BCAA supplements are a type of health supplement that helps in muscle recovery. One of the most contested points of bcaa supplements is whether or not they actually work.
Do BCAAs work? Yes. They help you in fighting muscle soreness, build lean muscle mass, boost muscle protein synthesis, and improve muscle recovery.
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What is BCAA?
Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs is a term used for the group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
There are a total of 20 amino acids that our body takes into use on a daily basis. Out of these 20, nine amino acids are known as essential amino acids; these are the ones that are not produced naturally by the body and we need to get them from our diet.
BCAAs got their name from the branched chemical structure of their molecules
What Does BCAA Contain?
BCAA contains important nutrients required for a healthy diet. BCAAs are the essential building blocks of protein and have many different functions necessary for optimal health
BCAA contains amino acids that are essential to the human body; it is a popular ingredient in the manufacture of protein bars and popular brands of protein powders.
Do BCAA Supplements Work?
A BCAA supplement is a supplement that includes the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Since leucine is the only BCAA with an insulinogenic effect, it is the only one that can work as an energy source by muscle cells. This means leucine plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis and in balancing blood sugar levels.
As with most amino acids, the optimal dose of BCAA for performance is 20-30 grams taken prior to a workout. How quickly and how much these amino acids contribute to performance is largely dependent on the individual. For most athletes, this dose is enough.
BCAA supplements are used for various reasons, but mainly for muscle gain and recovery. People use BCAA supplements due to their fast-absorbing properties. It is also said to be a great way to recover from a workout, as it provides the necessary protein and amino acids to put the body in an anabolic state.
A 2007 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, showed that adults taking BCAA supplements lost less muscle during exercise and recovered better than subjects taking a placebo. Read Study
Supplements can be found either in a capsule or in powder form
Do BCAAs Really Work?
According to Scientific American in an article dated back to 2013, BCAA supplements can be a viable option for people looking for a supplement to up their protein intake, increase their muscle mass, and help minimize fatigue. It goes on to state that the latest research in the supplement’s effects on physical performance and fatigue is eye-opening.
Some of the benefits of BCAA supplementation include increased muscle recovery after workouts, improved muscle growth, and cuts down on muscle fatigue. You can consume BCAA supplementation orally or by injection, and the size of the dose given varies based on the individual and the desired effects.
One study found that when they increased the bcaa intake of racing cyclists to 3g/day for five days before a competition, they improved their performance by an average of 6% relative to the placebo group. Another study found that when they gave the bcaa supplement to participants before they did an isokinetic muscle fatigue protocol, it significantly reduced their muscle soreness, and improved their muscle strength.
BCAAs are used by people who are looking to maintain muscle while cutting body fat.
– Before Workout
The time of day that you work out is important because it can help increase your energy levels, burn fat, and improve muscle recovery.
The time before your workout is important to maximize your results. It is best to take a BCAA supplement 30-40 minutes before you begin working out. This can help to prevent muscle loss that occurs after a workout.
At the same time, it’s very important to note that they are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet. The benefits of BCAAs are that they can be taken before or during workout, and they can provide up to 6 hours of recovery after exercise.
– During Workout?
BCAAs are considered to be the most popular supplement for bodybuilders to help them gain muscle mass and are often used as a recovery drink.
Whether or not BCAAs work is a common debate among athletes. There is research to support both sides of the argument. Some experts say that BCAA supplementation can reduce recovery time and improve performance. Other experts, however, state that the supplements are unnecessary and do not provide a benefit.
A common complaint among people not supplementing BCAAs is that they have a slower recovery time. Studies have shown that those who supplement with BCAA have better recovery time. BCAAs also help to reduce muscle loss during periods without exercise.
BCAAs are also great for muscle growth, as they help you get into the anabolic state. They can also help with increasing your ability to build muscle.
Many individuals take bcaa supplements during intense weight lifting to ensure that they do not experience muscle damage.
– After Workout
Your body muscles need the right nutrition after an intense workout session. BCAAs constitute amino acids that are present in protein sources. BCAAs can help your muscles recover from a workout and grow properly after a workout.
Studies on the effectiveness of BCAAs have found that while drinking BCAAs after exercise will not only help with muscle protein synthesis, there was an increased sense of satisfaction and less muscle soreness in people who had taken them
It’s very common in the fitness world for people who work out regularly to take bcaa supplements to help them recover after tough workouts.
The recent research demonstrates that the consumption of BCAAs before, during, and after a weight training workout, increases muscle protein synthesis by up to 113%.
– For Muscle Soreness
BCAAs do work as a supplement to help reduce muscle soreness; this is beneficial to people who are looking for an efficient way to recover after a workout.
In order for BCAAs to optimize your muscle growth, the University of Illinois suggests that you can take BCAAs with other protein sources. BCAA supplementation can help address recovery from muscle soreness and aid in muscle growth after a workout.
This can help to provide energy and reduce many of the negative effects related to muscle soreness. BCAAs may also have an effect on pain relief in the brain.
– For Hangover
A study published in Nutrients, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, claims that the answer is yes. In fact, the study says that BCAA supplements significantly reduce hangover symptoms.
Another study found that those who take BCAA supplements already have diets heavy in protein. They are at less risk of decreased muscle mass in older age.
In certain situations like heavy drinking and late-night partying, people may need to consume more of these amino acids. BCAA supplements are often used before bed after a night of drinking to reduce the amount of muscle protein breakdown.
BCAA supplements also help reduce the negative effects of alcohol on the liver.
– For Weight Loss
Many people recommend BCAA supplementation to limit muscle loss and maintain muscle mass when dieting for weight loss.
The theory behind why bcaas may curb appetite and increase weight loss is that BCAAs can inhibit the release of the hormone ghrelin, which causes hunger.
BCAAs are a popular supplement to take for fat loss. Some people claim that BCAAs can help the body use fat as an energy source and suppress the appetite. BCAAs help to keep muscles from breaking down and building them up.
However, bcaas may cause increased aches and pains, higher blood pressure, and other side effects. It’s very rare that you might face these issues but it is always best to talk to a doctor before taking BCAAs.
How Do BCAAs Work In The Body?
BCAAs help with a number of things: building muscle, burning fat, and even boosting energy. There are nine types of amino acids in total, so that’s a lot of diverse functions that they help with. BCAAs in particular are known for their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and this can be especially beneficial for people recovering from DOMS.
BCAAs are needed in high amounts during training and when on a calorie-deficient diet. BCAA’s direct effect on protein synthesis can help you put on lean muscle mass and help to reduce fat mass while your training. BCAAs can be especially helpful for the athlete who is following a ketogenic diet and is conscious about the number of carbs they consume.
They are responsible for the production of many hormones related to appetite and digestion; also help in the production of glucose which impacts your overall performance. Your body also needs BCAAs for the production of neurotransmitters, amino acids, and DNA.
Does BCAA Make You Retain Water?
BCAA supplements are in use to help preserve muscle tissue after workouts and could potentially decrease onset muscle soreness the day after strenuous exercise.
They can help build muscle while not adding any extra water body weight.
Although it is true that BCAAs can make you retain water, this can be attributed to the high amounts of water necessary for the body to process the BCAA. It is not a bad thing to retain water in order to more efficiently process nutrients and amino acids as your body may be depleted of necessary nutrients.