Branched chain amino acids are three of the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be ingested through your diet, as your body cannot make them. There are nine essential amino acids, but there are only three branched chain amino acids. The three branched chain amino acids are valine, leucine, and isoleucine. These branched chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs can provide numerous health benefits. They are best known for supporting muscular health and growth, but they can also support liver health and help fight against fatigue. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of BCAAs.
Benefits of Branched Chain Amino Acids
Supporting Liver Health
One of the most important benefits of BCAAs is that they help support liver health. BCAAs are especially important for people who already have some sort of liver condition. BCAAs are well-known to help people who have cirrhosis. One of the common complications of cirrhosis is hepatic encephalopathy, which is where the brain is damaged by the liver’s inability to remove toxins. This can lead to decreased brain function in a relatively short amount of time. BCAAs can also help people who are suffering from liver cancer, which is often caused by cirrhosis. Of course, BCAAs are not a replacement for any medications prescribed by a doctor. Rather, they are a supplementary tool to fight against liver disease.
Fighting Against Muscle Wasting
BCAAs are known to help people resist muscle wasting. Muscle wasting happens when the body essentially consumes the proteins found in your muscles because it is not getting enough proteins from the diet. This leads to a breakdown in muscle fibers, which results in weakness. Muscle wasting is often seen in people with serious diseases or malnutrition. For example, people who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer may have little appetite and may have trouble keeping food down. This means that they likely will not be getting the BCAAs that they need from their diet. Unless they get these BCAAs through supplementation, their muscles will start to waste away. BCAA supplements can help prevent this.
Muscle wasting can also occur much more gradually as people age. It can also occur in people who often fast. BCAA supplements can be helpful for these people, as well. Research supports the use of BCAA supplements for people with wasting diseases, including cancer, and elderly populations.
BCAAs may be best-known for helping people with liver diseases and wasting diseases. However, they can also be used to increase stamina in healthy people. Research indicates that BCAAs can help prevent fatigue. Specifically, BCAAs can keep your muscles from feeling tired or overworked.
The BCAAs that are naturally present in your muscles are consumed when you exercise. This leads to fatigue. This is because decreased BCAA levels in your bloodstream lead to increased levels of tryptophan in your brain, which becomes serotonin. Serotonin can lead to feelings of fatigue when exercising. BCAA supplements can help keep you feeling fresh during strenuous workouts.
Reducing Muscular Soreness
Not only can BCAAs help fight against fatigue, but they can also even reduce muscular soreness. Specifically, the research indicates that BCAAs can help with the muscular soreness that comes on the day after working out. This condition is called Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness, better known as DOMS. DOMS often starts within 12 to 24 hours of exercising. DOMS can last for up to three days. This can dissuade people from working out for a while. DOMS is often at its worst when you have just switched to a new exercise regime. However, BCAAs can reduce both the length and severity of DOMS. This, combined with the reduction in fatigue that some people see when ingesting BCAAs, can help you work out more frequently without discomfort. If you can work out more frequently, you may be able to achieve your fitness goals faster.
Research suggests that BCAAs can achieve this effect by keeping protein levels high in your muscles during exercise. Also, BCAAs may be able to decrease creatine kinase levels. Creatine kinase is created by damaged muscles.
Supporting Muscle Growth
One of the biggest draws that BCAAs have for athletes and people who like to stay fit is their ability to support muscle growth. Of course, muscle growth can be even more important for people who are trying to recover from an injury that prevent them from working out a certain muscle group. Specifically, leucine is the BCAA that is often associated with muscle growth. It helps muscles create more protein. This leads to muscle growth. Muscle growth can improve sports and exercise performance as well as everyday functions. Research suggests that BCAAs are even more effective at stimulating muscle growth when they are combined with other proteins.
BCAAs are Worth Adding to Your Supplement Regime
In conclusion, BCAAs are proven to offer multiple benefits to people from all walks of life. Elderly people and people battling cancer can benefit from the anti-muscle wasting effects of BCAAs. People who fast on a regular basis can also benefit from these anti-muscle wasting effects. Those with liver disease can benefit from the support that BCAAs can give these vital organs. Even healthy people and athletes can benefit from the way that BCAAs reduce fatigue and soreness and even help promote muscle growth. If you are already taking supplements or if you are planning to start, BCAA supplements should definitely be in your lineup.