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6 Reasons Why BCAA Should Be A Part Of Your Daily Diet

Fri, Feb 05, 2021

BCAAs stand for branched chain amino acids or isoleucine, leucine and valine. The name comes from their branched or nonlinear configuration of carbon atoms. Amino acids are widely regarded as protein building blocks in our bodies which make up our body structures in turn. Nonessential amino acids are produced within the body while essential amino acids come from our daily diets. BCAAs are essential amino acids, i.e. they are not produced within the body although they make up 1/3rd and more of protein contained in human muscle tissues.

Dietary sources of BCAAs include poultry, meat, fish, eggs and supplements which are mostly indispensable for sportspersons and athletes. BCAAs are metabolized majorly within the muscle and are swiftly absorbed within the bloodstream while ensuring additional fuel for all working muscles at the same time. Studies have shown that leucine plays a big role in muscle protein synthesis while inhibiting protein breakdown too.



Key reasons why you should consume BCAA in your daily diet

  1. Keeping Fatigue Away- BCAAs play a big part in inhibiting both peripheral and central fatigue while exercising. You can thus go all out for a longer duration of time. They offer additional energy even when the body has used up its glycogen reserves. They also inhibit Tryptophan from reaching your brain which otherwise leads to feelings of sleepiness and fatigue.
  2. Enhancing Performance- Regular consumption of BCAAs will help greatly in enhancing overall anaerobic and aerobic performance alike. Even a tiny increase in final performance may be the difference between victory and defeat or accomplishing a major milestone and missing out at the last moment. Studies have shown that 10 weeks of consumption of BCAAs led to an increase in sprinting peak power by a whopping 19%. They also discovered an increase of 4% in average power in relation to body mass.
  3. Boosting Immunity- Intense physical training may lead to immunity problems, overtraining and fatigue for athletes if there is insufficient recovery between training sessions. Long-term BCAA supplementation (12g each day) has reportedly enhanced immune responses to multi-week intense training regimes. BCAAs may be used as fuel sources by the gut, enabling the immune system to stay efficient while guarding against pathogens.
  4. Lean Muscle Protection- BCAAs help greatly in the preservation of lean muscle mass during intense activities such as running ultramarathons or indulging in high altitude mountaineering. With BCAA supplementation, the body is more likely to stop consuming its own stores of protein/amino acids.
  5. Muscle Protein Synthesis- BCAAs are preferred by weightlifters and bodybuilders for this reason as well. Leucine is a vital amino acid that initiates the process of muscle protein synthesis. 2-3 grams of leucine may stimulate synthesis and this is known as the leucine threshold. Whey protein has high BCAA content, making it a top choice for most supplements.
  6. Lower Muscle Damage & Soreness- Consumption of BCAAs may help in lowering the overall duration and severity of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which can otherwise last for many days post intense exercising. Studies have revealed that intake of BCAAs will lower muscle damage post endurance and resistance training sessions alike. You can recover faster while experience lesser soreness of muscles in between challenging workout sessions.

You should ideally consume anywhere between 4-20 grams of BCAAs each day which equates to around 3 capsules. The exact dosage and the ratio between valine, leucine and isoleucine is something that you should discuss with an expert or your doctor. You can divide everyday consumption of BCAAs into multiple doses depending upon your specific requirements.