Why Are BCAAs So Highly Regarded?

Branched-chain amino acids, commonly known as BCAAs are regarded as the building blocks of protein. Nine of the BCAAs are considered as essential and when a substance is said to be necessary for the body, it implies that without it you will not live. It is impossible to survive without essential amino acids. Similarly, we need essential acids in order to thrive.

BCAAs are so highly regarded and are very popular among athletes nowadays who are looking for ways they can enhance lean mass and performance.  One popular idea is that the branched chain amino acids namely valine, leucine and iso-leucine can travel through the blood to the brain and lower the production of serotonin inside the brain.  This will then reduce mental fatigue by cutting the amount of serotonin which can create a feeling of exhaustion. This hypothesis is supported by a fair amount of scientific studies.

Presently, there are different types of nutritional supplements. However, basic supplements such as protein, creatine, and a multi-vitamin are not only very important but highly regarded as well.  When it comes to amino acids particularly BCAAs, it is no different.

Taking a Whey Protein With a BCAA Content

Muscles can’t grow without protein. When a person is training to develop a strong and powerful body, the muscles need to be stimulated at the cellular level.  Roughly 33 percent of muscle protein is made up of BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine and valine. During exercise, they lessen muscle fatigue, accelerate recovery and reduce the loss of other amino acids from muscle. Besides, they help the body in absorbing protein. There will be muscle loss if there is a deficiency in any one of these amino acids. BCAAs differ from other amino acids in that instead of them being metabolized in the liver, they are metabolized in the muscle.

BCAAs are equally aggressive in their absorptive qualities. This means that they should be available simultaneously so as to ensure optimal absorption into the muscle system. When exercising, BCAAs are quickly depleted from the muscle. Performance will be enhanced and fatigue delayed when BCAAs are taken before and/or during training. When BCAAs are taken immediately after or with a post-work meal, it tends to lower cortisol levels (destroys muscle) and substitute BCAA levels in the muscles more rapidly.

The Roles of BCAAs

BCAAs function as nitrogen transporters which help the muscles in synthesizing other amino acids required for anabolic muscle action. In other words, it is a merging of simpler amino acids to create a complex, complete muscle tissue. The production of insulin is stimulated by BCAAs and its main role is to allow muscle cells to take up circulating blood sugar and use it as a source of energy.  This production of sugar boosts amino acid uptake by the muscle. Being anabolic as well as anti-catabolic due to their ability to considerably increase protein synthesis BCAAs assist in the release of hormones like IGF-1, the growth hormone (GH), and insulin, and aid in maintaining a testosterone to cortisol ratio.

BCAAs can be helpful in the prevention of protein breakdown and muscle loss as they are great anti-catabolic as well. This is a factor that is very important to people on pre-contest diets. The use of BCAAs is highly recommended during these periods of low caloric intake as there is an increased risk of muscle loss owing to a reduction in the rate of protein synthesis and an upsurge of proteolysis.

Leave a Reply