If you follow some of the more popular health and fitness media sources out there, you may have noticed a certain trend in recent years. Set aside the fad diets, iffy claims, and boisterous recommendations discussed by personal bloggers and TV personalities, and you’ll see that, overall, people have begun to take a more nuanced, science-based view of health. For example, protein supplements were once seen as the only real option for helping workout fanatics improve their gains and reach their goals, but more advanced, amino acid-based products have started to claim space in the market, thanks in large part to our greater understanding of how our bodies work. If you’ve heard about the benefits of amino acid supplements, you may also be familiar with the term BCAAs – short for “branched-chain amino acids” – which are a type of fitness-focused amino acid found in supplements. So, what are BCAAs used for? To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® explain.
How Are BCAAs Used?
Thanks to extensive research into their effects, the three BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – have become closely associated with better fitness and health outcomes, particularly for those who work out regularly. Below, we’ll discuss what BCAAs are used for and what effects you can expect when adding these essential amino acids to your fitness routine; continue reading to learn more.
Provide Energy During Exercise
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer when it comes to working out is that exercising can burn through your energy stores and leave you feeling tired, sometimes even before you’re done with your routine. Mid-workout BCAA supplements like aminoVITAL®’s Action mix are able to combat this issue because of the way that BCAAs can provide energy1 during exercise. In a pinch, your muscles can pull BCAAs from your bloodstream and use them as an emergency fuel source, enabling you to power through long workouts with ease.
Prevent Muscle Damage
One benefit of BCAAs’ energy-granting abilities that you may not expect is the fact that they can protect your muscles2 from unnecessary damage when you work out. As you may know, your muscles can develop microscopic tears caused by the physical strain of running around or lifting weights, but what you might not know is that they can also be damaged if your body runs out of fuel and needs to break down proteins for energy. By providing a new source of energy and saving your muscles from being broken down, BCAAs can limit much of the damage related to exercise.
Fight Fatigue When Working Out
In addition to providing energy outright, BCAAs have been shown to help you stay energized during workouts in another way: by fighting the onset of exercise-related fatigue3. As mentioned above, your muscles have a tendency to suck up BCAAs from the bloodstream to use them as a source of energy, but this causes a lack of BCAAs in the blood and allows more tryptophan – another amino acid – to cross the blood-brain barrier. After entering the brain, that tryptophan turns into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can cause fatigue; by adding more BCAAs to your system, you can prevent this buildup from happening and keep yourself from losing focus during workouts.
Promote Growth and Recovery
Although people use fitness supplements for all sorts of reasons, the most popular use by far is to aid recovery, and BCAAs are every bit as helpful for this purpose as any other supplement. One of the three BCAAs in particular – leucine – is known to promote the growth of new skeletal muscle4, which aids in muscle recovery and improves your gains after each workout. Plus, all three BCAAs are key elements for the production of new muscle fibers, making them an essential part of any post-workout recovery supplement.
When taken together, the combined effects of BCAAs have been shown to help many athletes, bodybuilders, and casual gym-goers improve their performance5 at the gym or on the field. Improved recovery times allow fitness fans to get back to their workouts that much faster, and the boost to energy and reduction in fatigue help to maintain peak performance for longer. Plus, the increase in muscle growth and protection from damage that BCAAs provide mean that you can keep more of your muscle mass intact while cultivating bigger biceps and stronger quads than ever before.
Improve Body Composition
If you’re someone who cares just as much about their body composition as they do their performance, you’ll be happy to know that BCAAs can help you burn fat while building muscle. Studies6 have shown that athletes who use BCAAs see a reduction in their percent body fat along with an increase in lean mass – two benefits we’d all like to see.
Who Should Use BCAAs?
The benefits of BCAAs are far-reaching, and new applications are being discovered all the time. At present, however, the majority of benefits these amino acids provide are geared toward those who exercise. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you may not get much out of BCAAs, but if you work out regularly – whether at the gym, around your neighborhood, with your team, or at home – then BCAAs have something to offer you.
Try a Lean, Effective BCAA Supplement Today from aminoVITAL®
Not only are BCAAs effective sources of pre-, mid-, and post-workout nutrition, but they’re also easy to integrate into your routine. Simply pour a packet of aminoVITAL®’s amino acid mix into a bottle of water, give it a shake, and you’re good to go. Give BCAAs a try and see for yourself how big a difference they can make; visit aminoVITAL® online to learn more or call us today at (888) 264-6673.