6 Benefits Of Taking BCAAs

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6 Benefits of Taking BCAAs

There is a multitude of BCAA benefits. Six of the better- known ones help with physical ailments that affect people of all ages. Branch Chain Amino Acids, made up of valine, leucine, and isoleucine, are three of the eight essential amino acids gathered through the diet from foods containing protein. Their similar branched shape differentiates them from other amino acids. They produce proteins in the body, in addition to supporting muscle and brain health. BCAAs increase their effectiveness by using the body’s natural energy stores. They are taken before and after workouts to prevent inflammation, fatigue, and injury. The nutrients enhance a person’s mood while providing fuel to muscles.


1. BCAAs may prevent muscle breakdown

The physical changes that accompany a disease lead to muscle breakdown. Studies of the way a dietary supplement of BCAAs help the young and old avoid muscle loss during sickness or injury have shown inconsistent results about how it works. The dietary supplement is credited with reducing the negative nitrogen balance that often leads to the breakdown of muscles in the body. More is known today about BCAA benefits, especially in the role they play in fitness and bodybuilding. There’s a strong sign it helps individuals gain skeletal muscle and retain muscle mass. Bodybuilders striving for an extremely lean look benefit from the ability of Branch Chain Amino Acids to maintain mass despite their calorie deficit diet.


2. Branched Chain Amino Acids may help improve cognitive functions


The enhancing effect BCAAs have on glutamate synthesis, and neurotransmitters appear to improve cognitive brain function, such as perception and reasoning. The way brain function is influenced by BCAA is through the modification of the large, neutral amino acid, known as LNAA, transport at the blood-brain barrier. A number of LNAAs share this transport, including BCAAs. When the level of BCAA concentration in the plasma increases, the brain is affected functionally and biochemically. So far, there are no studies being done to determine the optimal dosage or how much BCAA intake might produce negative effects on brain function.

There have been studies on the effects of BCAA supplementation in people with genetic metabolic and neurological disorders, such as phenylketonuria (PKU). In PKU, a person lacks the ability to convert the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase into an amino acid called tyrosine. The result is unconverted phenylalanine hydroxylase crossing the blood-brain barrier, resulting in decreased cognitive function, mental disorders, problems with behavior and possibly seizures.


3. BCAAs may improve exercise performance


BCAAs competes with another amino acid, tryptophan, to get into the brain. Tryptophan converts into a neurotransmitter called serotonin. When a person exercises, this neurotransmitter increases, resulting in feeling more fatigued and less able to continue pushing hard. Supplementation of branched-chain amino acids can cause a reduction in the amount of the tryptophan that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, so less serotonin is produced. This means that a person can exercise longer, more intensely and get better results.


4. BCAA Supplements may prevent fatigue


Unlike the BCAAs in food, supplements of BCAA don’t need to be digested and enter the bloodstream much quicker, spiking the levels of amino acids rapidly. Because of this, BCAAs begin working in the body immediately. Branched-chain amino acids help to regulate glucose levels, and this is important, especially when exercising while fasting or on a very low-calorie diet. In healthy people, these amino acids improve insulin sensitivity and the uptake of glucose.

During a workout, a person experiences a decline of serum in the BCAAs obtained through the diet. When this happens, more tryptophan enters the brain, which then results in the production of serotonin, resulting in fatigue. Taking BCAA supplements help prevent this serum decline from happening, so the brain doesn’t get an influx of tryptophan that produces fatigue-inducing serotonin.


5. Branched-chain Amino Acids help with weight loss


Supplementing BCAAs can help a person lose weight because it increases stamina and reduces fatigue, enabling the person to workout longer with less slowing down because of fatigue. It also boosts the immune system, so illness is less likely to interrupt diet and exercise routines.

Research also shows that BCAAs help in weight loss by efficiently burning fat, which is something that other supplements are unable to do. BCAAs help the deeper layers of fat, particularly in the abdomen that are not responsive to exercise and diet be broken down.


6. Taking a BCAA Supplement Reduces Muscle Soreness


After a workout, a person may experience muscle soreness a day or two later because blood levels of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase rise. Supplementing with BCAA may help reduce this soreness by lowering the levels of these enzymes in the blood.


A number of studies have been conducted involving people who do strength training exercise. Some took BCAA supplements, and some took a placebo. Those who took the BCAA supplements reported having less soreness by as much as 33% after working out over those who took the placebo. Not only did they have less soreness, some also did as much as 20% better doing the same workout 24 to 48 hours later. There may be variances in the effects due to the overall protein in the diet as well as the person’s gender.


People who want to build more muscle or lose weight, taking BCAA supplements may be an excellent way to give a boost to the metabolism and make working out and burning fat more effective. Though many foods are rich in branched-chain amino acids, primarily meat and eggs, it takes longer to receive their benefits. Supplements provide a much quicker way to get results from BCAAs. Those who work out regularly find they get considerable benefit from taking BCAA supplements both before and after their workouts.

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