Branch Chained Amino Acids or BCAA for short has been proven over the decades as an athlete’s must have supplement. So what is BCAA?
BCAA is made of 3 essential amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. Our bodies can not produce these and therefore we must get them from foods. Foods with high BCAA contents are chicken, beef, eggs and salmon. However when BCAA is supplemented, it goes directly into our bloodstream and bypasses the gut tissue, and liver. This could be an advantage for athletes during the training session.
And why do we want to take BCAA?
Here are the 10 reasons why you should. (You can find all the scientific research in this article here)
- Enhances muscle protein synthesis – you can metabolize protein and deliver them to your muscles quicker.
- Reduces catabolic (muscle breakdown) effects after workouts especially for athletes over 35 years of age.
- Increases fat burning effect an sustain fat loss.
- Decreases cortisol during intense workouts (CrossFit).
- Improves strength gain due to neuro-muscular adaptation.
- Decreases fatigue during endurance training.
- Decreases muscle soreness after workouts.
- Decreases muscle loss during endurance training.
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- Aids in liver function.
With all these scientific back up, it’s hard not to find a reason why BCAA’s shouldn’t be part of your supplements list even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete.