What are BCAAs? Key Tips to Understand Branch Chain Amino Acids
Discover everything you need to know about BCAAs
So what are BCAAs? BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino Acids are a small subgroup of amino acids that have a chemical structure consisting of aliphatic side-chains with a central carbon atom branch, hence their name.
Amongst the proteinogenic group of amino acids, meaning those that are directly incorporated into proteins during their synthesis, there are three branched-chain amino acids, and these are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
How essential are amino acids in your body?
Amino acids are necessary for the transport and storage of nutrients and are indispensable to the functioning of organs, glands, tendons, arteries, healing and regenerative processes and the elimination of toxins throughout the body.
BCAAs are what we call essential amino acids; this term comes from the fact that our bodies are not able to synthesise them innately and thus they must be ingested.
There are over two hundred amino acids but only nine of them are essential, so it is of the utmost importance that we ensure a steady supply of these necessary compounds.
Where are BCAAs metabolised?
Of particular note is the fact that BCAAs are not metabolised in the liver, meaning that your body absorbs them directly into skeletal muscle tissue, because of this they contribute directly to muscular recuperation thus increasing athletic performance and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.
Anyone who has ever worked out even at the most basic levels can tell you how painful, and sometimes even crippling, muscle soreness can be.
Pertaining to sports nutrition, Branched-Chain Amino Acids are the key to protecting muscles from catabolic processes since they function as an essential energy source, and since they also regulate hormone secretion, we can say they are fundamental if you are aiming to either build muscle mass or lose weight by cutting fat.
A worthy BCAA supplement
If you are looking to do both at the same time and get the most benefits out of BCAA supplementation, we strongly suggest you combine BCAAs with our MuscleSport ALPHASRM MUSCLE BUILDER & FAT LOSS SUPPLEMENT IN ONE.
Since building muscle mass and cutting down fat is a huge task, the team of experts at MuscleSport designed a carefully balanced formula of vitamin and minerals, myocyte proliferation factors, free testosterone boosters, thermogenic compounds and androgen regulators to ensure that you more easily build muscle AND lose fat at the same time.
Key BCAA compounds your body will need
Let us take a closer look at each of these fantastic and advantageous compounds that make up the Branched-Chain Amino Acids individually so we can better assess how and why they have such health benefits.
Leucine, the first of the Branched-Chain Amino Acids, is arguably the most potent natural supplement when it comes to the build-up of muscle mass. This compound enables the creation of muscle tissue that is lean, clean, dense, and robust. Leucine does this by activating a specific metabolic route denominated mTOR or Mechanistic target of rapamycin. mTOR activation is a requirement for myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis and skeletal muscle hypertrophy, in other words, this metabolic pathway must be active if we are looking to increase muscle mass. Another beneficial quality of leucine is its ability to retain nitrogen which ensures a suitable balance for anabolism. Remember that the anabolic state refers to the body’s ability to build tissue as opposed to the catabolic state which refers to the breakdown of tissue. Leucine is also a limiting factor in the synthesis of other amino acids so without proper levels most proteins in the body can end up not being used appropriately thus limiting the different processes involved in the creation of new tissue.
The next component of the Branched-Chain Amino Acid trio is valine. Valine has a notable and necessary role to play in cognitive function and proper nervous system function. It has been associated with marked improvement of insomnia disorders as well as specific diseases related to muscle tissues. For those people looking to lose weight, it is of note that valine is a potent appetite suppressant and people dealing with suppressed immune systems will be happy to hear that consumption of this essential amino acid has been linked to marked improvements in the entire immune apparatus. An increase in athletic resistance is another significant benefit of valine. When consumed alongside the other two BCAAs valine promotes secretion of human growth hormone or HGH which is essential to the production of Insulin-like growth factor.
Last but certainly not least in this amino acid trifecta is isoleucine. As the name would suggest isoleucine is an isomer of leucine, and thus it supplies similar functions. It is best known for increasing endurance as well as boosting the body’s ability to heal and repair muscle mass. One of its primary features is to regulate blood glucose levels, and so it is intricately linked with energy levels. It is also an active clotting factor. For athletes, it is of extreme importance since it can stave off fatigue when extraneous exercise is involved.
How to get more BCAAs in your body
At this point you must be already saying to yourself “These things sound fantastic!” and “How can I get them in me?”
Luckily for you, the answer is more straightforward than it might initially seem.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids are found everywhere. Any food product that contains sufficient levels of protein will have a surprising amount of BCAAs to offer.
It is important though that you consume Branched-Chain Amino Acids at the right time. Luckily there are a plethora of BCAA supplements available in the nutrition market.
The ideal BCAA supplement pre and post-training timing
For Pre-training supplementation, we recommend 5-10g of BCAAs 15 to 20 minutes before any physical activity.
For Post-training supplementation, we recommend anywhere from 20 to 30g of BCAAs.
But if you combine BCAA supplementation with our MuscleSport ALPHASRM MUSCLE BUILDER & FAT LOSS SUPPLEMENT IN ONE ™ you will most definitely achieve faster and more noticeable results.
Remember that MuscleSport has spared no expense in achieving the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals, myocyte proliferation factors, free testosterone boosters, thermogenic compounds and androgen regulators to ensure that you more easily build muscle AND lose fat at the same time.
When combined with Branched-Chain amino acids and their many benefits, you have a formula for success.
- Sowers, Strakie. “A Primer On Branched Chain Amino Acids” (PDF). Huntington College of Health Sciences. Retrieved 22 March 2011. Ambrogelly A, Palioura S, Söll D (Jan 2007). “Natural expansion of the genetic code”. Nat Chem Biol. 3 (1): 29–35.
- Brook MS, Wilkinson DJ, Phillips BE, Perez-Schindler J, Philp A, Smith K, Atherton PJ (January 2016). “Skeletal muscle homeostasis and plasticity in youth and ageing: impact of nutrition and exercise”. Acta Physiologica. 216 (1): 15–41.
- Nitrogen anabolism underlies the importance of glutaminolysis in proliferating cells – Meng M1, Chen S, Lao T, Liang D, Sang N.
We have, in preparing this information, used our best endeavours to ensure that the information contained herein is true and accurate, but accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability in respect of any errors, inaccuracies or misstatements contained herein. Information guide only and any other further information should be considered with a professional.