BCAA ‒ How, Why & When
Friday, March 15, 2019
If you’re a fitness freak looking to build muscle, chances are you must be taking BCAAs or have at least heard about them.
They are the literally building blocks of muscles. BCAAs make up around 35% of your muscle’s protein levels. This makes supplementation essential to gain muscle, enhance muscle tone and improve your physical performance!
What Exactly Are BCAAs?
Let’s first see what BCAAs actually are.
There are 22 amino acids that are vital for every biological process in our body. Among those, 9 are essential amino acids (EAAs) & cannot be made by the human body so they must be found from food sources. The remaining 13 are non-essential amino acids that the body can produce.
Among the essential amino acids, 3 are Branched -Chain Amino Acids i.e BCAAs: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Unlike the other essential amino acids, BCAAs are oxidized directly into the muscle tissue and not the liver. They are proteogenic amino acids, making up 40% of the daily requirement of all 9 essential amino acids, indicating their importance.
The more BCAAs present in the muscles, the more they will be used for muscle protein synthesis, energy giving, reducing muscle cells breakdown and preserve muscle mass loss.
Together, BCAAs play numerous key roles in your body – but among all 3 BCAAs, Leucine plays the most important role because it initiates protein synthesis and contributes to the protein metabolism. Here are some of their key benefits of BCAAs:
✔ Increase muscle growth
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition Jan 2006, found that BCAAs activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. They increase muscle growth by:
- Providing energy and endurance to train harder and longer for increased muscle gain.
- Reduce muscle soreness and recovery time needed.
- Increase the anabolic hormones production like testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone. Resulting increased ability to build muscle.
✔ Prevents Muscle Loss
- • BCAAs also reduce the catabolic hormone such as Cortisol (Stress hormone), which otherwise breaks down muscle tissue.
✔ Increases Fat Loss
- • BCAAs help in fat loss by a process called as “nutrient partitioning”, during this BCAAs provide energy to the muscle tissue from fat tissues during times of caloric restriction and thus increase the fat metabolism for energy and protect the muscle tissues from breaking down.
✔ Reduces Physical and Mental fatigue
- • Intense workout lead to the release of “serotonin” which signals that the brain is getting overly fatigued. BCAAs, especially valine reduce the production of serotonin, thus delaying the fatigue.
✔ Improves Overall Performance
- • BCAA supplements can be used to provide energy to improve performance when taken pre, intra and post workout as they are oxidized directly into the muscle tissue and not the liver.
✔ Decreased Muscle Soreness & Recovery Time
- • BCAA enhance muscle repair. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness Sep 2017, found that BCAA supplementation before exercise had a more beneficial effect in decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness and exercise-induced muscle damage.
BCAAs are present in most animal protein sources like Fish, Meat, poultry, milk and milk products. Whey protein is also the richest source of BCAAs.
Supplementation will be necessary and beneficial for vegetarians, since veg sources of proteins are generally low in BCAAs.
10 to 20 gm/day depending on your training intensity.
Understood. But How to Choose the right Supplement?
Today there are hundreds of BCAAs supplement available in the market. The following factors make all the difference in almost similar looking products:
1. More Leucine, More Muscle synthesis
Remember, among all three Branched-chain amino acid, Leucine, plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis, the anabolic trigger which helps form new muscle tissue. So, more amount will definitely help you gain more muscle.
2. Clean Plant-Based (Vegan) Fermented Source
Do you know that most of BCAAs in the market are made from human hair and bird feathers! Yikes! Yes, you read that right! Hair and feathers are high in proteins called Keratin. Supplement industry uses this substandard source for BCAAs. Plant-based fermented sources are considerably more expensive than cheaper hair and bird feathers. That’s why manufacturing companies using Vegan Fermented source always mentioned their source as it’s there USP. whereas, if the source is not mentioned, it means it is made with hair and bird feathers.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you don’t mind having hairs and feathers in your shakes, then go for it!
❝ Plant-based fermented sources are considerably more expensive than cheaper hair and bird feathers. Hence manufacturing companies using vegan fermented source always mention their source as it is an USP. Whereas, if the source is not mentioned it means it is made with hair and bird feathers.❞
3. All-Natural, Without Synthetic Color, Flavors and Sweeteners
Artificial Color, flavors, and sweeteners are linked to cancer, diabetes, and many metabolic syndromes. Great tasting BCAAs that are naturally colored, flavored and sweetened exist in the market.
4. Micronized and Instantized
BCAAs are poorly soluble in water because of their crystalline structure leads to become lumpy and thus poorly absorb in the intestine.
Micronized BCAAs are highly soluble in the water. Instantized BCAAs dissolve fast in water, forming a clear and transparent solution, no foaming, no residue and float on top. Resulting in easy absorption and improved bioavailability.
BCAAs particularly Leucine is involved in muscle protein and energy metabolism. Its supplementation, in muscle building, holds great promise. It deserves a place in your ’supplement stack’. If you still are not sure which BCAA supplement should take, consider our PROCEL Range of BCAAs.
PROCEL is among very few companies that offer higher quality supplements at affordable rates.
Procel Ultra-BCAA stands out in the whole range of BCAAs supplements. Each serving Provides you 10g of BCAAs including 6.5g of L-Leucine with added 3g of Beta-alanine in each serving to give you the lactic acid buffering edge. Also, vital electrolytes and hydration compounds for a complete intra-training solution.
Also, all PROCEL amino acids are micronized and Instantized for superior absorption. Plus, it has NO added colors, flavors and sweeteners. It is sweetened with natural Stevia leaf extract. Try it to know the difference!