The human body comprises twenty different amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Nine of them are essential amino acids, which means that they are often gained from certain diets, and the body does not produce them naturally.
And among those nine essential amino acids, three are branched-chain amino acids, commonly known as BCAAs. These three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
They are referred to as branched-chain because of their chemical structure and composition.
These are usually found in protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products.
However, some people cannot obtain these BCAAs from whole meals alone, so others use BCAA powder.
Why is it important to take BCAAs?
They reduce muscle soreness and damage. One of the worst parts of working out is the body pain after hours of doing intense training. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common aftermath of working out. It is often inevitable, no matter how much stretching is done after the workout.
But with the help of BCAAs, this body pain and soreness is lessened.
When training intensely, especially when doing strength and resistance training, the muscles are subject to severe stress, which sometimes damages some muscle tissues. Studies have shown that by taking BCAAs, the muscles can recover faster, and less pain is experienced.
BCAAs also promote better strength and endurance, making the workout longer and more efficient without feeling too much fatigue.
Too much exercise may cause the muscles to get tired more easily and faster; it is also known as peripheral fatigue.
But BCAAs are used as additional energy to ensure that the exercise is longer and more structured.
Muscle fatigue also happens when the body’s glycogen runs low; however, the body can use the extra BCAA to avoid this from happening.
How to, when to, and who should take BCAAs?
BCAA is important not just for the active people but for everyone since it is a protein and everyone needs protein. But it is most needed by athletes and people who take fitness seriously because they are the ones who train harder and tougher.
Active people are recommended to take up four to twenty grams of BCAA powder per day. It would be best to make it a habit of taking BCAA supplements every day to get the best results.
A person can take it at any time, and most people prefer to take it before, during, or after a workout because that is when the muscles work the hardest. They can also take it during meals, especially when the meal itself does not contain enough protein.
BCAA powders are often dissolved in water, but some people prefer mixing them into other sports drinks to enhance their taste and flavor.
BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids have three types: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
The body does not naturally produce these three, but the body still needs them.
These amino acids make up protein which is very helpful for athletes and active people.
They are present in protein-rich foods, but they can also come in powder form. It is important to take BCAAs because they reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
Four to twenty grams are the usual recommended doses of BCAA per day, and people can take it any time of the day.