Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) have taken the sports nutrition world by storm. Most of this has to do with the amazing results different bodybuilders and athletes have experienced when using BCAA supplements. BCAA consists of three types of amino acids that are considered “essential amino acids”. These three essential amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Of all the essential amino acids out there, BCAA consists of over 35% of the essential amino acids that you need. The reason these essential amino acids are so important is because your body cannot produce them on its own.
How Does Your Body Receive BCAA?
The only way for the body to get BCAA is for an individual to consume it in their diet or through supplementation. While you can get BCAA through a diet that is rich in meat and dairy products, many individuals will fail to eat a sufficient amount of BCAA through diet alone. This is why you should strongly consider a BCAA supplement, especially if you’re physically active.
What Does BCAA Supplements Do?
The reason BCAA supplements are so important for folks involved in physical fitness activities is because branch chain amino acids are able to create muscle protein synthesis in your body. What this means is that BCAA builds up the fibers in your muscles so they can grow and develop. In order for muscles to maintain strength and endurance they constantly need to be fed energy and nutrients through protein synthesis. If this does not occur, or only happens in small amounts, then the muscles become weak and will even start to shrink (which is called muscle atrophy), unless normal muscle protein synthesis starts reoccurring.
This is why it is important not only for athletes and bodybuilders to use BCAA supplements, but also for those who are maturing in age and beginning to get the side effects of weakening muscle strength or muscle atrophy. BCAA supplements can help reverse this process through muscle protein synthesis, and also by providing better growth hormone production in the body.
Hormones and BCAA Supplements
The primary hormones that build and develop muscles in the human body is testosterone and anabolic hormones (not to be confused with anabolic steroids). Both of these hormones are what send signals from the metabolic system to the muscles that they need to be fed, and get the proper nutrients to muscles when they need it. When these hormones are produced in low levels by the body, the muscle development is stunted. However, BCAA can help by sending signals from the brain to the body’s organs that more of these growth hormones need to be developed. Yet, this can only happen if you have proper amounts of BCAA in your body to send the signals in the first place. This means if you don’t have enough BCAA in your body, then it can cause a chain reaction of making your body incapable of producing the amount of hormones that you need to develop muscle growth. Again, this is why it is important if your body is experiencing low amounts of anabolic hormones or testosterone to be taking a BCAA supplement.
Benefit of BCAA Supplements
BCAA supplements can also help with your liver function as well. The Leucine amino acid is able to create better signals from your brain to your liver, which helps prevent liver disease from occurring. This is important for not just fitness enthusiasts, but for anyone looking to have a healthier functioning body. This is just another prime reason why many health professionals and doctors recommend that most people (with a few exceptions) take some form of BCAA supplement.
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