What are Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?

As intimidating as Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) may seem, they are truly nothing to fear. You should look at amino acids as the building blocks of protein. There are twenty different amino acids that construct thousands of various proteins in your body. Of these, nine are considered essential – thus labeling them as “Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)”. These cannot be created by the body alone but can be obtained through foods that are rich in protein such as meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts, soy products, and legumes. BCAAs are three of the nine EAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. All of which maximize whole-body protein synthesis. 

So why does this matter? 

For starters, BCAAs are crucial for promoting muscle endurance and aid in muscle recovery. This can decrease soreness and get you ready for your next workout or day at work with less muscle fatigue. They are also a great energy source for endurance athletes as well as weightlifters because as you take in more BCAAs during your workout, it will supply your body with more instead for taking them from your muscles. Although BCAAs are popular amongst those who avidly workout, they still prove to be beneficial for individuals who exercise moderately.

Why You Should Prioritize BCAAs.

Essential Amino Acids are a group of amino acids that your body does not produce on its own. That means that your body relies on outside nutrients to supply them. This differs from non-essential amino acids which your body is able to produce in a self-sufficient fashion. For this reason, eating foods with essential amino acids is fundamental in maintaining a balance within your body. Although there are tons of advantages for intaking a sufficient amount of BCAAs, below are a few of the most favorable attributes. 

  • Reduce Muscle Soreness and Fatigue

One of the most difficult parts of exercising is having to complete a workout while being sore and exhausted from one prior. This is where BCAAs will assist you. Getting enough BCAAs can improve muscle endurance which, in turn, leads to a more enjoyable and productive workout. 

  • Muscle Growth

The reason why athletes, especially weight lifters, advocate for intaking BCAAs is due to its support of muscle growth. Results from one study shows that a group of resistance-trained men who consumed 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their workout possessed 22% greater muscle synthesis than those who ingested a placebo. 

For those who are curious, the branched chain amino acid that is in charge of this is leucine. Leucine is not only responsible for triggering protein synthesis in the body but also regulates tissue regeneration and metabolism.

  • Benefits for Older Adults

A study done in 2010 has shown that BCAAs can actually benefit longevity and general health. Nutritionist Li-Qiang Qin asserts that scientists have found bodies to possess a less fatty heart when obtaining a high concentration of BCAAs. This indicates that receiving an apt amount of BCAAs will have a positive effect on overall health throughout the aging process.

Supplement your BCAAs

Supplements are one of the most popular ways for active people to provide the appropriate amount of BCAAs for their body. Not only are BCAA supplements easy to take, but it relieves the stress of having to monitor your meals in order to obtain them. 

  • BCAA+G: BCAA with L-Glutamine (G) is engineered for athletes’ muscles to recover efficiently to ensure they are readily able to accomplish their next workout or competition. Clinical research has shown that the amino acids within BCAA+G™ help the body recover quicker while also being capable of elevating lean muscle gains.*
  • BCAA+G Reload: Reload contains all of the benefits of BCAAs such as recovery, lean muscle growth, and decrease in fatigue but also includes beta-alanine which supports muscle endurance. This is best used during and after your workout as well as between meals – especially during times of caloric restrictions.*
  • Whey Protein: MRM’s whey protein contains 2 billion probiotics, fermented milk, and enzymes that helps the body digest it quicker. All essential amino acids as well as glutamine are also included to supply the benefits of BCAAs.*
  • Veggie Elite: Veggie Elite is MRM’s plant-based protein powder that contains all of the essential amino acids that are necessary for health consumption while also aiding in muscle recovery and diminishing fatigue.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References

Jackman, Sarah R. “Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar

Protein Synthesis following Resistance Exercise in Humans,” Front Physiol. June 7, 2017. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00390

Kato, Hiroyuki, Katsuya Suzuki, Makoto Bannai, Daniel R Moore. “Branched-Chain Amino 

Acids Are the Primary Limiting Amino Acids in the Diets of Endurance-Trained Men after a Bout of Prolonged Exercise.” The Journal of Nutrition. Volume 148, Issue 6. June 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy048

Qin, LQ. “Higher branched-chain amino acid intake is associated with a lower prevalence of 

being overweight or obese in middle-aged east asian and western adults.” The Journal of Nutrition. December 15, 2010.