BCAA Uses – (4 Reasons) Why You Should Take BCAAs

Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat, improve at sport or just look a little better if you train regularly a BCAA supplement will help you get there faster. BCAA supplements contain the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. All three of these aminos have been shown to be helpful for achieving fitness success. Let’s take a look at the four reasons you should take a BCAA supplement:

1: BCAAs Help You Recover

Branched-chain amino acid supplements have been shown to be great for recovery. How BCAAs support recovery after a workout is based its ability to boost muscle protein production, better known as protein synthesis. Post-workout, your body will naturally see an increase in protein synthesis which is a key process in the formation of building lean muscle tissue. BCAAs have also been shown to elevate muscle protein synthesis [1] and this will play a part in all realms of fitness. For now, let’s focus on recovery: If you’ve ever completed a resistance workout you know all too well about muscle soreness. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours after your workout your inflamed muscle tissue will experience delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). BCAAs have been shown to reduce muscle soreness post-workout [2] allowing you to get back into the gym faster with less or no soreness.

2: BCAAs Build Muscle

As mentioned above, muscle protein synthesis is essential for when you want to increase muscle mass and BCAAs speed up this process big time. When you perform a resistance workout  (using bodyweight or external weights) you cause microtears in the tissue. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about. It’s also the cause of the soreness you feel post-workout. In order for the tissue to heal, grow and get stronger you need to be eating and supplementing with nutrients that have been shown to support healing and growth. Branched-chain amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue and taking them as a part of a consistent workout routine has been shown to support anabolism and muscle growth [3]. Supplementing with BCAAs can prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue also known as muscle catabolism. When you put your body through intense training and don’t follow up with proper sleep and nutrition you risk over-training. As a result, your body will begin to breakdown its own muscle protein for fuel. In other words, you’ll lose your hard-earned muscle mass. BCAAs have been shown to prevent muscle catabolism [4] making it ideal for intense training sessions or working out in a fasted state.

3: BCAAs Support Fat Loss

If BCAAs are the building blocks of muscle can it do anything for fat loss? Absolutely. The branched-chain amino acid leucine is effective for elevating your natural metabolic rate [5] and suppressing appetite. A derivative of leucine called HMB is also found in many weight loss products for these benefits. Taking a BCAA supplement (not just leucine) will also help to support your weight loss goals. Diets that are high in amino acids correlate with the lowest rates of obesity [6] and subjects have been found to burn more fat when the consumption of BCAAs is high. Continuing with the point above BCAAs can prevent muscle wasting due to the drop in caloric intake. Burning more calories than you consume every day is the foundation for weight loss however a sudden dramatic drop in calories may push the body to consider muscle protein as a fuel source. BCAAs put a stop to this ensuring your body loses fat while preserving muscle.

4: BCAAs Increase Endurance and Improve Workouts

What good is a workout if you’re not able to finish it? While most people turn towards caffeine as a way to get through their workouts BCAAs might be a better option. Branched-chain amino acid supplements have been shown to delay muscle fatigue [7] thereby improving your intra-workout performance. When given to marathon runners BCAAs were found to improve the physical performance [8] as well as the mental energy of the athletes. In another study subjects supplementing with BCAAs were found to have greater peak anerobic power [9] when compared to their placebo-taking counterparts. To come full circle, researchers concluded that BCAA supplementation was an effective way to avoid muscle damage associated with heavy workouts.

BCAAs Are Important for Fitness Success

Whether you want to improve at a sport, get rid of muscle soreness, build muscle or lose weight BCAAs can help. When taken as a part of a well-balanced workout and diet plan branched-chain amino acid supplements have been shown to support muscle building, fat loss, recovery, and performance.
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