BCAA stands for “Branched Chain Amino Acids”. It is typically made up of essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine in a ratio of 2:1:1 or 4:1:1. These amino acids are essential as they cannot be made in the body. They contribute up to 33% of lean Muscle Mass.
BCAA supplementation of advised for Vegans, Vegetarians or people who consume under 1.5g/kg of body weight per day. A typical dosage of BCAA supplementation is between 5.0g and 18.75g. Foods that naturally supply a mixture of these amino acids include Tuna, Beef, Chicken Breast, Nuts and Legumes. BCAA is an anti-catabolic agent, it prevents hypotrophy.
Here are a few health benefits of BCAA :
- It promotes active recovery by supporting Protein Synthesis. Microscopic tears are generated by training. New muscle cells will be led down to fix and strengthen the muscle once again.
- BCAA has been shown to lower lactic acid levels in active muscles, thus incasing Endurance.
- It can also aid post exercise fatigue. During exercise the body’s stores of BCAAs become depleted this causes an influx of tryptophan, thus serotonin, causing fatigue and tiredness. Supplementing BCAA can present the post exercise slump.
- BCAA is recommended for high intensity exercise such as weight lifters, sprinters or wrestlers.
- During times of low calorific energy such as dieting or heavy exercise the body will break down its resources, e.g. muscle glycogen and muscle protein for energy. BCAA presents lean muscle being broken down, thus keeping strength but Losing Weight.