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What Is BCAA Supplement? Is It Useful Or Useless?

by Repfuel Sports 13 May 2023 0 Comments

BCAAs (Branched chain amino acids) is combination of 3 essential

amino acids – valine, leucine, and isoleucine – these amino acids are referred as essential because our bodies can’t produce them on

on their own, which is why it becomes necessary to consume them through external sources. BCAA supplements usually come in a 2:1:1 ratio, which means that the amount of leucine is twice that of valine and isoleucine. This may be because leucine has a tendency to trigger muscle protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle building. However, to get a clear picture of whether BCAAs are useful or useless, it is necessary to understand what exactly BCAAs bring to the table.

What Are The Uses Of BCAA? How Does It Contribute To Your Fitness Goals?

Through ample research and studies, BCAA has shown quite a few benefits that assist our fitness goals. These various benefits can be narrowed down to five major points:

  1.  Delaying fatigue during workout: Consuming a higher quantity of BCAA has been shown to limit the entrance of tryptophan, an amino acid that our body needs to make serotonin, which promotes fatigue during exercise.
  1. Decreasing muscle damage and soreness: Some level of soreness is bound to happen while you are performing exercise in the gym, which results in strain and inflammation of the muscles. However, BCAA has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the level of soreness in the working muscles so that you can push a little further in your workout sessions.
  1. Promotes post workout muscle building: BCAA that is derived from dietary protein sources trigger muscle protein synthesis, which promotes muscle building and restraint muscle protein breakdown.
  1.  Provides energy during the workouts: While performing your workouts, the main source of energy that your body requires is glucose, but if you don’t have enough glucose to fuel your workout session, then BCAA can be an excellent substitute.
  1. Immunity support: Our immunity can be hampered due to vigorous workout sessions because of the decreased level of an amino acid known as glutamine, which acts as fuel for our immune cells. But the good news is that glutamine can be derived through BCAA, which fuels our immune cells and protects our immune system.

Fuelling and elevating our user’s performance levels with the best and top-notch supplements is our biggest goal, and we take it very seriously. Through Repfuel Sports Enhanced BCAA, our quest to achieve that goal has accelerated rapidly, as with the 5000 mg muscle recovery matrix and 1000 mg glutamine per serving, Repfuel Sports Enhanced provides scientifically researched 2:1:1 BCAAs which has helped our users in muscle recovery and enhancing hypertrophy.

What Do Studies Say About “When To Take BCAA?” 

Should you consume BCAA pre or post workout?

Well, initially, there happens to be only one minor study that has compared the effects of consuming BCAA both pre and post exercise.

In this study, two groups were formed, the first group of people consumed 10 grams of BCAA before performing strength exercises for their non-dominant arms, and the second group was given 10 grams of BCAA after performing strength exercises for their non-dominant hands. Results depicted that less muscle soreness was experienced in the people of the first group compared to the second group.

Another available study which compares the pre and post effects of BCAA studies two groups of athletic males who consumed 25 grams of whey protein isolate for 10 weeks (providing 5.5 grams of BCAA per serving). The first group consumed the whey protein isolate right before the weightlifting workout, and the second group consumed the whey protein isolate right after the weightlifting workout. Shockingly, results concluded that in terms of body composition and strength, both groups gained the same level of improvements.

So, after taking both the available studies into consideration, it can be said that it doesn’t make a huge difference whether an individual should consume BCAA before their workout or later after they have finished their training.

Can You Take BCAA During Workout?

Consuming BCAA during your workout sessions has been researched for endurance athletes like long-distance runners and cyclists. 

study showed that in the case of long distance runners, 193 runners were given 16 grams of BCAAs during the marathon, and the rest were given the placebo. Results concluded that there was no difference between the speed of the runners who consumed BCAA and the runners who were given the placebo.

Surprisingly, study done on cyclists also showed that BCAA didn’t yield any results in enhancing the physical performance of the cyclists while performing endurance exercises either.

So according to available evidence, consuming BCAA before, after or during the workout doesn’t really make much of a difference, that means it’s not necessary to specifically time your consumption of BCAA to support your muscle building process. 

How To Increase The Effects Of BCAA?

Through meta-analysis of various studies, researchers have concluded that there are possibly three ways which BCAA supplements can be helpful in terms of limiting the muscle damage related to exercise.

First and foremost is the dosage at which BCAA should be taken on a per day basis, which is 200 mg per kg of body weight. So, if a person weighs 75 kg, he or she requires 15,000 mg of BCAA (15 grams) per day to limit the muscle damage related to exercise.

Second, it is necessary to consume a BCAA supplement for at least 10 days or more to fetch any benefits related to muscle protection. So if you are someone who consumes BCAA supplements only on the days when you are performing exercise, then you need to make some changes in your routine. 

Third, the frequency at which you consume BCAA supplements may be a factor. So, whatever your daily dosage of BCAA might be, you should divide it into two or more slots, as consuming it all at once can be not that beneficial. But, it is necessary to consume at least 6 other essential amino acids other than BCAA so that our bodies can make protein. So, consuming protein through other sources is also crucial. 

Explore More About How Much Protein Is Needed Per Day ?

Bottom Line

BCAA supplements positively provide the nutrients that support the muscle building process. But, because there are not many studies, it can’t be precisely said whether BCAA supplements hold an advantage over the BCAA content that is derived from food. Timing of Consumption doesn’t play a major role in affecting muscle protection. It is essential to consume your daily BCAA dosage, which varies for every individual and depends on your body weight; additionally, it is also essential to keep consuming BCAA on a long-term basis, including the off days (when you are not performing any exercise), to receive maximum benefits. 

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