Fitness enthusiasts who want to build muscle or get the most out of their workouts should learn about the importance of the “BCAA.” BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are a type of amino acid — the building blocks of protein. The term “branched-chain amino acids” refers to the chemical structure of BCAAs, and the term “essential amino acids” means that the body cannot produce enough of its own. BCAAs must be obtained through your diet, either through protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, and dairy products or through supplements, which are primarily sold in powder form.
What is BCAA?
Proteins are formed when amino acids combine to form amino acids, which aid in the growth and repair of the body. In the body, amino acids are classified into three types: essential, non-essential, and conditional. The body produces non-essential amino acids, whereas essential amino acids must be obtained from food. Conditional amino acids are those that are required only when a person’s body is unable to produce non-essential amino acids. BCAAs are composed of three essential amino acids:
Leucine, a branched-chain amino acid, has been shown to aid in bone, skin healing, muscle growth, increased levels of human growth hormones, and an increase in lean body mass. As a result, it has been shown to aid in the loss of weight. Another advantage is that leucine can help to lower and regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, it is an especially important essential amino acid for people who have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes.
Isoleucine, like leucine, helps to regulate blood sugar and speeds up the renewal of lean muscles and other bodily tissues.This makes it essential for people who are very active, such as weightlifters and bodybuilders. Isoleucine is also thought to aid in the production of haemoglobin, the pigment that transports oxygen in red blood cells. Isoleucine is said to be especially beneficial for people with low blood sugar or diabetes who need to maintain stable blood sugar (glucose) levels while taking medications. This is due to the fact that isoleucine can help increase glucose intake into skeletal muscle, which aids in blood sugar balance. Isoleucine performs this function better than leucine and valine.
Valine promotes the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain. Valine also aids in the prevention of muscle breakdown and the proper regulation of the nervous system. Another advantage of valine is that it suppresses appetite. This essential branched-chain amino acid has also been linked to improved metabolism and muscle recovery. Valine has been shown to improve tissue recovery and endurance in long-distance athletes.
Because they are the only three amino acids with a chain that branches out to one side, they are grouped together. Each of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine has its own set of qualities that help the body grow and function in distinct ways.
Best way to take BCAA
Add 1 scoop of BCAA powder in 8-16 ounces of iced cold water. The BCAA powder is the ideal intra-workout drink, with added electrolytes from Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. These natural electrolytes, which are high in trace minerals, aid in cell hydration.
Daily recommended dosage
While the commonly used dosage for leucine is approximately 3-3.5 gm. per kg body weight/day, the dosage for isoleucine and valine is 1-1.5 gm. per kg body weight/day, respectively. In total, 5.5-6 gm of BCAA would be the best amount to consume during or after exercise.
Best time to take BCAA
The supplement raises BCAA levels in your blood about 30 minutes after you take it, but research has yet to discover the ideal time to take it. Despite the long-held belief that you have 45–60 minutes after exercise to consume protein for maximum muscle building benefits, newer research suggests that this window of time may be as wide as 5 hours after exercise.
Furthermore, if you ate a meal or took a protein supplement 1–2 hours before exercising, the timing of post-exercise BCAAs or other protein supplements may be less important than if you exercised without eating recently, such as in the early morning.
In endurance sports like distance running and cycling, using BCAAs during training has garnered little attention.Furthermore, research in cyclists has failed to show that taking BCAAs during endurance exercise improves physical performance, despite the fact that the supplements may help reduce mental fatigue.
After a workout
If you have DOMS and want to improve your recovery (while building muscle), taking them after your workout will be most beneficial. Simply mix with water and enjoy as a refreshing post-workout drink, or incorporate them into your next meal from various protein sources. BCAAs can be found in both animal and plant protein sources, but if you feel your meal is lacking in them, supplementing with BCAAs can be a convenient alternative.
BCAA, as a small protein building block, is quickly absorbed and used by the body. The higher your training level and the more defined your existing muscles, the more protein and BCAA your body consumes for maintenance and regeneration. BCAA supplements provide muscle-supporting nutrients in an easy-to-absorb form. Taking BCAAs before or after exercise may provide equal muscle protection. Additionally, you may not need to precisely time them to support muscle building. It is critical to get an adequate dose based on your body weight and to continue taking them over time, including on non-exercise days.