WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs):- HEALTH BENEFITS, SIDE EFFECTS [SCIENCE EXPLAINED]

WHAT ARE BCAA?

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS


BCAA stands for Branched-chain amino acids, they are called because of their structure. [ 1 carbon atom and 2 hydrogen atom]. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three essential amino acids that benefit muscle growth.

For people with low dietary protein intake, BCAA supplementation can promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time.

BCAAs are important to ingest on a daily basis, but many protein sources, such as meat and eggs, already provide BCAAs.

BCAA Supplementation is unnecessary for people with a sufficiently high protein intake (1- 1.5 gram per kg of body weight a day).

BCAA means branched-chain amino acids, it is made up of 3 essential amino acids. BCAA can be found on food sources, supplementing BCAA is unnecessary for most of the people.


WHAT IS BCAA AMINO ACIDS?

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

1. LEUCINE

Leucine is the most heavily researched amino acid and also have some amazing physiological benefits. Also plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
leucine be like


Leucine is the primary BCAA, Supplementing Leucine on its own is still beneficial and may be cheaper than BCAA mixes.

leucine is being more effective at preserving lean mass from breakdown.


2. ISOLEUCINE

Isoleucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids and appears to promote glucose consumption and uptake. Isoleucine may have roles as an anti-catabolic agent (minimize protein breakdown).

Isoleucine is known for its ability to induce muscle protein synthesis (stronger than valine, but much weaker than leucine) but is able to significantly increase glucose uptake and the usage of glucose during exercise.

Isoleucine can increase glucose uptake into a muscle cell.


3. VALINE

Valine is one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) alongside leucine and isoleucine.

Valine is infrequently tested in isolation and possibly the least important BCAA for body composition and does not appear to have any known unique benefits associated with it.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People trying to understand the benefit of valine


In isolation, there is currently no hugely significant benefit of valine supplementation that cannot be replicated by either leucine or isoleucine supplementation.

BCAAs are branched chained amino acids, containing 3 essential amino acids named as leucine, isoleucine and valine. leucine helps in promoting muscle protein synthesis, whereas isloleucine help to minimise the muscle protein breakdown. the muscle building effects of valine are likely less than both leucine and isoleucine.


WHY BCAAs ARE IMPORTANT?


BCAAs are the only amino acids which are not degraded in the liver.

All the other amino acids are regulated by the gut(intestine) and the liver before being circulated else where.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People trying to understand BCAA


BCAAs head directly into the bloodstreams, dietary intake of BCAA directly influences plasma levels and concentration in muscle tissue.

BCAA mediates glucose uptake (into a cell) and breakdown (into energy) to a larger degree than other amino acids as a performance enhancer (if taken pre-workout). They are burned for energy during exercise.

BCAAs also provide basis of protein synthesis, energy production and important for many metabolic processes.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BCAA ?

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS


1. BCAA Supplementation May help on the Progression of Advanced Liver Disease

Studies suggest some of the potential benefits of long-term oral BCAA supplementation in patients with advanced liver disease.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People who are already suffering from some kind of liver diseases


Liver cirrhosis patients supplemented with 12.45 g of daily BCAA granules over 6 months and patients consuming a regular diet were assigned to the :-

  • BCAA
  • Non BCAA group.

It was found that a total of 124 patients was analyzed: 63 in the BCAA group and 61 in the non BCAA group.

It was found that liver conditions significantly improved in the BCAA group compared to the non BCAA group over time.

Long-term supplementation with oral BCAAs can potentially improve liver function and reduce major complications of cirrhosis in patients with advanced liver disease.


2. BCAA may help in Preserving Muscle Mass

Studies investigated the effects of ingesting carbohydrates and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) during high-volume upper body resistance exercise on catabolism and performance.

Studies suggest that no significant performance benefits were observed for any Resistance exercise. But people who consumed BCAA with some carbohydrate resulted in the lowest cortisol levels (low stress levels).

