BCAA’s or branched-chain amino acids are fantastic supplement that quite a few bodybuilders and serious athletes utilize to maximize performance and recovery. The essential BCAA’s are important for those of us who lift weights or participate in athletics because they are metabolized in the muscles during use.
Athlete’s and bodybuilders want to avoid muscle size reduction and strength loss during protein synthesis so they turn to using BCAA’s to keep the tank topped off. Of course that doesn’t mean that consuming a ton of BCAA’s will turn you into the Hulk, but there are quite a few valuable benefits of BCAA’s.
Benefits of BCAA’s
- Increased Recovery – This is one of the biggest benefits of BCAA‘s. By adding branched-chain amino acids to your regular supplement program typical results in greater metabolic recovery after a workout which in turn means less muscle soreness in the day or two after a hard workout. That means you can get back in the gym sooner to pimp that iron for more muscle gains.
- Endurance – This is more towards athletics or activities like running and cycling, however there can be a relation to the end of intense workout sessions as well. BCAA’s can provide the body with glucose after glycogen stores have been burned off. As most people know, once your glycogen gets depleted it is like running into a wall and you have no energy.
- Increased Immune Function – From a healthy standpoint, this is a very important benefit of BCAA’s. Using BCAA’s helps to reverse glutamine loss, which is an essential amino acid for the immune system. Also by lessening damage during and after a workout, the body has more energy and nutrients to go towards immunity. Being sick keeps you out of the gym and serious illness can really deplete your body and set back your training by weeks.
- Anti-catabolic – By suppressing the use muscle proteins for fuel, as the BCAA‘s are available; they stop the breakdown of muscle protein. That means you don’t lose muscle mass for energy which in the end makes a bigger net gain after you workout. Otherwise you suffer from losing a little muscle tissue so the body has the energy it needs to repair tissue damaged in a workout which can be a much lower net gain.
- Fat Loss – Using BCAA’s has been shown to increase loss of body fat in a few studies. However it must be noted that both prevalent studies involved athletes in good condition following proper diets, not a case of chugging BCAA’s while on the Biggest Loser.
The Bottom Line
The benefits if BCAA’s are many and like a lot of the “staple” supplements such as multi-vitamins, fish-oil and whey protein they should be taken regularly to help make everything you do more effective and efficient along with protecting your body and its processes.
The honest truth is that we only have so much time on this Earth and we should do what we can to get the absolute most out of it. That means using core supplements to increase then length of our lives and the enjoyment we get out of everything we do.