The use of BCAA by gym-goers is growing. Many people use them without even knowing anything about the BCAA or the impact it has. We breakdown BCAAs for you so you know what they are and exactly how they benefit you.
BCAA is an abbreviation for Branched Chain Amino Acids. Amino acids are vital for muscle protein, so if you want muscle recovery and growth then you need to ensure your body gets amino acids. BCAA consists of three major amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, and valine. These three are part of nine essential amino acids.
To develop a better understanding of BCAA, you need to understand that protein is made up of approximately 22 amino acids. Nine of which are 'essential' of which 3 are BCAA. So incorporating BCAA into your diet will help in both maintaining and increasing muscle mass.
Benefits of BCAA
So we know that BCAA is important in developing and maintaining muscle mass. It has many other benefits than that.
Work out for longer
While you work out, the serotonin levels in your body rise which makes you more fatigued. This means your tire and won’t be able to push yourself to a more intense workout. Adding BCAA to your diet completely changes the chemistry of how your body reacts to getting tired. When your muscles get tired with the release of serotonin, the body creates tryptophan which is transmitted to the brain to tell it that the muscles are tired. However, with BCAA there is a barrier created between the brain and the blood and less tryptophan is allowed to go to the brain allowing you to work out for longer and having a more intense workout.
Increase the synthesis of protein
Since BCAA are part of the essential amino acids that produce protein, they greatly aid in protein synthesis. They stimulate the process of protein synthesis making more muscle protein which helps with your gains.
Reduce breakdown of protein
The presence of BCAA in your body reduces the activity of protein breakdown. The BCAA does this by blocking the breakdown path of the protein, by reducing the production of mRNA in the gene code. There is some complex science behind protein breakdown which we won’t get in to. However, the fact that it reduces that while promoting protein synthesis leads to even more muscle gain.