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People consuming BCAA and carbs during workout


There was no treatment effect for glucose, but glucose significantly increased from baseline to immediately post-exercise and significantly decreased at 60 min post-exercise.

Ingesting beverages containing carbohydrate with or without BCAA during upper body resistance exercise may promote a more favorable post-exercise less catabolic environment.



3. Supplementing BCAA may help you in recover Faster

This study investigated the effects of acute branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage among experienced resistance-trained athletes.

Athletes were given BCAA with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

The participants performed 6 sets of 10 full-squats at 70% 1-repetition maximum to induce muscle damage.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People hitting gym without being fully recovered


Studies found that acute supplementation of BCAAs (0.087 g/kg) increased the rate of recovery in isometric strength and perceived less muscle soreness compared with placebo after a hypertrophy-based training session among diet-controlled, resistance-trained athletes.

Supplementing BCAA may increases the rate of recovery and result in less sore muscles. Supplementing BCAA in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine has the best effects .



4. BCAA MAY HELP YOU TO FEEL BETTER

This study investigated the effects of BCAA, arginine and carbohydrate combined beverage (BCAA Drink) on psychological conditions during recovery after a single bout of exhaustive exercise.

14 healthy males were assigned to drink the BCAA Drink for 2 weeks.

The results indicate the occurrence of anabolic response (muscle building) during the recovery period.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
BCAA may help yo to feel better


The benefit of BCAA Drink was also performed by Profile of Mood States to assess the psychological condition.

Fatigue increased immediately at exhaustion, but the decrease in the fatigue score at 120 min recovery point was significant.

These data indicate that a single bout of exhaustive exercise enhanced the feeling of fatigue. The bad consequences was reduced by an ingestion of BCAA Drink. BCAA drink also help to reduce cortisol levels, helps to feel better.



5. BCAA May Help to Improve endurance performance

Studies suggest that consuming BCAA on pre-exercise has positive effects and can increase the time of exhaustion during treadmill exercise.

It was seen that the higher endurance performance after BCAA supplementation.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Higher endurance performance


The results support the hypothesis that the effect of BCAA supplementation on performance could be related to carbohydrate availability during exercise.

Consuming BCAA before exercise may help in increase in endurance exercise like running and sprinting. It can also increase the time of exhaustion and reduce the fatigue also.


6. BCAA MAY HELP YOU IN INCREASE MUSCLE AND STRENGTH

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Be strong


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids that can be oxidized in skeletal muscle.

It is known that BCAA oxidation is promoted by exercise.

These findings suggest that fatty acids may be one of the regulators of BCAA catabolism and that the BCAA requirement is increased by exercise.

BCAA supplementation before and after exercise has beneficial effects for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle protein synthesis.

Studies suggests the possibility that BCAAs are a useful supplement in relation to exercise and sports. BCAA helps to promote muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle protein breakdown



WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS OF BCAA ?

For the most part, BCAAs are harmless, and most experts suggest that habitual (daily) supplementation increases their effectiveness.

However, excess use can have potential negative side effects.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People overdosing BCAA


When consumed in large amounts, BCAA side effects can include fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, headaches, and increased insulin resistance (which can lead to Type 2 diabetes).

BCAAs may affect blood sugar levels, so anyone having surgery should avoid them for a period of time before and after surgery.

BCAAs are also contraindicated for people with certain conditions. Although BCAAs were once thought to be helpful in the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), they are now considered problematic for people with this disease.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
After knowing some side effects

People with a condition called branched-chain keto-aciduria (or Maple Syrup Urine Disease), kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, and people who drink alcohol in excess should also avoid BCAA supplementation.



1. BCAAs MAY INCREASE AMMONIA LEVELS IN BODY

Ammonia is a metabolic byproduct of amino acids.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Supplementing BCAA be like


Increases in serum ammonia being associated with some disease states (hepatic encephalopathy) or prolonged exercise(its reduction may improve endurance).

