Branch-chain amino acids, aka BCAAs. There are 20 distinctive amino acids that make up the thousands of distinctive proteins in the human body. Nine of the 20 are considered vital amino acids, meaning that they cannot be created by your body and must be attained through your diet.
Of the nine vital amino acids, three are the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs create a large chunk of the body’s total amino acid pool. Together they represent around 35–40% of all essential amino acids present in your body with which 14–18% of those are located in your muscles.
Of the three, leucine is believed to have the greatest influence on your body’s ability to construct muscle proteins. Isoleucine and valine appear to be more efficient at creating energy and controlling your blood sugar levels.
What Are They?
BCAAs encourage the building of protein in muscle and conceivably decrease muscle breakdown. BCAAs aid in safeguarding and sustaining your muscles, thus helping you work out to your full potential.
They can also improve muscle protein recovery after a workout and help with muscle soreness, particularly if they are consumed with carbs. Weight loss is another benefit of BCAAs, as they can help avoid weight gain while boosting fat loss.
How To Attain BCAAs
BCAA supplements can be consumed at any time of day, before or after exercise, however, it is believed that they are most efficient in aiding in workout and muscle recovery. Protein-rich food sources with high amounts of BCAAs:
- Greek Yogurt
- Soy Protein
- Whey Protein
- Chicken Breast
- Turkey Breast
- Canned Tuna
- Parmesan Cheese
- 1% Milk
Research has shown that BCAAs can also help people who suffer from liver disease by lowering the complications involved. Normally you can obtain all the BCAAs that you need from your diet, but if you take the BCAA supplement correctly it wouldn’t be harmful.
If you do consume in large amounts, the BCAA side effects can be concerning. Exhaustion, loss of coordination, nausea, headaches and negative effects on blood sugar levels are some of the negative side effects. As with any supplements, always use them properly.
Branched-chain amino acid supplements provide remarkable benefits in some circumstances, specifically when it comes to muscle development and physical performance.
BCAAs can be found in whole protein supplements as well as in a large range of protein-rich foods, therefore, taking BCAA supplements may not be essential if you get adequate amounts through your diet or in a protein supplement.