BCAA Supplements are probably one of the most important supplements that you can take if you are looking to build muscle or maintain muscle. The most important is obviously protein but if you are not getting enough amino acids, your muscle will not grow at the rate you want. If you are doing any type of lifting weights or working out at all you should be taking some BCCA Supplements to ensure muscle development. BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) consist of three specific amino acids. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine and valine. Branch chain amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of protein.
Why BCAA Supplements?
So what’s the purpose of BCAA Supplements? BCAA Supplements offer many benefits but the most common reason people take BCAA is to help improve exercise performance and reduce muscle breakdown. BCAAs help improve exercise performance helping to fight off fatigue. When exercising serotonin is released in our brain which causes fatigue. It is believed that branch chain amino acids actually reduce serotonin levels so by taking them it will cancel out the fatigue from the serotonin that was released. It is believed that branch chain amino acids are metabolized in our skeletal muscles where as other amino acids are metabolized in our liver. Because they are being metabolized in our muscles it helps fight muscle breakdown. It has been shown that branch chain amino acids can help repair damaged muscles, reduce soreness and increase your muscle function. A lot of data shows that taking bcaa supplements before and after your workout can reduce muscle damage and it will promote muscle protein synthesis. Numerous studies have been done on branch chain amino acids in regards to muscle fatigue and soreness. The majority of the patients who are taking some sort of BCAA supplement report a decrease in their muscle soreness.
Other benefits of BCAA supplements are the increase of growth hormone that is released in your body while you are taking them. This is a reason why that a lot of bodybuilders will have some sort of drink that has a good amount of bcaas in it during training. BCAAs can help increase testosterone levels and they can help keep your body in an anabolic state for a longer period of time. Because of all of this, branch chain amino acids increase lean body mass and they also help with your workout endurance.
I have been working out for the past 11 years. I typically workout 4-5 times a week. I have gone through many different periods of exploring different supplements and how they worked with my body. I have gone through periods of not taking BCAA supplements, taking them prior to working out, taking them after working out and also taking them while working out. I can attest to the impact that they have on muscle recovery. During the times that I was taking bcaa supplements my recovery was much faster. Since then I have made it a point to get an ample amount in my diet.
The great thing about BCAA Supplements is that they are actually pretty inexpensive. Through out the years that I have been taking BCAA supplements I have come up with a list for the Best BCAA Supplements 2019. So here are our top BCAA Supplements.
Branch chain amino acids have many benefits whether you are weight lifting or if you are trying to lose weight. BCAAs are important in either case. We will quickly list the benefits of BCAAs.
First branch chain amino acids are considered to be essential amino acids. What this means is that these are amino acids that your body can not create on their own. The only way that you can get them into your system is by your diet. This is why it is important to have a good bcaa supplement.
Most amino acids get digested and get processed through your liver. BCAAs once ingested do not go through your liver, they go straight to your muscles. Your muscles then use these BCAAs as energy. This is key for rebuilding muscles, muscle growth and recovery.
Branch chain amino acids also help with fatigue. Studies have shown that taking BCAAs before working out will decrease muscle fatigue will working out. This happens because valine goes to your brain and blocks other chemicals from being released that contribute to fatigue.
BCAAs help with fat loss. Studies have shown that taking BCAAs increase your metabolism. They also help decrease hunger cravings.
BCAAs also help with strength and muscle growth. They do this by increasing your anabolic hormones. The more your body is in an anabolic state the easier it is to increase strength and growth. They also decrease cortisol, which is a chemical that tries to put your body in a catabolic state. The more catabolic you are the more your muscles will deteriorate.
So if you are serious about losing weight while keeping your lean muscle intact or just trying to gain strength or muscle than branch chain amino acids are a must.
BCAA Supplements for Weight Loss
If you are looking to diet but you are worried about losing your muscle mass, than it is imperative that you buy some BCAA supplements. When trying to maintain the most amount of muscle mass you should be trying to get the majority of your calories from protein. When taking in all this protein you will need a good BCAA supplement to help with the protein synthesis in your muscles.
A study performed in 2003 (Layman et al, 2003) observed two different types of dieters. The first dieter was a high protein and BCAA consumer. The next was a high carb consumer. Both dieters could only eat 1700 calories per day. Both dieters could only work out 5 times per week. And all exercises were a constant. The weight loss for the group ingesting BCAA supplements was 21.6 pounds over 16 weeks. The group that was not using any BCAA supplements lost 14.8 pounds. The group of BCAA supplement consumers lost an astonishing 50% more weight. At the same time over those 16 weeks they only lost 0.9 pounds of lean body mass. The other group lost 2.4 pounds of lean body mass.
A couple different reasons for this is because of the power of BCAA supplements with the protein synthesis. This helps your body maintain your muscles. Another reason is taking additional amounts of BCAAs will kick start your metabolism and also put it in an anabolic state instead of a catabolic state. Because of this you will be able to maintain your lean body mass at the same time that you are decreasing your fat mass. This is why anyone that is dieting and trying to keep their muscle mass should definitely buy some BCAA supplements such as Optimum Nutrition’s powder form or pill form. Both are extremely high in quality and very affordable.
Other BCAA Supplements
Another BCAA Supplement that is worth purchasing is Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA 2222. Optimum Nutrition makes this in two forms; pill form and liquid form. Most of the BCAA supplements on the market typically offer the three branch chain amino acids. While this is not bad, considering these three BCAAs are extremely important, your body can benefit from the other amino acids
Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA 2222 contains valine, ornithine, alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, carnitine, cystine, glutamate, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine. As you can see this BCAA supplement contains a large number of other amino acids. All of these amino acids have a specific function in helping your body but we will just go into a few of them today. If you do want to purchase the individual amino acids we have listed links for all of them.
Glutamate is a very important amino acids, especially for those individuals that are lifting weights. Glutamate is the most common amino acid found throughout the body. Studies have shown that supplementing glutamate can minimize the breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.
Alanine is another amino acid that is a building block of protein. Alanine is not an essential amino acid and your body can make it from other amino acids. But if you are doing very intense workouts adding in alanine with help with your recovery. The more amino acids that better recovery.
Arginine is another amino acids that is key for muscle building. It helps blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. It helps with intense workouts and will give you a good pump. This is one of the main ingredient in a lot of nitric oxide supplements that try and increase your pump during a workout.
These three additional amino acids are crucial for anybody that is weight lifting. That’s why we suggest getting Optimum Nutrition’s Amino 2222. This way you will get some BCAAs and get other extremely important amino acids.
Jackie Hogan, MS, RD is a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She is a member of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND-LAD) and the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Practice Group and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jackie has been featured on Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Fitness, and Men’s Fitness magazine.