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BCAA Vs Glutamine – Which Amino Supplement To Choose?

Madhura Mohan

Posted on June 26 2021

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ope your workouts and fitness goals are progressing? Big cheers to you if you said yes, and applause if you said YES!!

Some of you out there may be unsure of the progress and must be saying, no, the inevitable muscle soreness is coming in way of our progress. Don’t worry guys, in this article we’ll go over the benefits of 2 popular ergogenic aids that help in enhancement of exercise performance.

Since the improvement in exercise performance is deeply related to the capability to generate anaerobic ATP continuously along with delaying fatigue, the use of ergogenic aids can play a critical role in optimizing your training.

Here, we go to learn how BCAA and glutamine can make a clear path to fitness, help maintain power output and strength performance.

 

Know About BCAA

BCAA is the short term for branched chain amino acids, which is named so because of the typical molecular structure which consists of a branched chain. BCAAs consist of leucine, isoleucine, and valine which are the most important of the 9 essential amino acids.

BCAAs are essential amino acids that your body has to seek from external food sources or supplements such as protein sources or from BCAA supplements.

Did you know? BCAA make up nearly 35% of muscle tissue, they are the only amino acids that are oxidized in the skeletal muscle whereas other essential amino acids are catabolized in the liver. Taking BCAA from BCAA supplements is found to be especially beneficial as BCAAs will be in free form (not bound to other amino acids like in protein), hence they are quickly absorbed and metabolized by the muscles.

 

How Do BCAAs Support Performance & Muscle Building?

1. BCAAs Help Support Energy Production

High-intensity exercise greatly enhances energy expenditure, BCAAs serve as the major energy substrate in the muscle with the increased contribution of fat as an energy source in accordance with the depletion of carbohydrates during prolonged workouts. BCAAs can help you perform at your highest potential by acting as an energy source and substrate to expand the pool of citric acid cycle intermediate and for gluconeogenesis thus allowing for more mitochondrial energy production.

 

2. BCAAs Help Reduce Fatigue

During heavy workouts, you’ll be plagued by fatigue which can be reduced by BCAA. Seratonin, which is a major determinant of mood increases during intense workouts, subsequently leading to central fatigue, which forces you to stop or reduce the exercise intensity. BCAA supplements will raise the plasma concentration of BCAAs which reduces the transportation of tryptophan into the brain which subsequently reduces the formation of serotonin which may alleviate fatigue and improve endurance.

 

3. BCAAs Help Increase Anabolism & Decrease Catabolism

BCAAs are particularly beneficial for those who want to increase or maintain muscle mass while also want to cut weight by losing fat. When you are on a low-calorie diet for weight loss, there are increased chances of muscle loss. BCAA prevents this from happening by providing your muscles the major substrate for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs minimize muscle protein breakdown (catabolism) with their ability to preserve the muscle glycogen stores. BCAAs help recover faster from workouts, so you feel less sore, less fatigued while push yourself harder to gain increased muscle mass.

 

Related Article: BCAA – The Star Player In Supplementation Genre

 

Know About Glutamine

 

Glutamine unlike BCAA is not an essential amino acid but is a conditionally essential amino acid produced by the body itself. Glutamine makes up 60% of the skeletal amino acid pool, which conveys how crucial it is to skeletal muscle health. Although glutamine is found in high amounts in the body, supplementation becomes essential when at times during your intense workout, glutamine gets depleted fast and is required in particularly large amounts to repair the damage caused to the muscles and prevent muscle breakdown.

 

How Does Glutamine Support Performance & Muscle Building?

1. Glutamine Helps Reduce Onset Of Fatigue

Glutamine supplementation is associated with the prevention of ammonia accumulation which is a major contributing factor to fatigue. Ammonia production occurs during exercise via amino acid oxidation and in energy metabolism (adenosine monophosphate deamination) indicating the reduction of energy production. Being a major transporter of nitrogen in the body, glutamine may help attenuate ammonia accumulation and delay fatigue by acting as a glycogenic amino acid (direct stimulator of glycogen synthesis). Glutamine helps reduce creatine kinase (CK) and lactose dehydrogenase (LDH) which are markers of muscle damage. Glutamine helps maintain the acid-base balance while acidosis occurs and prevents lactate production.

 

2. Glutamine Has Immunostimulatory Effects

The body’s immune system can be seriously compromised during extensive training, especially true if you are doing workouts on a carb-depleted state or low-calorie diet. Glutamine supplementation prevents this from happening by acting as an important donor for glutathione synthesis, the most important antioxidant. Glutamine slows the release of the stress hormone cortisol, the increasing levels of which will adversely affect the immune health.

 

3. Glutamine Helps Prevent Muscle Damage

Glutamine being a nitrogen compound can drive nitrogen into muscles and create positive protein balance which is required for positive muscle building. Glutamine regulates protein synthesis and protein degradation through its role in energy production, ammonia detox, maintenance of acid-base balance. Intense workouts can cause muscle tissue damage, which can give rise to inflammation response. Glutamine preserves muscles and prevents it from entering a catabolic state. Body uses glutamine stores to sustain and preserve muscles.

 

Related Article: Must To Know Top 10 Benefits Of Glutamine

 

By now, we have come a long way in our technical understanding of what each amino supplement does…

 

What Is The Suggested Dose Of BCAA & Glutamine?

2.5g to 5g of BCAA is suggested to be taken pre/intra-workout and 5g of glutamine is suggested to be taken post-workout. Your body experiences the most amount of stress during your intense training, supplementing with BCAA during your workouts will helps prevent fatigue and catabolism. Glutamine supplementation post-workout help prevent muscle damage, muscle loss and takes care of gut health and immune health.

 

Combination of BCAA & Glutamine Are Supremely Beneficial

When you’re following a strict workout routine, particularly on a calorie-deficit diet, your body needs to maintain high energy levels. However, if you’re burning calories without proper nutrient intake, there are chances that your body might find itself in a catabolic state due to a lack of energy sources. This condition will make your body turn to muscle tissue as fuel, which results in loss of muscle mass.

Accumulation of fatigue factors during workouts can lead to poor performance.

The combination of BCAA and Glutamine works great when you do excessive cardio in a calorie-deficit state. The combination helps preserve the hard earned muscles, build new muscle tissue, and helps speed up recovery.

 

BCAA not just helps sustain your workout but prolongs the anabolic phase of building muscles…Glutamine helps decrease muscle soreness and fatigue which makes for more muscle mass from your workouts…

 

BCAA & Glutamine combination can help pack on real serious muscles while sustaining high-intensity training…

 

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4155228/

 

Also read:  Creatine Vs Carnitine - Which amino supplement to choose?

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