What Are BCAAs?
Whether you’ve recently started working out or you’re a few months into your fitness journey, it’s likely that you’ve heard about BCAA supplements. But if you haven’t, BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids — common building blocks of protein. Supplements that contain BCAAs consist of valine, isoleucine and leucine which are vital to the growth and development of our physiques, simply because our bodies do not naturally produce these three amino acids.
BCAA supplements and powders are popular with gym goers because they can quickly boost all the hard work you put in. However, these amino acids can also be found in foods, such as:
- Dairy products
Gym goers commonly take a supplement for the sake of convenience and rapid, efficient results. However, a supplement with BCAAs benefits and acts as a substitute for a large number of fitness buffs who practice vegan diets, as well.
Depending on the type of product that you consume, BCAA workout supplements can be taken before, during or after a workout. These amino acids break down within one’s muscles and offer an assortment of excellent benefits. Let’s look at four BCAA benefits you can expect when adding them to your regimen.
1. BCAAs Keep You Energized
BCAAs preserve the body’s stores of glycogen, which is helpful for a few reasons. First, preserving these glycogen stores means that you have a consistent, dependable energy source during training. Second, glycogen prevents your body from breaking down muscle protein for energy. In other words, consuming BCAAs will allow you to push your limits and get the most out of your workout.
2. BCAAs Protect Your Muscles
The preservation of glycogen stores through BCAA consumption not only provides the user with energy, but it also reduces both mental and physical fatigue that is associated with a tough workout. Additionally, BCAAs reduce the blood levels of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase. Minimizing the levels of these two enzymes can increase recovery times and create a stronger shield that prevents muscle damage.
3. BCAAs May Aid in Weight Loss and Lower Blood Sugar
While BCAA workout supplements are intended to provide our muscles with more fuel to keep going during strenuous workouts, they can also lower the risk of obesity and hinder one’s ability to gain any weight from undesirable fat. Not only that, but isoleucine and leucine, in some instances, may boost the secretion of insulin and lower the levels of blood sugar in the body. As a result, some claim that BCAAs benefit those living with diabetes.
4. BCAAs Can Potentially Help Those With Liver Disease
Research suggests that BCAAs could help prevent complications caused by liver disease. One 2017 review of 16 different studies reported that BCAA workout supplements had a positive effect on the signs and symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy – a condition characterized by the loss of brain function when the liver cannot remove toxins from the bloodstream. BCAAs can also help those living with liver disease by limiting muscle cramps and fatigue and improving sleep quality.
Types of BCAA Workout Supplements
BCAA workout supplements are some of the best ways to get ripped, but to achieve optimal results, BCAAs should only be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet. Here are a few of the best-selling amino acids & BCAAs supplements available at Icon.
Xtend by Scivation
This powder BCAA supplement helps build strength and muscle, burn fat and accelerate recovery after your workouts. Essential electrolytes optimize cell hydration and muscle contractile function. Best of all, Xtend contains zero carbs or sugar, so you can get cut faster.
Universal Nutrition’s BCAA Stack
Combining premium-quality anti-catabolic amino acids and maximum nitrogen retention support, the BCAA Stack by Universal Nutrition helps increase strength, lean mass gain and body fat loss. It also helps you stay energized while dieting so you can boost your overall performance.
Gaspari Nutrition’s HyperAmino
HyperAmino boasts unprecedented support for lean muscle mass growth and breakthrough stamina support. If you’re looking for the ultimate energy fuel, this powder supplement delivers.