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BCAA Explained

BCAA Explained

BCAA amino acids. Nutrition for bodybuilding. Fitness supplements on black stone background.

How BCAA Affects Your Body & Fitness.

Your body contains thousands of different proteins, but each of them are made up of just 20 different amino acids that serve as building blocks.

Out of those 20 amino acids, 3 of them have a special branched chain structure with unique properties.

These three special amino acids are valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

These branched chain amino acids(BCAAs) make up nearly 33% of all the protein in your muscles.

This article will break down why BCAAs are special, and what they can do for you.

What Does BCAA Do?

BCAAs are essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be produced by your body. Your body only acquires them through the foods you eat.

BCAAs are unique because they are processed directly within your muscles. They do not go to the liver for breakdown. They directly enter your bloodstream and serve as an alternate fuel for your exercise and have special pro-anabolic and anti-catabolic properties.

The BCAA leucine in particular is well-known to help in the creation of muscle, while reducing muscle breakdown at the same time.

Leucine can help you whether you’re planning to lose fat or gain muscle. As a bonus, leucine helps your body hold onto muscles during especially strenuous and long duration exercise.

BCAAs can help you by

  • Increasing muscle growth
  • Reducing muscle soreness
  • Inhibiting muscle loss
  • Increasing appetite
  • Protecting the liver
  • Providing more energy during exercise

What’s the Best Time to Take BCAA?

Since BCAAs are absorbed quickly, the ideal time to take them would be 15-30 minutes before exercise. You can get BCAAs through foods or supplements, but it’s recommended that you use supplements as your pre-workout snack instead. This is because they don’t strain your digestive system like solid foods and are quick to be absorbed.

See Also
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You can also take them 3 times a day with each meal.

How Much BCAA Should You Take?

You simply need to consume enough BCAAs to have a substantial amount in your bloodstream by the time you exercise. The right amount to take varies based on your body-weight, but you want to consume about 2 grams of BCAAs in general to notice a positive effect.

The World Health Organization suggests that an adult should consume a bare minimum of 15 milligrams of BCAAs per pound of body weight every single day.

Other studies suggest that women should consume a minimum of 9 grams per day, while men should consume a minimum of 12 grams per day.

What Are The Best Sources Of BCAA?

You can get BCAA from a variety of foods, such as:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Whey
  • Soy
  • Beans
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Whey Protein vs BCAAs vs EAAs with Thomas DeLauer

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