking supplements with these essential amino acids, you need to be mindful of your water intake to prevent nitrogen excretion.

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