Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are compounds containing at least a carboxylic acid group and an amino group. In other words, proteins are polymers of amino acids with each amino acid residue joined to its neighbor by a specific type of covalent bond which we refer to as peptide bonds. Amino acids are classified physiologically into Essential and Non-Essential amino acids; Non-essential amino acids are synthesized or made by the body and are almost always available when needed but essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore must be supplied by the diet. Essential amino acids include Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Threonine and three of these essential amino acids are further classified as the Branched Chain Amino Acids
Since BCAAs are so important and needed in these processes, they must be made available to the body. This means we have to eat enough BCAAs and at the right times, to enable such processes to occur. BCAAs are naturally obtained from protein found in food especially meat, dairy products and legumes. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) supplements are a mixture of basic amino acids which are used to buffer and make available the essential BCAAs needed by the body. They limit and prevent muscle damage during extreme workouts. Although these supplements may not be used as creatine or protein, they are steadily rising in popularity. Lecucine, valine, and isoleucine are the essential amino acids that are included in BCAA supplements. This amino’s make up to about 1/3 of the muscle tissue. These essential nutrients are vital for the generation of human proteins found in the human body.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF BCAA SUPPLEMENTS
BCAAs support anabolic activities which make them very useful for muscle building and strength. BCAA supplementation promote muscular protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. According to research, branched chain amino acids trigger necessary enzymes in protein synthesis especially after exercise. Supplementation is therefore used also to prevent fatigue in novice athletes. It is also particularly used to prevent or slow muscle wasting in patients confined to bed. Leucine particularly plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Further research is needed to determine valine’s role in a BCAA supplement but considering the structural relationship, it is suggested to have the same functional role as the other two.
BCAA's are used to stabilize brain functions and hormonal release. They seem to prevent faulty message transmission in the brain cells. They have been investigated in the development and maintenance of neurons and have therefore been used in patients of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig disease, brain conditions due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy), Tardive Dyskinesia which is a movement disorder, and McArdle’s disease a genetic disorder.
Having a supply of BCAA can be of great benefit to you whenever you are working out with some heavy weights or doing some extended periods of cardio. This is because, BCAAs head directly into the bloodstream which in turn means dietary intake of BCAAs directly influences plasma levels and concentrations in muscle tissue, and they are burned for energy during exercises so they are an important exercise fuel. Whenever you work out, your entire body instantly consumes your glycogen storage and it begins to send a signal to terminate protein synthesis and also sends tryptophan into the brain which stimulates the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that potentiates fatigue and tiredness. It allows the athlete to work out harder and longer.
During intense exercise, the muscles tear slightly and then repair, growing stronger in the process—and that's when you need BCAAs. A 2000 study published in the “Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness” found that BCAA supplementation can cut down on muscle damage related to endurance exercise. BCAA supplementation lower lactate levels after resistance training and improve muscular oxidation. It therefore prevents muscular fatigue and muscle pull. BCAAs may increase growth hormone GH circulation, which may be related to anabolic mechanisms causing muscle growth
Though many foods contain BCAA, we can be depleted or drained of BCAA during an exhaustive workout. BCAA depletion can conceivably result to catabolism which is disadvantageous for those individuals who are striving to build stronger muscle mass. Consuming 4-8 grams of branched chain amino acids before and after your workout is good enough to prevent catabolism. Insufficient amount of amino acids supplementation may be effective against catabolism but to encourage faster recovery and a greater performance more enormous amount is recommended.
BCAA is one of the substantial supplements you can add to your sports training or workout and also to the supplements for some certain disease states. BCAAs are so important to muscle tissue and because they help maintain blood sugar levels it is important to get enough to support your workouts. Consuming a carbohydrate, protein and amino acids beverage during and after training can induce insulin response which helps transport insulin into cells. Within the myocytes, there’s one particular regulatory pathway for protein synthesis that’s stimulated by leucine. BCAA are very well researched and have been proven by experts for a long time. If you already have a multivitamin, whey protein, and creatine supplement, this is an excellent choice to advance your gains to the next level.
Growth and development of the body and especially muscles require the formation of new proteins. For the body to make new proteins, it needs an estimated daily leucine intake of between 1 to 4 grams. That minimum amount needs to be met before leucine will be able to impact the insulin signaling pathway which is just a baseline, actual metabolic use by athletes and people doing heavy resistance training and work may be upwards of 12grams.
.Sean: a dedicated health professional with more than 20 years of health and nutrition education, industry background, and personal experiences. Sean’s journey began at National Holistic Institute where he studied health and nutrition and he later became a certified trainer and weight loss specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Though his education has positioned Sean as an expert in the health and nutrition industry, it is his own diagnosis of heart disease that has enabled Sean to open up and assist others with their own unique health and nutrition needs.