The Benefits of Taking BCAAs
What are BCAAs?
BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acid. BCAAs are a rich protein source consisting of three of the nine essential amino acids not made by the body: valine, leucine and isoleucine. Because leucine appears to be especially effective at catalyzing protein synthesis and reducing the breakdown of muscle protein most BCAAs are formulated with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine. However, the BCAA blend in The Podium Series is formulated with a 3:1:1 ratio to further maximize the benefits of leucine.
Limiting Muscle Soreness
How: Studies have shown that athletes who supplement their workouts with BCAAs report less next-day muscle soreness. While the exact mechanics of how BCAAs prevent soreness is still uncertain, several studies show that BCAAs help curtail the breakdown of muscle tissue when consumed before or after a workout. By saving muscles from the strain of catabolism, soreness is lessened or limited.
Delaying Fatigue During Fitness
How: Because your muscles use BCAAs during exercise, BCAA levels in your blood decline over time. When your levels of BCAAs are depleted, it causes increased levels of tryptophan in your brain. Tryptophan is converted to a brain chemical that is thought to contribute to the development of fatigue during exercise In one study, participants who consumed BCAAs had increased mental focus during exercise, a result of the fatigue-reducing effect of BCAAs.
Encouraging Muscle Growth and Repair
How: Protein in general plays an important role in muscle growth, but more recent research shows that BCAAs are especially good at maintaining muscle mass in athletes. This is because BCAAs help in reducing muscle catabolism (the breakdown of muscle tissue). If you’re trying to gain muscle mass, or prevent muscle breakdown after a strenuous training session the supplementation of BCAAs would be a welcome addition to a well-rounded athletic diet.
Providing Muscles with Energy
How: Muscle energy is first provided by the body’s stores of glucose. When this is depleted during a workout, the body looks for secondary sources of energy. By consuming BCAAs before a workout your body will have that protein source in reserves to pull energy from, before it begins to take energy from the breakdown of your own muscle tissue.
Looking for more information about BCAAs? Check out our other blog post about the best time to take BCAA supplements!