What are BCAAs?
BCAAs are the essential amino acids that are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, comprising about 30-44% muscle protein in the body. They are extremely vital for the body as the body doesn’t make them on its own and hence it requires an outside source like Food or workout supplements to cope up with the deficient amino acids in the body. Leucine, Iso-leucine & Valine play a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis and recovery. They also help balance muscle glycogen stores, which minimizes and ensures minimal protein breakdown during a workout. BCAA supplements are a sure shot way to boost your workout performance.
Why is an additional BCAA supplement required? Doesn’t protein provide enough BCAAs?
Amino Acids play a vital role in the body, rigorous workout sessions, heavy training or a power-packed gym session leads to depletion of amino acids in the body, and therefore, filling up the void for lost amino acids requires an additional food source or a BCAA Supplement. BCAA supplements get easily absorbed by the muscles and work as an ultimate workout fuel, thereby decreasing muscle breakdown during training. Supplement your protein shake with BCAAs and preserve your glycogen store- for energy production and buildup.
How are BCAAs in ratio 8:1:1 better than 2:1:1?
If you are confused with the different ratios of amino acids and its effects, let’s have a clear understanding of which is better. Among the essential BCAAs i.e., Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, Leucine is one of the most vital and essential amino acids responsible for better muscle protein synthesis. Looking at the current market trends, BCAA supplements found in the 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine are more common. However, BCAA in the ratio 8:1:1 is far superior and more effective than the former. Due to the higher content of Leucine, the overall workout and training session is more advanced and worth your time and energy. Leucine is one of the major activators of mTOR. mTOR is like a molecular switch that turns on the machinery that manufactures muscle proteins.
BCAA Supplements: An Ultimate Workout Fuel
BCAA Supplement is an ultimate intra-workout fuel with Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in the ratio 8:1:1 respectively. The most common ratio of BCAA supplements having these 3 essential amino acids is 2:1:1 with 2 parts of Leucine over 1 part each for the other two BCAAs. Leucine is a game-changer amino acid that activates the complex muscle building pathways when the body undergoes a heavy-duty workout or any strenuous workout session. BCAA supplements help in good lean muscle building and instant recovery of muscles.
Increased Muscle Growth
Most of the BCAA supplements in the market contain a common ratio of 2:1:1 for Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. But it is always advised to opt for BCAA Supplements containing these three amino acids in a ratio of 8:1:1 respectively. These essential amino acids are extremely vital for increased muscle growth and a good muscular frame. It enhances the synthesis of protein in the body, and therefore, facilitates faster recovery and good muscle buildup.
Better Muscle Recovery
BCAA Supplements have Glutamine which is commonly found as over 61% of amino acid in the skeletal muscles which helps in better muscle recovery and strength. It also contains 19% nitrogen for the vasodilation of nerves. L- Glutamine present in the BCAA supplements helps in faster muscle growth and recovery of skeletal muscles which undergo rigorous wear and tear during a workout.
Promotes Fat Loss
Taking up BCAA supplements help you keep fuller and curb your appetite. Study shows BCAA supplements promote fat loss in women. It also preserves your lean muscles while you are dieting and keeps you satiated for long.
Reduces Fatigue & Normalises Soreness
BCAA supplements have both sodium and potassium as potent electrolytes. If consumed during workouts, these electrolytes prevent the onset of fatigue. It keeps the body hydrated for long even after a long and strenuous workout session.
Higher Leucine Content
BCAA supplements are effective because of their higher leucine content – approx 5.6g of leucine per serving with a ratio of 8:1:1 of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine respectively. Leucine speeds up the muscle recovery process and helps in good muscle growth.
Every serving of BCAA supplement comes loaded with L-Citrulline which facilitates vasodilation and pump. It also helps in effective and efficient transportation of nutrients to the muscles by increased blood flow to the muscles.
No added Sugar
All BCAA supplements come with no added sugar so you just don’t have to worry about the overall sugar content in the body. All you can do is gulp down only what is good.
When to Consume
Highly trained athletes, fitness enthusiasts, gym-goers, or any individual who is training hard is recommended to consume BCAA supplements during the workout. It is ideal for both pre and post-workout regimes. It will keep you all fuelled up and charged ensuring a power-packed performance in the gym. BCAA Supplements are essentially more important for vegetarians and vegans. Most people get enough of it when consuming an animal diet but for all those on a plant-based diet might be deficient.
Directions to Use
It is advised to mix around 5-6 grams of BCAA supplement in your protein shake and consume it during your workout session in order to get the best results. It can be mixed in both water and skimmed milk.
Top Food Sources that contain BCAA’s :
- Poultry and Meat
- Beans and Lentils
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Fish etc.
Safety and Side Effects of Consuming BCAA Supplements :
Consuming a BCAA supplement has no side effects and is proven to be extremely safe. A daily dosage of 13-15 grams per day is ideal. For all those suffering from LAS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease are not recommended to consume BCAA supplements. Consult your doctor for proper dosage and prescription before consuming it on a regular basis.
Let’s see who needs how much of BCAA?
Although taking up BCAA supplements completely depends on your fitness goals and needs of the body.
For women: A minimum of 9 grams of BCAA per day is recommended for women.
For Men: A minimum of 12-13 grams of BCAA per day is recommended for men.