BCAAs: how they work and whether they should be taken

BCAAs: how they work and whether they should be taken

For a normal life, the body needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

The human body can only synthesize 13 of the 21 amino acids needed for life. The remaining 9 amino acids, called essential amino acids, can only be obtained through diet or various dietary supplements.

What are BCAAs?

The complex of three essential branched-chain amino acids – isoleucine, valine and leucine – is called BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). They are indispensable when playing sports as they provide extra energy to the muscles. BCAAs are not metabolized primarily in the liver (unlike most other amino acids), but rather in the muscles. This is the main feature. In addition, they are regulators of the processes of biosynthesis of proteins and biologically active substances: mediators, hormones, immunoglobulins, cytokines, chemokines, acute phase proteins. BCAAs also act as nitrogen donors for the synthesis of other amino acids, such as glutamine, which are important for maintaining immune cell function.

What are BCAAs used for?

What are BCAAs used for?

The functions of the complex and its effect on the body are as follows:

  • improves protein synthesis. Growth activation takes place via mTOR;
  • regulates catabolism. By reducing the production of the hormone cortisol, BCAAs reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue while promoting the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, which is very important for athletes;
  • promotes muscle growth and recovery. Branched chain amino acids fill the supply of more than a third of all amino acids in muscle tissue, stimulating its growth and recovery;
  • speed up metabolism. BCAAs promote the production of leptin, a hormone that regulates metabolism. As a result, an intense division of fat cells occurs;
  • acts as an additional energy source. This is especially true for athletes who follow a strict low-carb diet. In him, the stores of glycogen and the synthesis of amino acids in the body are minimal, therefore, intense physical activity negatively affects the state of muscle tissue and metabolism. Taking BCAAs just before a workout provides the necessary level of amino acids that are sufficient to maintain the body’s internal reserves.

Given the particular conditions of impact on the body, the amino acid complex is relevant both for losing weight and for maintaining and building muscle mass. Since intense exercise combined with a diet limits the body’s internal resources, BCAAs provide it with all the necessary substances that make it possible to

How to take BCAAs

How to take BCAAs

BCAA amino acid complex and protein increase the effectiveness of each other, can be taken separately or together. You can also combine the use of amino acids with the intake of L-caritin and creatine. But it is recommended to alternate the days of taking common and separate supplements.

When to take BCAAs

Studies have shown that the greatest efficiency of the amino acid complex is achieved by taking it:

  • in the morning. This allows you to instantly fill your body with all the amino acids needed for vigorous activity;
  • before training. Because BCAAs stop muscle breakdown, taking them before training reduces muscle soreness the next day;
  • during training. Amino acids fill the body with energy, promote the breakdown of fats, significantly reduce the feeling of fatigue;
  • immediately after training. This reduces muscle breakdown and is relevant for low calorie diets.

There is also great efficiency when mixing BCAAs with sports nutrition.

How much BCAAs to take

How many times a day should you take: Before training and after.

Dosage: 4-12 grams, for beginner athletes the recommended dose is 5 grams.

Additionally: Diluted in water it can be used in combination with protein shakes.

How much BCAAs to take

It is important to consider that the recommended frequency of taking BCAAs is no more than 4 times a day. Therefore, it will be important to regularly take amino acids in the morning and during exercise to replace the use of sports nutrition and energy cocktails.