BCAA has several benefits to the body. They aid in the proper growth of muscles. They can also aid in weight loss and lessening fatigue.
Let’s take a deeper look into the BCAA supplements’ benefits.
They reduce muscle soreness
One of the things that can make you fall of the working out bandwagon is soreness. It tends to manifest 2 to 3 days after working out.
Studies (1), (2) have shown that BCAAs can reduce protein breakdown during exercise. They can also creatine kinase levels; higher levels indicate muscle damage.
Supplementing with BCAAs can also speed up recovery (3).
They reduce fatigue during workouts
Many essential amino acids are broken down in the liver. BCAAs are special as they are broken down in the muscles.
When you exercise, the BCAA levels in the blood decrease. This may lead to an increase in serotonin, which contributes to the feeling of fatigue (4).
Supplementing ensures your BCAA blood levels do not reduce, and you maintain your energy levels.
Prevent muscle wasting
Every day your body breaks down proteins and synthesizes more. These processes are supposed to be bal,anced.
Sometimes however, the breaking down happens faster than the synthesis. In this case, you may end up with muscle wastage.
Amino acids form 35% of the proteins in the muscles. When you supplement with BCAAs, you prevent the protein breakdown process from exceeding synthesis (5).
Promotes increased muscle growth
The leucine in BCAA supplements promotes the synthesis of muscle proteins. When you supplement the leucine from your diet with these supplements, your muscle growth is bound to improve.
We came across a study where subjects who took about 5 grams of BCAA drink after intense workouts. They showed muscle increase of about 22% more than those who did not take the supplements (6).
They can help with weight loss
If you are active, you are bound to keep the extra weight away. BCAA supplements can also help you burn fat faster.
Since they help with protein synthesis, you will have bigger muscles and less fat.
With all the good things we have to say about BCAA supplements, are there things you need to look out for?
The first thing to always remember is that too much of anything is poisonous. Always heed to the manufacturer’s instructions when taking supplements.
Sometimes we are so eager to get results that we overindulge. But overdosing is one of the reasons we suffer side effects.
Another reason for side effects is allergens. We were happy to see that some supplements on this list considered people with allergies.
But that may not always be the case. We would, therefore, advise that you make sure you aren’t allergic to any ingredients in the product.
If you can, stay away from proprietary blends. You n,ever know what’s in them, and they may do you more harm than good.
And speaking of things to stay away from, stay away from the supplements if you are on medication.
The same applies if you have an underlying health condition. Unless you have run the sup,plement past your doctor, and they are ok with you using it with your medication and health condition.
But even when you are cautious, bad things can still happen. Different people respond differently to different things.
Some people may still experience side effects when observing all the above. If you feel any of the symptoms below, you should reduce your dosage. If the symptoms persist, stop taking it and see a physician.
Most of these symptoms will go away after a few days. They mostly occur as your body is getting used to the supplement. But if they persist, it is safe to stop taking them.
Who should buy BCAA supplements?
People from all works of life can benefit from BCAA supplements. If you fall into the following categories, they will be beneficial to you.
Men and women of all ages above 18 years
Most BCAA supplements do not have gender-specific ingredients. So if you are an active adul,t looking to stay active, you should consider them.
Vegans and vegetarians
Most of the essential amino acids are found in animal products. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, they may be difficult to obtain in your diet.
The BCAA supplements are, therefore your best source of the essential amino acids.
Athletes and bodybuilders
We have already talked about muscle wastage due to high-intensity work outs. If you are an athlete and you want DOMS to be a thing of the past, these supplements will be helpful.
BCAA supplements also help with muscle growth. As a bodybuilder, this should be very interesting for you.
Anyone with a high-intensity work out lifestyle should try these supplements.
How do I take BCAA supplements?
BCAA supplements come in a powder or capsule form. Most of the time, you have to mix them with water or another beverage for easy ingestion and absorption.
No two supplements are exactly alike. It is, therefore, imperative that you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before taking any.
Are BCAA supplements necessary?
We cannot say they are necessary for survival. However, given our ever-busy lifestyles, they can help you live a healthier life.
If you have deficiencies in your diet, they will help out. They may also be necessary if you experience muscle wasting and constant fatigue when training.
BCAA supplements have become popular in recent years. Most people, however, make the mistake of believing them to be magic pills.
If you have been here before, you know that we say these pills are only complementary. You need to have a healthy diet.
For BCAA supplements specifically, you need to be very active when working out.
These supplements have several benefits to your health. Even if you are not active, they can act as nutritional supplements.
For instance, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you may not get all the amino acids you need from your diet. These supplements will aid with that.
All our picks are products from reputable companies with very good reviews. You should also have seen that they all have the three important amino acids for BCAA supplements.
At this point, you should be able to choose one that will work best for you this year.