BCAAs or ‘branched-chain amino acids’ are key building blocks that make-up protein and help build muscle. BCAAs are essential to support lean muscle growth and recovery while reducing muscle breakdown. Traditionally known more in the bodybuilding world, BCAAs are great for both men and women, and even those not looking to look like the Incredible Hulk. Adding BCAAs to your diet benefit your bodies without turning your body into a big bulky muscular one.
So how do amino acids work?
There are 22 amino acids that exist and each type of protein we eat has a different combination of the amino acids. Our body can make its own but there actually are nine the body can’t make by itself that we actually need – these nine are considered our ‘essential’ amino acids.
Why are BCAAs so essential?
Within the nine ‘essential’ amino acids, we have all have a trio referred to as BCAAs. The BCAA trio is made up of – isoleucine, leucine and valine. The best thing about BCAAs is that they can be metabolized by our muscles and help us build that lean muscle we were talking about. In order to incorporate or boost your BCAA intake, you need to either up your diet with additional dairy, eggs, meat, fish and soy or if you’re vegetarian or vegan or not wanting to consume extra calories you can find BCAAs in a form of a supplement.
BCAA’s can help boost your training as well by raising the amino acid levels in your blood during a time when your body really needs it, like right after training. BCAAs can also play a role in reducing fatigue when taken during really intense of long periods of training, such as long distance running or cycling. Our bodies are completely capable of consuming adequate amounts of protein from whole food sources, however, post-exercise appetite can be pretty nonexistent which is when making a recovery shake with a BCAAs in it can easily be absorbed compared to shoving food down your throat.
Getting your total protein in is important for building muscle and losing weight regardless of gender. The important thing is making sure you consume adequate amounts of protein evenly across the day.