Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids that are commonly taken to accelerate muscle growth and increase exercise performance. BCAAs can also help you burn fat and reduce fatigue during exercise.
What is BCAA?
BCAAs are considered essential amino acids because our body cannot produce them on its own. Hence, it is important to get it through proper diet and supplementation.
How do branched chain amino acids work?
BCAAs are a large part of the total amino acid pool in the body. Together, they account for about 35–40% of all amino acids present in the body and 14–18% of the amino acids found in muscles.
Unlike the rest of the amino acids, BCAAs are broken down mainly in the muscles, not the liver. For this reason, they are believed to play a role in producing energy during exercise.
BCAAs also perform several other important functions in our body.
Our body can use them as building blocks for muscles. They can also be involved in regulating blood sugar levels, preserving sugar stores in the liver and muscles, and stimulating cells to take sugar from the bloodstream.
What’s more, BCAAs can help reduce the fatigue we feel during exercise.
Of these three amino acids, leucine is believed to have the greatest influence on the body’s ability to build muscle proteins. Meanwhile, isoleucine and valine appear to be more effective at producing energy and regulating blood sugar levels.
How Do I Take BCAA?
It is recommended to supplement BCAA per training in an amount from 10 g to 20 g, dissolved in 300 ml of water or e.g. juice.
on training days: one serving immediately before training, the second serving immediately after training (preferably as a supplement to protein supplement)
on non-training days: dose in the morning before a meal