BCAA’s why take them?
BCAA’s are Branch Chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). These are 3 of the 9 essential amino acids meaning our body doesn’t produce them naturally and needs them from another source. These BCAA’s are the main muscle building amino acids so are mainly involved in the growth and repair of muscle cells. So the higher amount of amino acids in our body means that there will be a higher rate of protein synthesis and energy. This means that muscles will grow at a faster rate and therefore will increase in size and also repair at a faster rate. When trying to build muscle mass we need to produce more protein than we breakdown. BCAA’s are ‘branch chained’ making them easier for the body to convert them into energy by the body breaking down the bonds between them (releasing energy) and using the 3 individual amino acids for protein synthesis or breaking them down for more energy (depending on how your training). This is why BCAA’s are best taken before/ during your workout as they provide a quick source of energy throughout your workout.
Why we should take BCAA’s
When we are trying to cut fat or lose weight our bodies go into a catabolic state instead of anabolic, which means instead of building tissue, your body is breaking down tissue (fat and some protein). So when your body breaks down protein, muscle loss will occur. We don’t want this to happen too much as this will lose our muscle mass over all, as our bodies will also use the Amino acids as mainly an energy source instead of using them for protein synthesis to build muscle. So the more BCAA’s that we intake the less muscle fibres that will break down as we will have more of them for using as an energy source and also some for repairing and building the muscle fibres.
Benefits of BCAA’s
Repair and growth of muscles at a faster rate: due to the increased amount of muscle building essential amino acids, this means that the muscles are repaired and synthesised at a faster rate allowing your recovery period to be shorter, therefore train more often and with better results.
Reduce tiredness: Amino acids do this by reducing the release of serotonin in the brain which causes the perception of fatigue. So this in turn provides you with more energy and allows you to workout harder for longer.
BCAA’s, should be taken the way it is recommended by the product manufacturer so that you use it correctly and get the most benefits from it. If you have any health issues such as kidney/ liver or heart problems contact your GP before consuming them.
By Jack Ringland.