Jump to content
CapeBretonDadBod

Proven Benefits of BCAAs

Recommended Posts

One of the most popular uses of BCAAs is to increase muscle growth.

The BCAA leucine activates a certain pathway in the body that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of making muscle 

In one study, people who consumed a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their resistance workout had a 22% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to those who consumed a placebo drink 

That being said, this increase in muscle protein synthesis is approximately 50% less than what was observed in other studies where people consumed a whey protein shake containing a similar amount of BCAAs 

Whey protein contains all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle. 

Therefore, while BCAAs can increase muscle protein synthesis, they can’t do so maximally without the other essential amino acids, such as those found in whey protein or other complete protein sources 

Some research suggests BCAAs can help decrease muscle soreness after a workout.

It’s not uncommon to feel sore a day or two after a workout, especially if your exercise routine is new.

This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which develops 12 to 24 hours after exercise and can last up to 72 hours 

While the exact cause of DOMS is not clearly understood, researchers believe it’s the result of tiny tears in the muscles after exercise 

BCAAs have been shown to decrease muscle damage, which may help reduce the length and severity of DOMS.

Several studies show that BCAAs decrease protein breakdown during exercise and decrease levels of creatine kinase, which is an indicator of muscle damage 

In one study, people who supplemented with BCAAs before a squat exercise experienced reduced DOMS and muscle fatigue compared to the placebo group 

Therefore, supplementing with BCAAs, especially before exercise, may speed up recovery time

 

Just as BCAAs may help decrease muscle soreness from exercise, they may also help reduce exercise-induced fatigue.

Everyone experiences fatigue and exhaustion from exercise at some point. How quickly you tire depends on several factors, including exercise intensity and duration, environmental conditions and your nutrition and fitness level 

Your muscles use BCAAs during exercise, causing levels in your blood to decrease. When blood levels of BCAAs decline, levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan in your brain increase 

In your brain, tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a brain chemical that is thought to contribute to the development of fatigue during exercise.

In two studies, participants who supplemented with BCAAs improved their mental focus during exercise, which is thought to result from the fatigue-reducing effect of BCAAs .

However, this decrease in fatigue is unlikely to translate to improvements in exercise performance .

BCAAs can help prevent muscle wasting or breakdown.

Muscle proteins are constantly broken down and rebuilt (synthesized). The balance between muscle protein breakdown and synthesis determines the amount of protein in muscle .

Muscle wasting or breakdown occurs when protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis.

Muscle wasting is a sign of malnutrition and occurs with chronic infections, cancer, periods of fasting and as a natural part of the aging process .

In humans, BCAAs account for 35% of the essential amino acids found in muscle proteins. They account for 40% of the total amino acids required by your body .

Therefore, it’s important that the BCAAs and other essential amino acids are replaced during times of muscle wasting to halt it or to slow its progression.

Several studies support the use of BCAA supplements for inhibiting muscle protein breakdown. This may improve health outcomes and quality of living in certain populations, such as the elderly and those with wasting diseases like cancer.

BCAAs may improve health in people with cirrhosis, a chronic disease in which the liver does not function properly.

It’s estimated that 50% of people with cirrhosis will develop hepatic encephalopathy, which is the loss of brain function that occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood .

While certain sugars and antibiotics are the mainstays of treatment for hepatic encephalopathy, BCAAs may also benefit people suffering from the disease .

One review of 16 studies including 827 people with hepatic encephalopathy found that taking BCAA supplements had a beneficial effect on the symptoms and signs of the disease, but had no effect on mortality .

Liver cirrhosis is also a major risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, for which BCAA supplements may also be useful .

Several studies have shown that taking BCAA supplements may offer protection against liver cancer in people with liver cirrhosis .

As such, scientific authorities recommend these supplements as a nutritional intervention for liver disease to prevent complications

BCAAs are found in foods and whole protein supplements

Getting BCAAs from complete protein sources is more beneficial, as they contain all the essential amino acids.

Fortunately, BCAAs are abundantly found in many foods and whole protein supplements. This makes BCAA supplements unnecessary for most, especially if you consume enough protein in your diet already .

Consuming protein-rich foods will also provide you with other important nutrients that BCAA supplements lack. 

The best food sources of BCAAs include .

Food Serving Size BCAAs
Beef, round 3.5 ounces (100 grams) 6.8 grams
Chicken breast 3.5 ounces (100 grams) 5.88 grams
Whey protein powder 1 scoop 5.5 grams
Soy protein powder 1 scoop 5.5 grams
Canned tuna 3.5 ounces (100 grams) 5.2 grams
Salmon 3.5 ounces (100 grams) 4.9 grams
Turkey breast 3.5 ounces (100 grams) 4.6 grams
Eggs 2 eggs 3.28 grams
Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup (50 grams) 4.5 grams
1% milk 1 cup (235 ml) 2.2 grams
Greek yogurt 1/2 cup (140 grams) 2 grams
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I make BCAAs a staple supplement and definitely feel decreased DOM and increased recovery. I always drink them once during day at work and intra workout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...