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3 Interesting Facts About BCAA You Did Not Know

Madhura Mohan

Posted on March 29 2019

If you are looking for a muscle miracle that could both help you work harder in the gym as well as recover faster, BCAAs are the supplement you must choose.

BCAAs are as pervasive as protein powders in the fitness community. They are the perfect supplement for people looking to build muscle and also for those who want to reduce their body fat while maintaining muscle mass.

Going ahead in this article, let’s learn about the various benefits of this fitness supplement.

 

BCAAs Help Increase Muscle Volume

Increasing your training volume is the necessary variable for achieving muscle building goals. So, how would you increase your training volume? This isn’t possible unless you have an adequate energy requirement.

BCAAs are 3 of the 9 essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine that account to 35% of the essential amino acids. Due to their incredible involvement in energy production, BCAAs are often termed as ‘energy fuel’. BCAA supplements give you more energy required for longer, harder workout.   

                             

How Does It Work In Energy Production?

BCAAs don’t have a structure like the other amino acids. They are composed of the non-linear continuous link of carbons that make a branched point. While other amino acids are subject to a more complex metabolic cycle (they need to be degraded in the liver before entering the bloodstream), the difference in the structure of BCAAs allows them to get directly transported into the bloodstream. 

When glycogen stores in the body run low, your body relies on the 3 types of BCAAs for fuel. The speciality of BCAAs lies in the fact that they are oxidized in the skeletal muscle for energy. Besides, isoleucine and valine are glucogenic amino acids, meaning they can be converted to glucose to give energy1

The quick entry of BCAAs into the bloodstream gives you the advantage to get the fastest source of energy required to boost your exercise. The more BCAAs in the muscles means the more they’ll be used for energy to boost performance which directly leads to increased muscle mass.

 

BCAAs Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis & Help Maintain Lean Muscle Mass

As you know, in our body, there’s a continuous muscle protein turn over. I am sure you must also be aware of the fact that in order to build muscles, your body’s rate of protein synthesis must be greater than the rate of protein breakdown. This means you need to be in positive protein balance to gain muscles.

The supplementation with BCAAs when combined with resistance exercise results in maximal protein synthesis, as they stimulate a process called mTOR C1 signalling pathway that is essential for muscle building.2 Leucine is the star amino acid of the trio that helps to elevate and prolong protein synthesis.

The beauty of the BCAA supplements lies in the fact that they trigger protein synthesis even in the absence of exercise. Most importantly, BCAAs help to preserve the lean muscles by boosting metabolism and helping to prevent fat gain even when you are not following a regular workout routine. Research suggests that BCAAs, when combined with exercise, helps increase fat mobilization which helps in more flexible metabolism, that enables fat loss and improve the use of fat for energy and in building lean muscle mass. As per studies, BCAAs effectively preserve the lean muscle mass even when you are on a weight loss diet3.

 

BCAAs Can Enhance Endurance & Reduce Fatigue

BCAAs perform most impressively in increasing endurance. But how do BCAAs make this possible? You learnt that BCAAs are burnt for energy release. They maintain ATP levels during glycogen-depleting exercise. Also, BCAAs enhance the body’s ability to burn fat, increasing the energy pool. 

All of us experience fatigue from exercise at some point. Our muscles use BCAAs during exercise, causing its levels in your blood to decrease. When blood levels of BCAAs decline, levels of essential amino acid tryptophan in your brain increases. Tryptophan once gained entry into the brain gets converted to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that causes the increase in tiredness and fatigue. BCAAs prevent the tryptophan from entering the brain and causing fatigue, thereby contribute to endurance.

 

BCAAs create the optimum muscle-building environment within your body and preserve lean muscle mass.

SOURCE 1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685199/

SOURCE 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963881/

SOURCE 3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700774/

 

Also read: BCAA+Whey=Extra Gains

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