By Faith Barbare, Owner and Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist at SimplyFit
Over the past few years, Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), have grown amongst the fitness industry, and for good reason. Before we dive into why they’re so great, lets first learn what they are.
What Are BCAA’s?
Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein, which are essential for muscle growth and repair. There are two types of amino acids; essential and non-essential. Your body needs both to function to its full potential. About half of these are considered “non-essential”, which means that your body makes enough on its own. The other half are referred to as “essential” and are only delivered through diet or supplements.
There are three essential amino acids that make up BCAAs:
- Leucine – stimulates muscle growth and initiates protein synthesis.
- Isoleucine – also aids in protein synthesis. Isoleucine helps preserve muscle glycogen and maintains nitrogen balance, which is then used for energy.
- Valine – helps regulate our nervous system and helps supply our muscles with extra glucose, giving us more energy to kill our workouts.
Each of these acids play a key role in building and repairing muscle and tissue. These amino acids bypass our liver and go directly into our bloodstream, causing them to get to work immediately.
What are the benefits of a BCAA supplement?
- Sustains muscle mass – preserves muscle glycogen (energy). Once your body burns through its energy supply, it will then tap into your muscle for energy. BCAAs provide extra energy for your body to use during a workout.
- Improves performance – BCAAs can increase your aerobic muscular endurance which will allow you to go harder for longer while working out.
- Helps boost immunity – without BCAAs, your body won’t be able to maintain the muscle you’ve worked so hard to build or be able to build new muscle.
- Fat loss – because BCAAs help you build more lean muscle, your body can then burn more fat. The more muscle you have the more fat you will burn during a workout.
- Recovery – BCAAs can keep you hydrated throughout your workout and help you recover from your workout faster by stimulating protein synthesis. This allows your body to build back up muscle and tissue that was broken down during a workout.
- Maintenance during dieting – When in a calorie deficiency, your body will turn to muscle for energy. BCAAs provide you with immediate energy that can be used during a workout before taping into your muscle.
Do I need a supplement?
A BCAA supplement isn’t the only way you can incorporate amino acids into your diet. Foods such as chicken, turkey breast, lean beef, eggs, and low-fat greek yogurt are great BCAA sources. If you are wanting extra energy during a workout and help with recovery, a supplement can be a great tool for you.
I recommend IdealLean BCAAs. They don’t contain added sugar or calories, and they come in many flavor options that make drinking them enjoyable. Head over to Idealfit.com to check them out. You can use my discount code FBARBARE to take 10% your entire order.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before using any supplement.