What are BCAA?
Branched-Chain Amino Acids are part of the 9 essential amino acids which means we must get them in our diet because our bodies do not make them naturally. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein which is why they have become a popular topic among exercise enthusiasts. Out of the 9 essential Amino Acids there are 3 BCAA. They go by the names leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Unlike the other Amino Acids these have a branched molecular structure and are primarily broken down in the muscle versus the liver. This means that they can go right into the bloodstream for a quick energy source for your muscles.
How can BCAA help my workouts?
While working out your serotonin levels rise and can make you feel more fatigued. The branched-chain amino acids compete with the amino acid Tryptophan for entry into the brain, where Tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. BCAA supplementation can reduce the amount of Tryptophan that gets through the blood-brain barrier and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin that is produced. This might allow you to work harder, longer, and get more gains during your workouts.
How can BCAA help with weight loss?
When you are restricting your calories to lose weight your body may start using your muscle mass to be broken down and used as energy. Supplementing with BCAA around the time you work out may help reduce this breakdown of muscle while still providing the body with the Amino Acids it needs to stimulate muscle growth.
Can BCAA help with muscle recovery?
BCAAs are known to lower levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase, which are enzymes associated with muscle damage, and therefore can reduce the muscle damage associated with endurance exercise.
Where can Branched-Chain Amino Acids found naturally in food?
Leucine: soybeans, lentils, eggs, and meat
Isoleucine: meat, eggs, almonds, cashews, and chickpeas
Valine: peanuts, sesame seeds, and lentils, fish, and mushrooms
What is the recommended dosage?
A 2:1:1 ratio is recommended respectively between Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.
Leucine: 10 grams
Isoleucine: 5 grams
Valine: peanuts, 5 grams
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