Branched-chain amino acids are necessary for anyone that takes personal health and fitness seriously.
If you have ever researched supplements to benefit your health, you have likely heard about branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). They have quickly become an essential part of many athletes’ supplement routine. BCAA advantages include increased power output, reduced fatigue, and improved fat loss.
Athletes are adding these supplements to their daily diets as a means to improve their athletic performance and overall health.
Physicians have used BCAAs for multiple health benefits as well. They raise metabolism and also improve glucose and insulin uptake. This is especially beneficial to someone with type 2 diabetes.
What are BCAAs?
BCAAs are made up of three essential amino acids called leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three are unique because our bodies aren’t able to produce them on their own. They need to be ingested through food, drinks, or supplements.
They are found in high protein foods such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs, and whey protein supplements.
Making up about 35 percent of all muscle tissue, BCAAs play a large role in providing energy, preventing the breakdown of muscle cells, and strengthening muscle performance.
Adding BCAAs to your diet can have great long and short-term effects on your overall health.
As with any supplement, it is important to educate yourself on its benefits and how to use it properly.
Here are 7 BCAA advantages you need to know.
1. Increase Fat Burning and Weight Loss
People with a higher intake of BCAAs in their diet have less body fat and better body composition. When teamed up with the other amino acids, leucine is the key to leanness in your physique. It increases the body’s natural fat burning capabilities.
If it is coupled with exercise, BCAA advantages to weight loss become even greater. Weightlifting, running, and other forms of cardio will activate the amino acids further to boost weight loss efforts.
2. Improve Endurance and Decrease Fatigue
Improved endurance is arguably the most impressive BCAA advantage on this list.
Ingesting these supplements limits the ability of a chemical called tryptophan to enter the brain. Tryptophan produces serotonin, which increases tiredness and fatigue. When amino acids in your body are increased, they compete with this chemical to give your body more energy.
BCAAs also help your body burn fuel more efficiently. By burning fat, they increase the accessible energy pool. This makes it easier for your body to push through more intense workouts.
3. Decrease Muscle Soreness and Boost Muscle Building
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can reduce your exercise performance for days after a workout. Anyone who has ever done an intense workout knows that they’ll be feeling it two or three days later.
BCAA supplements have been proven to decrease DOMS by up to 80% in some cases. This greatly reduces the needed rest time after intense activity.
The leucine portion of BCAAs also gives a strong boost to strength and muscle development. When you utilize a protein supplement with leucine, you will see greater improvements in your strength training.
4. Lower the Risk of Heart Failure
When used toward the goal of weight loss, another BCAA advantage includes reducing the risk of heart failure. It can assist with decreasing heart rate and increasing overall heart function.
When BCAAs in your body breakdown they have been known to increase heart disease. They are a prime piece of a heart-healthy diet.
5. Improve Sleep
People are always looking for ways to stay awake and feel energized. Drinks like soda, coffee, and tea are loaded with caffeine for a temporary boost, but can make it difficult for some to sleep at night. BCAAs can enhance energy levels while also improving sleep quality.
Many people benefit from taking BCAAs when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. Along with promoting muscle recovery and strength benefits, it helps the user to rest and improves respiratory function during sleep.
6. Support Hormone Balance
Especially for those who compete in athletics or take part in extreme training, BCAAs can support hormone balance. Taking BCAAs prior to high-intensity training raises testosterone levels while lowering cortisol. It can also reduce the amount of inflammation caused by this type of training.
These benefits are improved further when the BCAAs are combined with carbs. This causes quicker recovery and lowers fatigue post-workout.
7. BCAA Advantages Include Health and Longevity Benefits
Doctors have used BCAAs for many years to treat patients who suffer from poor brain function due to liver disease. They specifically help liver disease patients who struggle with anorexia due to loss of appetite. This in turns helps them to prevent the muscle loss that comes with it.
BCAAs have also been found to improve heart health, which extends the user’s lifespan, similar to caloric restrictions. Additional benefits increase cognitive functions such as attention span, memory, and reasoning.
Proper Dosage of BCAAs
Whenever you add a new supplement to your diet, it is key to take the proper dosage for your needs. In general, experts have recommended consuming anywhere from 10-20 grams of BCAA per day. This will depend on your level of gym activity.
If you’re not going to the gym every day, you will likely be on the lower end. Anywhere within this range will provide enough BCAAs to build muscle and provide the necessary energy to participate in your fitness activities.
Learn More About What BCAAs Can Do For You
The BCAA advantages to your diet are difficult to look passed. When you add these amino acids to your daily routine they can increase fat burning, give you more energy, and boost your muscle growth.
Coupling this with a healthy diet will drastically improve the results you see in and out of the gym.
If you have questions about BCAAs and how they can help you, please contact us today!