What Does BCAA Mean?
BCAA simply means Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), these amino acids consist primarily of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine as well as 6 other amino acids which don’t play such of a prevalent role.
Contrary to popular belief BCAAs are not produced by the body naturally, we must obtain these through our diet which means if we don’t supply our body with enough it can have detrimental effects to our well-being, especially if the person is active and exercising daily.
What do BCAAs do?
Branch Chain Amino Acids work in more ways than you might initially think, by supplementing the BCAAs you’re improving the protein balance within the skeletal muscles which can have effects such as encouraging muscle growth and an increase in the muscles capacity to do more.
The key element of BCAAs is to aid in the process called Protein Synthesis, particularly L-Leucine which in some cases has been noted to do so better than standard protein solely. Along with this BCAAs also have a positive effect on a cellular level so not only do they improve your body’s protein synthesis ability it also increases the cells capacity to partake in protein synthesis.
Another notable effect of BCAAs is the reduced breaking down of protein in the muscles, this is done by minimising the protein breakdown pathway and complexes within the process, which in simple terms, means your body is less likely to use protein as an energy resource meaning you retain muscle much more efficiently.
When should I take BCAAs?
Depending on the levels of intensity within your workout it is recommended to consume rough 5-8 grams of BCAAs before your workout and 4-6 grams after your workout. This is to aid in your energy levels through your workout but most gym-goers will often opt for a split 4-8 grams on either side of their routine.
Taking the BCAAs with a post-workout meal is often seen as the most beneficial due to an increase in energy levels, you will often find that Personal Trainers with Nutrition Qualifications will give this advice and supply you with details on what you should consume, and when.
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