Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are Essential for Athletes
Do you know that branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are of a special importance to athletes and body builders? Why? Because they can provide optimal energy levels, enhance sports performance by building protein and muscle tissues, reduce fatigue, and much more. Besides, BCAA has found its application in the treatment of such serious diseases as muscular dystrophy, cancer and cirrhosis.
What is bcaa?
BCAA is a combination of essential branched chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine that are of special importance for bodybuilders and athletes because these amino acids are used by the body to build up protein.
Because BCAA’s are essential amino acids, they are not produced by the body in the same way as non-essential amino acids, but are rather obtained from our diet and nutrition. That is why, it is suggested that bcaa supplementation is of significant importance to athletes because they can alleviate any deficiencies that the body alone cannot synthetize.
Due to the way of BCAA’s metabolism, which occurs in the muscle rather than the liver, the effect of these branched chain amino acids is much quicker and efficient than of any other amino acid. After bcaa are digested, protein breaks down into individual amino acids that can either be used to build new proteins or become some sort of a fuel that produces energy for the body, thus enhances sports performance in a natural way. If your diet is balanced, branched chain amino acids will be used for protein synthesis, essential for endurance athlets and strenuous workouts.
BCAA’s are also used to reduce fatigue in both anaerobic and endurance sports. Because of its anticatabolic properties and vital role in protein synthesis, leucine is considered to one of the most critical BCAA.
What is bcaa used for?
Numerous studies on BCAA’s were done in the past several years, demonstrating practical and theoretical use for these amino acids. Although there are a few reseaches showing mixed results, in most cases BCAA supplements have shown quite favorable results both in animals and humans.
Increase protein synthesis. Several studies demonstrated the ability of BCAA’s to provide beneficial results on protein synthesis, which resulted in bigger muscles. In addition, BCAA supplements increase the level of such hormones as growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin, which adds to the benefits of these amino acids.
Under certan conditions, including extreme stress (e.g. strenuous long-term exercise in mountains), 10 grams per day of BCAA supplements demonstrated the ability to increase muschel mass.
Endurance. BCAA’s ability to serve as a donor of nitrogen in the formation of l-alanine, shows benefits for the whole body. It provides the tissues with glucose after glycogen stores are depleted, which may enable you to train at higher intensities for longer periods of time. BCAA supplementation may also keep your energy at higher levels, even when you are on a low carbohydrates diet.
Faster recovery. Studies show that BCAA supplementation results in the increase of metabolic recovery, meaning that the recovery period between workouts is much faster.
Fat Loss. At least two studies demonstrate the ability of BCAAs to significantly promote visceral body fat loss, which is usually hard to lose under normal circumstances. 25 wrestlers participated in this study. After 19 days of BCAA supplementation, the group with a high dosage of BCAAs lost the most body fat (mostly in the abdominal region), about 17% in average. This may give credence to BCAAs effectiveness at fat loss in the abs part. The second study showed that when in extreme stress (e.g. hiking) , people saw muscle mass gain as well as fat loss.
Immune System Boost. When your body experience strenuous workouts, stress, or illness, your immune system suffers and you become more prone to infections and strength loss. BCAA’s cam help reverse glutamine loss, which is very important for the immune system. In addition, these amino acids can help prevent the body’s catabolic state, and this also improves faster recovery and less damages to your body cells. With the help of BCAAs, muscle proteins aren’t burned for fuel, thereby this supplement spares breaddown of muscular protein. This helps the body train more hard and increase protein synthesis, which means more muscles for you. A study done on obese patients, who were put on a starvation type diet, the administration of BCAA helped induce anabolism and nitrogen sparing, which made the body burn fat instead of lean muscle mass, thus sparing muscle protein.