BCAA’s are recognized as an important supplement in the fitness and sports circles. The term BCAA comes from “branched chain amino acids” and it refers to the three essential amino acids: L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine.What is so special about BCAA’s is that they are metabolized in the muscles instead of the liver, which means they help in creation of new proteins almost immediately after they are absorbed.
Like I said, these three amino acids are essential (the human body can’t synthesize them – they must be obtained from the diet) and they form the biggest part of muscle protein which is about 33 percent. Let’s take a look at every one of them separately:
Leucine has the greatest impact on protein synthesis than any other amino acid. Like the other branch chain amino acids, it is metabolized in our muscles directly rather than in the liver. It is known that Leucine can increase growth hormone levels and has an ability to hold back catabolism.Taking this amino acid can help you increase energy, strength and also help you build muscle mass.
Isoleucine is an isomer of the amino acid Leucine. It plays an important role in blood sugar and energy regulation as well as nitrogen balance in the body.It also increases muscle protein and promotes muscle recovery after an intense workout.
L-Valine is an essential amino acid that is necessary for normal nervous system functioning, regulation of the immune system, muscle reparation and nitrogen balance.When combined with Leucine and Isoleucine it promotes muscle growth and increases energy and strength.
Studies show that 2g of BCAA’s taken three times a day improved red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and fasting glucose. Supplementing with BCAA’s has been also shown to result in significant gains in size and strength. Taken before a workout BCAA’s can improve performance and delay the onset of fatigue. They also operate as anabolic agents allowing the body to burn fat and not muscle.