Bcaas or Branched Chain Amino Acids are the 3 main amino acids that have similar structures, which benefit muscles, and are mainly found in protein-rich food. The three main amino acids are Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine. These are considered to be requisite diet supplements for muscle mass gain. In fact, these are essential for athletes to spare glycogen, fuel exercise, decrease protein loss caused by workouts, enhance immunity, and consequently increase performance.
What is the Role of Bcaas?
Bcaas are the basic building blocks of protein. The stomach and intestine break dietary protein into short chains or individual amino acids that are small enough for absorption into the bloodstream. This enables easy transportation of the same around the body. There are essential as well as non-essential amino acids and each of them is involved in various physiological and biochemical processes. Bcaas are also involved in the catabolic and anabolic activities, as well as various other functions such as chemical production to enable brain function, tissue building, and more.
Importance of Bcaas
Bcaas collectively consist of 30% of the overall muscle protein, and cannot be produced in a human body. Nevertheless, it is the primary source of alanine and glutamine synthesis in the muscles. Hence, Bcaas are one of the most important workout supplements in a nutrition or bodybuilding program.
Essential Functions of Bcaas
Intensive workouts such as bodybuilding, weight lifting etc leads the body to reach a catabolic state of reduced energy level. During this time, the body starts to break down the muscle tissues. With sufficient Bcaas, excess of muscle breakdown is prevented, which results in speedy recovery of the muscles.
Each Acid of the Bcaas has a different Role to Play in the Body:
- Leucine plays its role in preventing muscle loss and decreasing the appetite. This cannot be produced by the human body and hence is normally supplied to the body through bodybuilder supplements or foods like peanuts, fishes, pork, soy, chickpeas, eggs, milk, and lentils.
- Isoleucine too cannot be produced by human body but plays a huge role in the muscle recovery process after a workout. Hence, most of the post-workout and pre-workout supplements focus on the presence of Bcaas as their main ingredient. It also greatly helps to repair and build muscle tissues and to regulate the sugar levels in the blood. It also prevents blood clotting. Some of the food sources that contain isoleucine are meat, fish, poultry, cottage cheese, and peanuts.
- Valine, the last one of the main Bcaas, helps to repair as well as build muscle tissues. It has a very unique feature of balancing the nitrogen levels in a body. Some of the food sources rich in Valine are pork, peanuts, grains, mushrooms, beef, chicken, etc.
Benefits of Bcaas for Bodybuilding:
- Bcaas support the process of muscle protein synthesis, as they contribute to the anabolic environment inside the body. Since leucine has the independent ability to up-regulate the enzymes and initiate protein synthesis, it offers a comprehensive result of stimulating muscle growth. Researches reveal that leucine also brings down fat levels in the body.
- A good level of Bcaas correlates with the best body composition. In other words, higher the intake of Bcaas, lower the rate of obesity and weight gain, and better is the body structure.
- Bcaas also offer an improved ratio of testosterone to cortisol, which is good for muscle building. This is important, as both lesser degeneration of protein and higher muscle gain correspond to the better ratio of testosterone to cortisol.
- These amino supplements also offer greater endurance, performance, and lower RPE. Bcaas play a significant role in extended results of muscle strength and endurance in athletes and bodybuilders.
- The amino supplements enhance mental function as well as reaction time during heavy workouts. They keep the brain functioning at its peak when it is fatigued, and all of it can happen within a few minutes. This is the main reason why most sportsmen consider Bcaas workout supplements highly essential for their peak performance.
Whey protein is said to be rich in Bcaas. There are several cost-effective options of bodybuilder supplements that are FDA approved that have Bcaas as their main ingredient.
Consumption of Bcaas
Though Bcaas offer numerous benefits for bodybuilding and muscle strengthening, they could have undesired effects if there are certain health conditions such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, certain urine disease conditions, etc. It is very essential to consume Bcaas supplements under the supervision of a good health practitioner or health advisor. Even the dosages should be advised according to the individual’s body composition.
Though there are no evident side effects for Bcaas workout supplements, there are rare cases of allergic symptoms that can occur due to other ingredients like preservatives, dye, etc. present in the supplements. These might cause weakness, rashes, dizziness, vomiting, etc.
Consuming random Bcaas supplements could cause unwanted effects due to additional preservatives or dyes. Hence, it is very essential to consume only FDA approved products manufactured by a recognized company.