The Benefits of BCAAs – branched-chain amino acids

I always found the supplements are a money grabber, it is a way for people to spend more money.  I believe in real food!

Until very recently when I decided to enter to world of body building and men’s physique I also decided to incorporate a couple of supplements onto my diet and I started to ask around to people who has been using them for longer than me about which ones are the best for you body, in another words, which ones would the body benefit the most.  I got a lot of names and brands and theories about them but the number one most people use, the famous BCAA’s. one thing common all across was that no one really know the benefits of these branched-chain amino acids, actually, most people don’t know what the letters stand for.

I asked around and I started using a very high quality one by Poliquin.  I am not an expert on supplements and that’s is why I went to an expert friend of mine who actually explained to me how they work  and what are the real benefit of BCAAs.  here I would like to share a brief but if you’d like to read more about email me I’d be happy to share with you the research by Poliquin.

The Basics of BCAAs

The BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they support everything from anabolic muscle building to high-intensity endurance training to improving mental function and mood. They are among the nine essential amino acids that the body is unable to make, meaning they must be ingested through food or supplements. BCAAs are found in high-protein foods such as meat and whey protein.

As their name suggests, BCAAs have a branched side chain that simplifies the job of converting each amino acid into energy during intense exertion. The more BCAAs that are present in the muscles, the more they will be used for energy, slowing the breakdown of muscles cells and preventing catabolism. At the most basic level, BCAAs trigger protein synthesis, increase energy expenditure and have been shown to improve glucose tolerance (glucose intolerance is a precursor to diabetes). What’s exciting about this is that BCAAs work even when you aren’t working out, meaning that if you have to take time off, BCAAs will help minimize fat gain and muscle loss from inactivity. Equally, on days when you don’t exercise, BCAAs are just as important as during and post-workout.


1) BCAAs Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis 

A study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that BCAA supplementation can contribute to an anabolic environment in the body. Leucine-enriched BCAAs (a BCAA mixture that is 40 percent leucine) was shown to elevate and prolong protein synthesis after resistance training. There was evidence of a dose-dependent response to BCAAs, meaning that more is better, which is why I suggest taking them before, during, and after training.

2) Higher BCAA Levels Correlate With A Lean Body Composition

Research shows that individuals with a higher BCAA intake in their diets have lower rates of obesity, lower body weight, and better body composition. Researchers suggest that leucine increases energy expenditure and improves glucose tolerance.

3)  BCAAs Result in a Better Testosterone to Cortisol Ratio and Muscle Building

BCAAs will minimize the cortisol response that comes from the stress of exercise. This is ideal because cortisol degrades the muscles and can lead to greater fat gain. Less cortisol means a more favorable testosterone to cortisol (T:C) ratio that will result in faster recovery and more muscle development.

4)  Greater Strength Gains from Taking Leucine with Training

A British study showed that taking the leucine actually translates into greater strength in addition to the protein synthesis effects I’ve already mentioned. Previously untrained participants ingested 4 grams of leucine a day in conjunction with a 12-week resistance training program and increased strength by 41 percent. A placebo training group had strength increases of 31 percent after completing the same training program.

6)  BCAAs Can Decrease Muscle Soreness, Particularly DOMS

A University of Birmingham study found that taking BCAAs at strategic points throughout the day will significantly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from high-intensity eccentric training. Researchers found a 64 percent decrease in muscle soreness at 72 hours following exercise from BCAAs compared to a placebo. The exercise consisted of 12 sets of 10 eccentric repetitions at 120% of 1RM. If those loading parameters don’t produce insanely nasty levels of muscle soreness, nothing will!

7) Take BCAAs to Improve Mental Function and Reaction Time

Reaction time, which is virtually untrainable—you’re either born with it or you aren’t, has been shown to improve if you have higher BCAA blood levels.

8) Improve Mood and Decrease Depression with BCAAs

Taking BCAAs for the brain is especially important as you age. And I bet that if you ask your parents and grandparents, they aren’t taking BCAAs or even eating a high-protein diet (3 g of protein per kg of body weight). Researchers note that for older individuals who sometimes have difficultly eating enough high-quality protein, BCAA supplementation is essential.

9)   Take BCAAs To Protect the Liver and Prevent Liver Disease

Perhaps the most interesting emerging evidence shows that BCAAs will help the liver regenerate after removal of part of the liver. They can also protect the liver from cancer in patients with cirrhosis. Plus, BCAAs improve insulin sensitivity and when improved insulin health is combined with the protective effects in the liver, BCAAs can help prevent fat gain in the liver and avoid non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

10) BCAAs Prevent Diabetes and Improve Insulin Sensitivity

A primary way BCAAs prevent aging and support a lean body composition is by how they improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. High insulin levels cause accelerated aging along with nerve and cell damage, making it essential to control this hormone. Luckily, it’s the one hormone you can manage and BCAAs will help. Researchers are using BCAAs as a treatment for diabetes and there’s ample data that they lead to weight loss.


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