Human studies suggest an oral dose of BCAA enhances muscle ammonia metabolism but also transiently increases the arterial ammonia concentration.

BCAA may increase the ammonia levels in our body, Increased ammonia is associated with some diseases. BCAA is harmless if taken in a limited amount.



2. Only a short muscle growth response to BCAAs


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are popular supplements for supporting muscle recovery and growth.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDSf

These BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has been shown to be important for the stimulation of muscle growth.

BCAAs or protein supplementation may not be suitable for everyone. For example, kidney patients are often prescribed a low protein diet. For these people, an alternative may be branched-chain keto acids (BCKAs; a metabolite of BCAAs).

BCAAs, BCKAs, and milk protein all stimulated muscle protein synthesis to the same extent in the first two hours.

However, only milk protein stimulated muscle protein synthesis in the 2-5 hour period.

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
After knowing some potential side-effects, regular BCAA consumer are like


Therefore, BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, but only for a short period of time compared to milk protein.

BCAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis for a relatively short period compared to milk protein ingestion. BCKA can stimulate muscle protein synthesis might have potential beneficial applications in kidney patients.


HOW TO TAKE BCAA?

The standard dosage for isoleucine is 48-72 mg per kilogram of body weight, assuming a non-obese person.

The standard leucine dosage is between 2-10 gram .

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
People after taking BCAA


A combination dose is 20g of combined BCAAs, with a balanced ratio of leucine and isoleucine.

Isoleucine is used for increasing glucose uptake into cells, while leucine is used to improve muscle protein synthesis.

BCAA supplementation is not necessary, if enough BCAAs are provided through the diet. Experts suggests the possibility that BCAAs are a useful supplement in relation to exercise and sports.



NATURAL SOURCES OF BCAA

People who are into sports and fitness they are supplementing BCAA supplement for extra benefit. But for regular people supplementing BCAA does not have any extra result as BCAA requirement can be met very easily from some natural food sources only.

Some natural food sources of BCAA:-

WHAT ARE BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS

Whey Protein, Milk protein, and soy proteins

Corn

Beef, chicken, fish, and eggs

Chickpeas

Lentils

Whole wheat

Brown rice

Almonds, nuts, and cashews

Pumpkin seeds

GREEK YOGURT

SALMON

TURKEY


SUMMARY

BCAA means branched-chain amino acids, it is made up of 3 essential amino acids. BCAA can be found on food sources, supplementing BCAA is unnecessary for most of the people.

BCAAs are branched chained amino acids, containing 3 essential amino acids named as leucine, isoleucine and valine. leucine helps in promoting muscle protein synthesis, whereas isloleucine help to minimise the muscle protein breakdown. the muscle building effects of valine are likely less than both leucine and isoleucine.

Long-term supplementation with oral BCAAs can potentially improve liver function and reduce major complications of cirrhosis in patients with advanced liver disease.

Ingesting beverages containing carbohydrate with or without BCAA during upper body resistance exercise may promote a more favorable post-exercise less catabolic environment.

Supplementing BCAA may increases the rate of recovery and result in less sore muscles. Supplementing BCAA in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine has the best effects .

Consuming BCAA before exercise may help in increase in endurance exercise like running and sprinting. It can also increase the time of exhaustion and reduce the fatigue also.

Studies suggests the possibility that BCAAs are a useful supplement in relation to exercise and sports. BCAA helps to promote muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle protein breakdown

BCAA may increase the ammonia levels in our body, Increased ammonia is associated with some diseases. BCAA is harmless if taken in a limited amount.

BCAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis for a relatively short period compared to milk protein ingestion. BCKA can stimulate muscle protein synthesis might have potential beneficial applications in kidney patients.

BCAA supplementation is not necessary, if enough BCAAs are provided through the diet. Experts suggests the possibility that BCAAs are a useful supplement in relation to exercise and sports.

BCAA requirement can be met very easily from some natural food sources only. Chickpeas, Lentils, Whole wheat, Brown rice etc.



REFERENCES

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