BCAA Amino Acids

BCAA Amino Acids

What are they?

Amino acids are the building block of protein. Whenever you eat a protein, it gets broken down into amino acids. Branched-chain amino acids or BCAA's are a group of three amino acids, with the names of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

This group is considered essential because unlike most other amino acids, your body does not naturally make these ones naturally and can only be obtained through diet.
They are most commonly found in foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. BCAA's also make up over 1/3rd of the body's proteins, so getting these amino acids are incredibly important. These amino acids break down in the muscles rather than the liver, so they play a much bigger role in gaining muscle.

How do you benefit from them?

BCAA's are crucial for building muscle and getting fit. They add multiple benefits that can make a huge difference in results, such as:

  • Increased muscle growth
    • Leucine stimulates muscle proteins, which in turn grows the muscle
  • Decrease in muscle soreness/ improvement in muscle recovery
    • Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is the feeling of soreness you feel after working out and can last for up to 72 hours. This is due to tiny tears of the muscle after exercise. BCAA's help to decrease damage to your muscles which in turn means you feel the effect of DOMS on your muscles for a shorter amount of time.
  • Decreased fatigue while working out
    • While working out, your muscles use the BCAA's causing the level of them in your blood to decrease. This in turn raises the level of tryptophan in your blood which tells your brain that you are fatigued.
  • Prevents muscle breakdown
    • Your muscles are constantly breaking down and building back up. Without BCAA's your muscles break down and do not have enough protein to build back up, causing muscle wasting.
  • Helps maintain muscle during illness
    • Most major illnesses such as cancer will eat away at someone's body but the fortification of BCAA's can help keep your muscles in a better state than they would naturally.

As you can see, BCAA's have a pretty distinct job and that is to help anyway they can with your muscles. If you want to help boost muscle health and growth or a way to maintain muscles you already have, BCAA's are a great way to go!

What is the most efficient way to get BCAA's?

As said above, you can get BCAA's from a multitude of food sources. Some of the best food sources to get BCAA's from are beef, chicken breast, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, canned tuna, and a multitude of other sources. While these sources are great and mostly natural, there are more direct ways of getting your BCAA's. Powders you put in water are one of the most common ways to get your BCAA's. These powders can be used before or after working out for maximum effectiveness. There are also pills you can get that can be used in the same ways. These ways could cut down on the amount of food needed to eat to get a recommended amount of BCAA's while not skimping out on them all together. While it is perfectly fine to get your BCAA's naturally, it is way more efficient to get them through a powder or a pill.