You must have heard a lot about BCAA, but do you know what it is and what are its benefits? And most importantly, is it essential for body-builders?
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acid which is the building blocks for protein. Your body needs amino acid to re-build muscles as well as grow new ones. You might not know, but your own body makes 20 out of 11. However, the remaining nine can’t be made, and people often turn to dietary supplements to get the remaining nine.
Here are the nine amino acids which are essential for your body- valine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, and histidine. Out of these nine, isoleucine, leucine, and valine are incredibly essential to build muscle mass.
When you exercise, the first amino acid that diminishes is leucine, which clearly means that you need to replace it through food supplements or dietary supplements as soon as possible to let your body build more muscles.
However, it is not possible for you to receive all the essential amino acids only from food, and that’s why people often take supplements.
Amino acids are incredibly beneficial for us especially when we exercise, and leucine, in particular, plays a vital role in building muscles and helps in repairing muscle tissues. For professionals in general like bodybuilders, BCAA can be extremely beneficial as it helps them to maintain their physique.
The Essential Benefits of BCAA- Branched-Chain Amino Acids
It Enhances Protein Synthesis
The essential amino acids which are valine, isoleucine, and leucine helps in protein synthesis. You need them because they do more work than any protein. Protein synthesis is the process where your body starts building new muscles and also helps in re-building damaged muscles. Since, you begin losing amino acids while exercising, taking amino acids can help you with muscle building enormously.
It Reduces Protein Breakdown as Well
Another reason why BCAA is essential is that it helps in reducing the protein breakdown while you work out. If you reread the first point, you will understand the equation pretty quickly. Since BCAA helps in gaining protein synthesis and lowers protein breakdown, it means that you get to maintain your muscle gain.
You will Burn Fat Faster
When it comes to maintaining a good weight, BCAA and leucine can genuinely help you a lot with your weight loss program. Reports have shown that when you take BCAA leucine along with glutamine, it helps in reducing fat faster.
Do you Really need BCAA?
In short, yes, your body needs BCCA. There is plenty of food available in the market which will provide with essential amino acids, along with it there are right health supplements as well which you can buy. A high protein diet comprising of eggs, meat, and a lot of dairy items will provide you with essential amino acid nutrients. You should always give priority to real foods, only when you feel that you need additional health supplements, you can move on to buy some.
However, many people fail to maintain a healthy diet; for them, health supplement becomes an easy option. But, to tell you the truth, it is not that difficult to analyse what you are eating. Even then, if you think health supplements are best suitable for you, then we will help you understand how much your body needs it.
Recommended food for BCCA:
If you take 85 grams of chicken breast which is one scoop of whey protein will give you three grams of leucine amino acid. In fact, all kinds of animal-based protein contain a high amount of leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
Chicken: If you take 170 grams of chicken, you get 26 grams of protein, 6.6 grams of BCAA, 2.9 grams of leucine, 1.9 grams of valine, and 1.8 grams of isoleucine.
Eggs: One egg gives you 1.3 grams of BCAA, 6.3 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of valine, 0.3 grams of isoleucine, and 0.54 grams of leucine.
Cottage Cheese: Per half a cup of cottage cheese you get 12 grams of protein, 1 gram of valine, 4.7 grams of BCAA, 1.7 gram of leucine, and 1gram of isoleucine.
Tuna: Per 170 grams of tuna, you get 33 grams of protein, 1.6 grams of valine, 5.6 grams of BCAA, 2.5 grams of leucine, and 1.5 grams of isoleucine.
Salmon: You can eat salmon too. Per 170 grams of salmon will give you 34 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of valine, 5.9 grams of BCAA, 1.5 grams of isoleucine, and 2.7 grams of leucine.
When to take BCAA?
Depending on your training regime, you can take BCAA in your diet 2 to 4 times a day. You can take it as a normal health supplement in between your training, before and even after your workout plan. Many people prefer to take it after their training because it helps them replace the lost leucine amino acid.
When you take it after the workout plan, it works as a refreshing drink too, and when you consume it in between your training, it keeps you hydrated.
Another way to consume it is first thing in the morning once you wake up and before you go to bed. We will highly recommend not to take caffeine before you go to bed.
How to take BCAA Powder?
Every person is different, and they will have different BCAA intake need, that’s why it is challenging to suggest an exact dosage. However, according to study, for a person who does rigorous exercise, should take 2 to 4 grams of BCAA during as well as after their workout session.
You can mix BCAA powder with water or with your favourite sports drink. You can take it before going to bed, during the workout session, after and before the workout session too. It all depends on the purpose of taking BCAA.
The only suggestion we have for you is to look for the BCAA powder ingredients, it shouldn’t contain caffeine in it and if it does, don’t take it before you go to bed. Take in the morning instead. Caffeine is good for pre-workout sessions.