Is it okay to use BCAA during my workouts? Should you use BCAA or whey protein as your workout supplement? This article will cover various aspects of BCAA, from the meaning and benefits to the disadvantages of using the supplement for people who like to work out. However, it is important to also consult your physician before using any supplement.
What is BCAA?
BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. It is a combination of three major amino acids, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine, which are very useful in physical exercises. This is because they stimulate protein-building in muscles and reduce muscle breakdown. So, if you are looking for a supplement that can boost your muscular energy while working out, this supplement might be right for you.
The composition in the BCAA supplements helps reduce fatigue and increase muscle endurance in people when consumed. Although some foods like eggs, meat, fish, cheese, and most legumes naturally contain these major amino acids, they may not provide the adequate amounts that your body may need.
To supplement the protein deficit in your diet, you can consider incorporating BCCA into your diet plan. BCAA supplements can come in handy for various functions, so make thorough BCAA comparisons before purchasing the supplement that suits your needs.
How BCAA works in the Body?
Proteins are composed of small molecules called amino acids. Different amino acids are joined together in various sequences to create various proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, therefore, essential for the body’s production of molecules and enzyme activity.
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three amino acids that make up branched-chain amino acids. Their side chains “branch off,” hence their name. Since the body cannot produce them independently, they are categorized as “essential” and must be obtained through food.
While protein-rich foods can provide you with enough of these amino acids, there are benefits to having them in a drink, such as quicker digestion and direct blood contact. Getting adequate BCAAs is necessary for everyone. However, those who want to gain or maintain muscle should give their body special focus. These substances, particularly leucine, can regulate protein metabolism by encouraging protein synthesis and inhibiting protein breakdown.
Is it okay to use BCAA during a workout?
Supplements or beverages that specifically help refuel and replenish the energy lost during the activity are known as intra-workout supplements or drinks. The three branched-chain amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine (BCAA) are essential for enhancing muscle protein synthesis and recovery.
In actuality, these amino acids can aid in maintaining your muscle mass throughout catabolism. Besides glycogen, BCAA is an excellent energy source during workouts, essential for promoting muscle growth. While a report by the National Library of Medicine reveals that BCAA can be effective during a workout, more studies continue to offer more insight into BCAA’s consumption benefits while working out.
Benefits of using BCAA supplements
The supplement has some beneficial effects on the body, and people who work out regularly enjoy the most of these benefits. The benefits of this supplement include the following:
#1. Muscle Building
The liver typically does not break down BCAAs, which allows them to reach muscle tissues directly. Instead, the body’s muscle fibers decide how to use these amino acids depending on their needs. Muscle mass development may be one of these requirements, which is good news for bodybuilders.
Leucine, out of the three BCAAs, is the most effective for promoting muscle growth in protein synthesis. It can activate a complex process known as mTOR, increasing protein synthesis and, as a result, muscle tissue growth.
#2. Improves Muscles Repair
BCAAs may also have anti-catabolic properties. For example, they assist in reducing muscle breakdown (catabolism) and can hasten the workout recovery process.
Muscle synthesis and breakdown can rise during resistance training, but breakdown outpaces growth. Supplements with amino acids can help with this. However, until protein or leucine is consumed, muscle loss after exercise outpaces gain.
Pre-workout beverages containing approximately 6 to 10 grams of BCAAs can help reduce soreness and hasten recovery.
#3. Reduces Fatigue
When you exercise, your body releases a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which tells your mind that you should stop because you are exhausted. Valine, one of the three BCAAs, steps into the rescue. When you take BCAA supplements while working out, valine competes with another amino acid, tryptophan, shortening the time it takes you to feel fatigued.
The more branched-chain amino acids your body uses as fuel, the longer and more intense the workout. Taking them as supplements can enable you to train harder and longer, which is essential for significant body changes. If you exercise while fasting, this effect could be highly potent.
#4. Side Effect
Most specialists advise taking daily supplements of BCAAs because they are considered safe and can boost effectiveness. However, stick to the dosage prescribed for your age, weight, gender, and medical conditions. Large doses may result in type 2 diabetes, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, loss of coordination, and increased insulin resistance.
BCAAs have an impact on blood sugar. Therefore, patients with an upcoming surgery should refrain from taking it before, during, and for a while after the procedure. In addition, BCAAs should be avoided by people with branched-chain-ketoaciduria (also known as maple syrup urine disease), renal, heart, or liver problems, and alcoholics.
Pregnant or nursing women shouldn’t take BCAA pills because there isn’t enough evidence to support their safety. Also, if you have a serious condition or are taking prescription medication, consider consulting your doctor before incorporating these supplements into your diet.
BCAA is generally considered a safe supplement, and it can work effectively whenever you choose to use it. As mentioned earlier, check the composition of the BCAA supplement you buy before using it, as there are several kinds of it in the market. Perform adequate research to ensure that the one you are buying will work perfectly with your body system. Finally, if you experience any side effects, please consult your doctor immediately.