Thanks to my friend Richard over at Supplementhelper.com for this great guest post on BCAA’s.
The Importance of Branched Chain Amino Acids for Muscle Building!
BCAA’s are a group of amino acids that include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three amino acids are classified as essential amino acids meaning they must be obtained through dietary sources because the body is unable to produce them.
There are nine total essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body, however, none are more vital for muscle building than the BCAA’s. Leucine, isoleucine and valine combined comprise over one third of the free-form amino acids within the body’s muscle tissue. This should be an indication of how essential these three amino acids are to muscle creation.
Protein synthesis occurs when the body cells manufacture proteins. These proteins are then used to build muscle. However, it is impossible for protein synthesis to occur without the amino acid leucine. Leucine must be present for protein synthesis and it must be in the correct ratio to isoleucine and valine for the body to use it. High concentrations of only certain amino acids will be expelled from the body.
The body is constantly either breaking down or building up muscle, depending on calorie and protein intake and energy output. Branched chain amino acids have what is known as anti-catabolic properties. This means they can help stop the body from breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
Stopping the breakdown of muscle tissue is is a commonly overlooked factor for those who are trying to build muscle. Remember, muscle growth can only occur when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. Branched chain amino acids are essential for both protein synthesis and arresting muscle breakdown.
One of the things that BCAA’s are most well known for is the ability to reduce soreness and fatigue that is associated with high intensity resistance workouts. BCAA’s can be taken both before during and after workouts to increase recovery time and reduce soreness and fatigue.
Supplementing BCAA’s is a must for bodybuilders or anybody trying to build muscle because the BCAA requirement is increased while training. Relying on your diet alone to get your body’s BCAA’s may result in a shortage. If the required amount of BCAA’s are not supplied to the body, muscle building ceases.
To sum up BCAA’s in relation to muscle building:
- They are necessary for protein synthesis (muscle building).
- They stop muscle breakdown.
- They are the 2nd most abundant group of amino acids in muscle tissue (behind glutamine).
- They must be obtained through diet, because the body can’t produce them.
- They reduce soreness and fatigue during and after workouts.
- They shorten recovery time after workouts.
- If your body doesn’t get the BCAA’s it needs muscle building stops.
- Working out increases the body’s BCAA requirement.
- You most likely aren’t getting enough from your dietary source and protein powder alone.
- All professional bodybuilders supplement BCAA’s
About the author
John McKiernan is a personal trainer who enjoys researching information on bodybuilding, supplements, diets, health tips and more. He is the owner of Supplementhelper.com where he shares knowledge and advice about popular bodybuilding and health supplements.