BCAA recently has become talk of the town because of its qualities that set it above par to other supplements. Boatloads of research and studies support and promote the use of BCAA. Bodybuilding and fitness freaks stick to it as it is useful for gaining mass and building muscles without adding any extra calorie to your diet.
Branched-chain amino acids are essential amino acids specifically, valine, leucine and isoleucine. “They are essential, meaning we must get them in our diet because our bodies do not produce them,” explains Sarah Currie, RD and personal trainer for New York City-based Physical Equilibrium LLC. “The term ‘branched-chain’ just refers to the molecular structure.”
These branched amino acids are very essential for lean body development and enhanced recovery. Though meat, chicken, fish, dairy product and eggs are reported to be the best source of BCAA but sometimes we need to take individual protein in the form of supplements as they influence muscle growth through a variety of different pathways, and of all the amino acid BCAA have shown to be most important for increase in muscle.
Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis
BCAAs are well known for triggering protein synthesis and when coupled with resistance exercise enhances protein synthesis because they both trigger mTORC1 signaling pathway that is essential for muscle building. In addition to this BCAA also minimizes muscle loss when your are not exercising and preserves the lean muscles which keeps the metabolism high and thus prevents any fat accumulation.
BCAAs Equalize Muscle Building Between Old & Young
Of all the BCAA leucine can increase protein synthesis by far. Research shows a ratio of about 4 to 1 of leucine to the other two BCAAs is most effective for muscle development. As you age muscle building process becomes very slow since you tend to eat less dietary protein and this may alter net muscle protein balance leading to sarcopenia. But leucine rich BCAAs are a remedy for this. Leucine have been shown to elevate and prolong protein synthesis even in later age.
BCAAs Enhances Fat Burning& Promotes Fat Loss
In a review of the role that the essential amino acids play in body composition, scientists wrote that the BCAAs appear to have unique obesity-reducing effects because they decrease food intake and body weight by increasing the gene signaling of muscle building pathways. Leucine boosts energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Greater fat mobilization enable fat loss from a combination of training and diet.
BCAAs Balances Hormone & Improves Strength
BCAAs are well known to stimulate secretion of insulin, glucagon, growth hormone, and insulin like growth factor. It supports hormone balance, which plays a role in an athletes ability to respond to extreme training loads. A diet rich in amino acids from multiple sources including meat, eggs, protein powders, and BCAA supplements maximize strength when coupled with exercises. BCAA enhances bodys ability to burn fat thus increasing accessible energy pool. It further prevents central fatigue of the nervous system by inhibiting uptake of tryptophan by the brain. Tryptophan induces serotonin in brain which increases tiredness and fatigue.
BCAAs Curbs Muscle Soreness
Studies have shown BCAAs to curb muscles soreness often associated with exercise. It showed better protein synthesis thus quick recovery from EIMD (Exercise Induced Muscle Damage) and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
BCAAs Prevent Muscle Loss During Extensive Exercise
In addition to improving endurance performance, BCAAs prevent muscle loss during extensive exercise. Scientists suggest that providing simultaneous nutritional support with BCAAs or a high-BCAA containing protein will prevent catabolism by improving the overall energy-burning pool so that amino acids arent released from muscle tissue.
BCAAs Improve Insulin Health & May Reduce Diabetes Risk
BCAA isoleucine improves glucose tolerance on its own, and the whole trio of BCAAs can support insulin sensitivity that maintains its effectiveness and can act as defense against diabetes.
BCAAs Are Longevity Booster and Therapeutic
BCAAs are used in medicine to treat liver disease, prevent sarcopenia and reduce mortality risk with cancer. In addition to being therapeutic, BCAAs have an anti-aging effect because they increase the formation of new mitochondria. In a review on BCAAs and human health, scientists write that BCAAs behave as evolutionary conserved modulators of lifespan,. BCAAs have been found to improve cognition because of the effect they have on the neurotransmitters, improving synthesis of glutamate and GABA and inhibiting serotonin.
Note: “These surfeit of benefits may just prove BCAAs to be the most valuable supplement in the coming time. So, don’t just sit there! start getting more branched amino acid.“