Today, we’re looking at BCAA’s and why they’re a good supplement to stay healthy and help with lean muscle growth.
In this article, we’ve answered a lot of popular questions and after reading this, you will have a much better understanding of how BCAA’s work.
We’ve stripped the technical jargon out so it’s easy to read and everyone can understand – enjoy!
What Do BCAA’s Do?
BCAA means branched chain amino acids.
Amino acids are the foundations of protein – the building blocks if you will.
There are 20 amino acids, and nine of them are considered necessary.
Out of these nine essential amino acids, three of them account for one third of muscle tissue.
These three amino acids are known as valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
When we work out, when we lift weights, run, cycle or do any kind of exercise – we break down muscle tissue.
Therefore, BCAA’s are considered a good supplement to add to your routine, especially if exercise is part of your healthy lifestyle.
What Are BCAA’s Good For?
Put simply, BCAAs are good for building lean muscle.
They are often found in foods that contain proteins, like eggs or meat.
If you have a low dietary protein intake, (sometimes my vegan and vegetarian friends have this problem) a BCAA may be what you need.
They not only help you build those muscles, they also prevent fatigue in beginner athletes.
They are really good for women who do not want to get bulky but are serious about lifting.
We all want to look good – but not like Arnold Schwarzenegger!
BCAAs contain no testosterone, so they are a great supplement for women to take.
The benefits to this supplement are numerous.
To start, you can lower your levels of cortisol. Women who are busy, or work in high stress jobs know about this hormone all too well.
Cortisol’s main function is to increase your levels of blood sugar, suppress your immune system, and help out in the metabolism of carbs, proteins and fats.
When cortisol is released, you might also get low levels of HGH released along with it. That stands for Human Growth Hormone. You also might get cortisol released with rather high levels of insulin.
This can cause muscle burning and storage of fat.
By taking a BCAA, you can suppress food cravings and blunt hunger.
You can also balance out your brain chemistry, this is good news for busy people like me!
BCAA’s include a precursor to the glutamate that our brain uses as a stimulating chemical.
It also includes a precursor to the number one chemical our brain uses to relax, known as GABA.
Many of us are moms, workers, wives and generally very busy people. Wouldn’t you like some extra help getting some relaxation?
By making sure our brains have the best chemical balance and makeup, we can also prevent food cravings and unnecessary eating before it begins.
This is good news for people like me – I sometimes eat when I get stressed out.
You can also control your hunger using the BCAA known as leucine. Your blood sugar will be balanced.
This BCAA also activates hunger controlling molecules in your brain, too, so this may help with controlling your emotional eating.
The Benefits Don’t Stop There!
For example, people who take a threshold dose of the essential amino acids at each meal tend to have less visceral belly fat, and an increased level of muscle mass. (Can you say, “Hello bikini body!”)
BCAA’s also trigger protein synthesis, and they prevent the breakdown of your muscle cells. So, no more eating away of that precious muscle mass you’ve worked so hard for!
BCAA metabolites have also been known to prove lean mass in a population of middle-aged and young adults. These help you look good!
You can also enjoy a higher level of insulin sensitivity as well as glucose uptake when you are a healthy person taking BCAA’s.
For those of you with diabetes, you may be able to improve metabolic markers by using BCAA as part of your dietary intake with other therapeutic interventions.
For those of you who work out, there is more good news – they play a role in energy production and muscle growth during exercise. So, use them during your workouts for great results!
And in speaking of muscles, BCAAs have been known to reduce the soreness in muscles after intense exercise – you know, the kind that tears your muscles up and leaves you feeling beat!
And finally, BCAAs improve your motivation during training, especially when you are fatigued.
When to Take BCAA
In this section, we are going to talk about when to take BCAA’s, as well as who it benefits, and who it is best suited for.
This way, you can know how to harness this powerful supplement and reap the benefits!
BCAA’s are best suited for people who are exercising.
This includes weight training, or any rigorous physical activity like dance, rock climbing, swimming, running – you name it.
A BCAA will stimulate synthesis of muscle proteins, which is the first step in helping your body build more and more muscles.
It is best to take this supplement when you are exercising or training, and you can drink it like you would your water or pre-workout during your session.
Get yourself a nice water bottle for added fun.
This is the recommended way of taking one of the supplements we chose.
You can take it like so: put two scoops of Amino IV on your training days, while you are training.
You also can take two scoops of this supplement on your rest days too, that way it will help with your recovery.
There is even a BCAA popsicle recipe you can make which is perfect for those days when you just need a treat.
You can stack this supplement with just about any other supplement – so it’s easy and safe to take.
Things to Consider Before Taking This Supplement?
Even though this supplement is a safe and amazing way to build your muscles, there are some people who should stay away.
For example, if you have the disorder known as phenylketonuria (or PKU), you should avoid amino acid supplements.
This is because people with PKU lack the enzymes needed to break down the other essential amino acid, which is phenylalanine.
Furthermore, if you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, BCAAs are not recommended due to the lung failure that results from their use.
Using too much BCAAs may also lead to seizures.
Make sure to lower your carb intake when you take your BCAA.
Doing so will make sure that you control your hunger and cravings and lower those stress hormones.
Busy moms unite in calmness!
What About BCAA’s and Pregnancy?
Be sure to talk to your doctor before you take any BCAAs during pregnancy.
They are generally considered safe to use, but it is best to speak to a doctor first.
High levels of BCAA’s in children can be risky.
If you are getting a good amount of protein in your daily diet through wholesome, healthy foods like lean meats, eggs and nuts, you may not need a BCAA.
Best BCAA for Women
We’ve got three good choices for you in your quest for BCAAs.