The Benefits of BCAAs

The Benefits of BCAAs

What are BCAAs?

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are arguably some of the most essential nutrients your body obtains from protein. These are referred to as “branched chain” because of the chemical structure of the amino acids. These BCAAs are offered for medicine to treat brain, liver and kidney conditions. BCAAs are also used to improve our exercise performance, here’s why:


1. BCAAs trigger muscle protein synthesis

Leucine, an important compound in BCAAs, has been shown to stimulate muscle growth independently. A study found that BCAAs and specifically leucine support muscle protein synthesis by up-regulating enzymes which trigger protein synthesis and therefore develops muscle. By reaching your body’s peak activation of protein synthesis, body fat levels are also lowered.


2. BCAAs help achieve a leaner body

Research has shown that those with higher levels of BCAA in their diet have lower body weight and a better body composition. The suggested reason for this is that leucine increases an individual’s energy expenditure and allows them to train harder. Those with higher BCAA intake also show a great resistance to fatigue. So not only has BCAA intake proven to increase fat burning but also allows you to work for a longer period of time.


3. BCAAs result in higher levels of testosterone

A recent study found that taking BCAA supplements while resistance training will result in significantly higher testosterone levels. The higher the concentration of leucine resulted in less muscle breakdown from the increased anabolic protein signaling.


4. Taking leucine enhances strength gain

In addition to the effect leucine has on protein synthesis, studies show it also leads to greater strength. The suggested reason for this is the BCAAs allowing individuals to train harder and longer while increasing protein synthesis.


5. BCAAs result in greater endurance

A study proved those individuals taking a BCAA supplement lowered their rating of perceived exertion during endurance training. They also raised blood amino acid levels while exercising which reduced muscle damage. Taking BCAAs with a carb supplement will then help lower RPE and allow athletes to train more intensely. Therefore, taking BCAAs overall allows individuals to stay strong longer and are critical for endurance athletes.