What is BCAA good for?

Amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of proteins. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are amino acids with a special branched structure, this is why they are called branched chain amino acids. BCAAs are important because unlike other amino acids they are broken down by the muscles not by the liver. It is in the muscles that they will ultimately be used as a source of energy or to generate new muscle proteins. One third of the skeletal muscles consists of BCAAs.

24.10.2018

What is BCAA good for?

What are BCAAs?

BCAAs include 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Essential means that the body is unable to produce it, therefore the right quantity must be ensured with the appropriate diet. Red meat, dairy products are excellent sources, but chicken or turkey meat can also ensure the required BCAA intake. Of course, whey protein shakes are also an excellent source. If you cannot ensure an appropriate amino acid intake you might be training hard, but development still will not happen. Your immune system is weakened and you become ill. 35% of our muscle tissue consists of leucine, valine and isoleucine – in a ratio of 2:1:1 (in this order) – so for an effective absorption it is worth taking an amino acids supplement of the same ratio.

Free-form BCAAs are a great choice, because they almost immediately are digested and enter the bloodstream. If you want to prevent the breakdown of muscles you should consider taking BCAAs even before, during and after workout. They are useful not only in case of weight training, but also for endurance training. Experts recommend 10-10 grams before and after workout in order to remain in an anabolic state. This is equally important during shredding and bulking, too.

 

Why are BCAAs useful?

You expose your body to stress whenever you work out in the gym. Stress weakens the immune system, this is why the appropriate consumption of vitamins and minerals are particularly important when you engage in sports. But this is not enough if you want to develop your muscles! During workout there are microlesions in your muscle fibre and your muscles are strengthened and grow as these microtears heal. This process is called regeneration and amino acids are required for it to take place.

A high intake of amino acids is especially important during a diet – especially if it is coupled with sports – in order to prevent the breakdown of muscles or the so-called catabolic processes that result from the lack of carbohydrates. In addition to a diet rich in protein – such as eggs, white meat and sea fish etc. it is equally important that you provide your muscles with immediate nutrition with the help of food supplements at least after workout.

Besides glutamine it is essential that you provide the body with BCAAs in order to build muscles. What is the reason? You need BCAAs because:

  • they help to increase muscle mass

  • they can prevent the catabolic processes (the breakdown of muscles)

  • they postpone muscle acidification, thus they ensure an increased stamina

  • they support muscle regeneration even in case of sports accidents or muscle damage

  • they boost your mental capacity and concentration

 

When and how much should you take?

  • 5-5 g BCAA take before and after workout

  • in a tablet form 30 minutes before workout and within 1 hour after workout

  • in a liquid or powder format 15-20 minutes before workout and within 1 hour after workout

  • you can take the flavoured versions even during workout, but it is more ideal to take it before and after your workout

  • increase the daily intake during shredding or injury to 20 g per day


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