If you are a fitness freak looking for muscle building, chances are you must be using BCAAs or at least heard about BCAAs. They are the building blocks of muscles and without them you cannot build muscle. BCAAs make up around 35% of your muscle protein. This makes supplementation absolutely essential if you are trying to gain muscle, enhance muscle tone and improve your physical performance.
What Exactly Are BCAAs?
There are 22 amino acids that are vital for every biological process in our body. Among those, 9 are considered to be essential amino acids (EAAs) as they cannot be produced by the human body and hence, they must be obtained from food sources. Remaining 13 are Non-essential amino acids as the body can produce these.
Among the essential amino acids, 3 are Branched-Chain Amino Acids i.e BCAAs: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Unlike the other essential amino acids, BCAAs are oxidized directly into the muscle tissue and not the liver. They are proteogenic amino acids making up 40% of the daily requirement of all 9 essential amino acids, indicating their importance. The more BCAAs present in the muscles, the more they will be used for muscle protein synthesis, as an energy source, reducing muscle cells breakdown and preventing muscle mass loss.
Together BCAAs play numerous key roles in your body but among all the 3 BCAAs, Leucine plays a prime role as it initiates protein synthesis and contributes to the protein metabolism. Here are some of the key benefits of BCAAs:
Here are some of their key benefits of BCAAs are:
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition Jan 2006, found that BCAAs activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. They increase muscle growth by:
- Providing energy and endurance to train harder and longer for increased muscle gain.
- Reduce muscle soreness and recovery time needed.
- Increase the anabolic hormones production like testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone, resulting in increased ability to build muscle.
- BCAAs also reduces the catabolic hormone such as Cortisol (Stress hormone) which unfavorably breaks down muscle tissue.
- BCAAs help in fat loss by a process called as ‘nutrient partitioning’. During this, BCAAs provide energy to the muscle tissue from fat tissues during times of caloric restriction and thus increases the fat metabolism for energy and protects the muscle tissues from breaking down.
- Intense workout releases the hormone ‘serotonin’ which signals the brain about the body being fatigued. BCAAs (especially valine) reduces the production of serotonin and thus delays the fatigue which means you can exercise longer without feeling exhausted.
- BCAAs supplements can be used to provide energy to improve performance when taken pre, intra and post workout as it is oxidized directly into the muscle tissue and not the liver.
- BCAAs enhances muscle repair. A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness Sep 2017, found that BCAA supplementation before exercise had a more beneficial effect in attenuating delayed onset muscle soreness and exercise-induced muscle damage.
BCAAs are present in most animal protein sources like Fish, Meat, poultry, milk and milk products. Whey protein is the richest source of BCAAs. Supplementation is necessary and beneficial for vegetarians as vegetarian sources of proteins are generally low in BCAAs.
10 to 20 gm/day depending on your training intensity.
Understood. But How to Choose the right Supplement?
Today there are hundreds of BCAAs supplement available in the market. Following factors make all the difference in almost similar looking products:
1. More Leucine, More Muscle synthesis
Remember that among all three Branched-chain amino acids leucine plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis. It is the anabolic trigger which helps form new muscle tissue. So, more lecine will definitely help you gain more muscle.
2. Clean Plant-Based (Vegan) Fermented Source
Do you know that most of BCAAs in the market are made from human hair and bird feathers! Yikes! Yes, you read that right! Hair and feathers are high in proteins called keratin. Supplement industry uses this as a substandard source for BCAAs. Plant-based fermented sources are considerably more expensive than cheaper hair and bird feathers. Hence, manufacturing companies using vegan fermented source always mention their source as it is an USP. Whereas, if the source is not mentioned it means it is made with hair and bird feathers.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you don’t mind having hair and feathers in your shakes then definitely can go for cheap products.
❝ Plant-based fermented sources are considerably more expensive than cheaper hair and bird feathers. Hence manufacturing companies using vegan fermented source always mention their source as it is an USP. Whereas, if the source is not mentioned it means it is made with hair and bird feathers. ❞
Artificial Color, flavors and sweeteners are linked to cancer, diabetes and many metabolic syndromes. Great tasting BCAAs that are naturally colored, flavored and sweetened do exist in the market.
BCAAs are poorly soluble in water because of their crystalline structure that leads to lumpy formatios and are poorly absorbed by the intestine.
Whereas, micronized BCAAs are highly soluble in the water. Instantized BCAAs dissolve faster in water forming a clear and transparent solution without any foaming or residue that float on top. Resulting in easy absorption and improved bioavailability.
BCAAs (particularly Leucine) is involved in muscle protein and energy metabolism. Its supplementation in muscle building holds great promise. It definitely deserves a place in your ’supplement stack’. If you still are not sure which BCAA supplement should take. Consider the PROCEL range of BCAAs.
PROCEL is among very few companies that offer higher quality alternative – fermented vegan BCAAs. Thus, Procel Ultra-BCAA stands out in the whole range of BCAAs supplements. Each serving provides you 10g of BCAAs including 6.5g of L-Leucine with added 3g of Beta-alanine in each serving to give you the lactic acid buffering edge. It also has vital electrolytes and hydration compounds for a complete intra-training solution.
All PROCEL amino acids are micronized and instantized for superior absorption. Plus, it has NO added colors, flavors and sweeteners. It is sweetened with natural Stevia leaf extract. That is our commitment to you, Nothing but Best!