If you are a fan of fitness games or at least know someone who is, the odds are, you have already heard the acronym BCAAS many times. There are plenty of reasons why branched-chain amino acids (most commonly known as BCAAs) have been a constant topic in fitness conversations.
BCAAs are essential amino acids that make up a fraction of the entire muscle protein of a human body. There are about 20 types of amino acids that constitute thousands of various proteins in the body. 9 out of 20 are known to be essential amino acids, which means the human body cannot produce them; instead, they can only be acquired through the foods that you eat.
BCAAs help improve the immune system
Rigorous physical activities for weeks may lead to health issues such as immune suppression, hormonal imbalance, and fatigue. Regular consumption of BCAAs has been shown to enhance the immune response that can help a person endure weeks of training.
Immune cells can utilize BCAAs as a source of fuel. They enable the immune system to rejuvenate itself with more efficiency to fight harmful pathogens. An improved immune system plays a huge role in recovery and reduces the risk of getting sick.
BCAAs improve muscle growth
This is perhaps one of the reasons why weightlifters seem to love BCAAs a lot. Leucine, one of the BCAAs, facilitates muscle growth by activating a particular region in the body responsible for protein synthesis.
Leucine of about 2-3 grams is the generally prescribed amount effective to stimulate muscle protein synthesis or MPS optimally. Dairy products such as whey are known to contain a significant amount of BCAAs.
BCAAs reduce muscle soreness
When you have just started a new exercise routine, the chance is, you will experience muscle soreness more frequently since your body is taking time to adjust; this is called ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ or ‘DOMS.’
Such soreness can be experienced around 12-24 hours after your exercise. Typically, it lasts for about 72 hours. BCAAs have been shown to reduce the breakdown of protein during exercise. Furthermore, it reduces the creatinine kinase level, which is a muscle deterioration indicator.
BCAAs delay fatigue in exercise
Whenever you are done with your exercise, at some point, you may experience a certain level of exhaustion and fatigue. The BCAAs reduce fatigue after an exercise routine in the same way that they reduce muscle soreness resulting from too much physical activity.
The severity of your fatigue depends on certain factors such as the period and intensity of the exercise, environmental condition, and your health status.
During exercise, your muscle takes up BCAAs, causing their levels in your blood to shrink. Whenever this happens, the tryptophan, a type of essential amino acid in the brain, suddenly rises.
Tryptophan undergoes conversion, and serotonin is produced, a type of hormone that induces muscle fatigue during an exercise.
BCAAs promote liver health
Studies have shown that long-term consumption of BCAAs has a significant effect on patients with advanced liver cirrhosis. They work by providing the liver with protection that prevents the development of cancer in people with the problem.
Choose a healthy lifestyle
Food supplements are not necessarily a magic bullet. They indeed help in managing your overall health, and it also takes self-discipline to achieve a completely healthy mind and body. Choose to enjoy life, but do it in a way in which your health will not be compromised.