The 6 Benefits Of BCAAs – Why Should You Use Them?

Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat or just get in shape BCAAs will help you reach your goal and make your journey 10 times easier. If you’ve been working out and haven’t been supplementing with BCAAs then you’ve been missing out. In this article I’m going to reveal the 6 reasons you may want to start supplementing with these helpful amino acids. Short for branched-chain amino acids, BCAAs are made up of;
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • and Valine.
While there are 20 amino acids in total, these three BCAAs are considered the most important for muscle building, fat burning, and sports recovery. Let’s review the top six benefits of BCAA supplements, the scientifically-proven dosage, and how you can incorporate BCAAs into your fitness routine.

The 6 BCAA Benefits You Need To Know About

Whether you’re new to the gym or a seasoned athlete, BCAA supplements might be able to help you achieve your fitness goals.
  1. Increased Protein Synthesis
  2. Build Muscle
  3. Weight Loss & Weight Management
  4. Intra Workout Energy
  5. Post Workout Recovery
  6. Preserve Muscle

#1 Protein Synthesis

If you want to build muscle, burn more fat, and support recovery, muscle protein synthesis is key. Protein synthesis is the repair of microtears that happen when you work out. Don’t worry, these are good tears. Muscle protein synthesis is naturally elevated through workouts and proper diet, but BCAA supplementation has also been shown to increase protein synthesis (1). This is the foundation that supports all of the other benefits on this list are based on.

#2 Build Muscle

When you want to get big and build more muscle, there are two key steps: First, you have to apply the proper amount of stress to the muscle tissue in the form of a tough workout. You can generally achieve this by using 65% to 75% of the maximum amount you can lift one time. You’ll also want to base your exercises in the 8 to 12 repetition range. Once the workout is over, this is the most important part: You need to consume the right muscle-building nutrients. BCAAs are the very building blocks of muscle tissue, making them one of the best supplements to take post-workout. BCAAs have been shown to promote positive nitrogen levels, support an anabolic (growth-focused) environment, and increase muscle growth (2).

#3 Weight Loss And Management

BCAAs aren’t just great for muscle building, they can also help with your weight management goals. BCAAs support weight loss in a few ways: Leucine has been shown to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. Other studies have shown that diets that are contain a focus on amino acids produce more fat loss (3) and a lower chance for obesity. Best of all, BCAAs can help you burn fat and lose weight (4) while maintaining lean muscle mass.

#4 Intra-Workout Energy

When you take a pre- or intra-workout supplement, there’s a great chance that you’ll see BCAAs listed. Why? Studies suggest that BCAAs support your workout performance by delaying muscle fatigue (5). Paired with stimulants such as caffeine, BCAAs are a terrific supplement to power your workouts.

#5 Post-Workout Recovery

Recovery can be broken down into two categories: How you feel or the amount of soreness you have, and how quickly you heal. BCAAs have been suggested to alleviate muscle soreness post-workout (6) while speeding up the recovery time of your muscles. What’s more, in the same study from above, researchers found that the strength levels of subjects recovered faster when supplementing with BCAAs. In other words, subjects were able to lift as much or more a day or two after an intense session.

#6 Anti-Catabolic (Muscle Sparing)

Have you reached your goal of muscle size and now you want to get defined? Or maybe you want to burn fat or get in shape without losing your gains. BCAAs are famous for being anti-catabolic or muscle protecting. When you put yourself on a low-calorie diet and intense physical fitness program in order to achieve fat loss, you risk burning through muscle protein. BCAA supplements have been shown to protect against muscle catabolism (7) (breakdown), and actually support further muscle growth.

Ideal Dosage of BCAAs

Above we talked about the 6 BCAA benefits and why you should use them. So maybe you’re ready to start using them? One thing to keep in mind is the proper dosage level. If you use an under-dosed BCAA supplement, you won’t see results. If you use an over-dosed BCAA supplement, you’ll be wasting money. The dosage that has been used in the most studies and proven to be highly effective is a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, respectively. Here’s the breakdown to look for on the back of the nutrition label:
  • Leucine: 2 grams
  • Iso-leucine: 1 gram
  • Valine: 1 gram

How to Take BCAAs

There are four key times to use BCAAs during the day to support your health and fitness goals:
  • Before Workout: Taking BCAAs before a workout can support your energy levels and protect from muscle breakdown, especially if you train in a fasted state.
  • During Workout: BCAAs during a workout are an excellent idea as this can help with your energy, strength, and power output.
  • Post-Workout: BCAAs are the very building blocks of muscle tissue so taking them after a workout can kickstart the recovery process and support growth.
  • Before Bed: If you are trying to lose weight, BCAAs before bed are a low-calorie option that support fat burning, recovery, and muscle building.
Have you used BCAAs? Let us know about the benefits your noticed by leaving a comment below!
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