BCAAs are a trio of branched chain amino acids that are very popular in the world of sports nutrition. They have made a name for themselves thanks to their many benefits, in particular for muscle gain and the reconstruction of muscle fibers.
- What are BCAAs?
- Diet: what are the best sources of BCAAs?
- benefits in sports
- Why supplement with BCAAs?
- The different BCAA supplements
What are BCAAs?
BCAAs are branched chain amino acids. In other words, they are molecules that make up proteins when they come together. In total, there are 20 amino acids responsible for protein production: 8 are essential amino acids and 11 are non-essential.
BCAAs belong to the family of essential amino acids and consist of leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are called "essential" because they cannot be synthesized by the body. These are therefore molecules that we must supply to our body through food or supplementation.
Their benefits are numerous, both in terms of muscle building and recovery. Their different components each have properties that act in synergy and reinforce each other.
Leucine : Leucine is the amino acid that most stimulates muscle growth. It actively participates in the synthesis of muscle proteins while limiting their degradation. In addition, this amino acid contributes to anabolism and preserves from catabolism.
Isoleucine : Isoleucine has a little more than the other two amino acids: it can increase the absorption and utilization of glucose during a workout. For this, it is an amino acid that plays a key role in controlling sugar in the body.
Valine : Valine is an amino acid involved in the production of energy for the muscles and the mind. It also participates in the repair of muscle tissue and facilitates recovery.
Diet: what are the best sources of BCAAs?
As stated earlier, BCAAs are amino acids that must be provided through our diet. Thus, they are present in all foods that contain protein.
Example of important BCAA sources:
- Beef ;
- The tuna ;
- Dairy products (cheese, milk);
- Eggs ;
- Legumes (lentil beans);
- Nuts and seeds.
benefits in sports
Taking BCAAs before or after training improves the athlete's performance by increasing their stocks of amino acids. In addition, BCAAs help to:
- Contribute to anabolism and muscle mass gain;
- To help recovery by compensating for amino acid losses;
- To improve endurance;
- To fight against fatigue;
- To limit the catabolism and the loss of muscles.
Why supplement with BCAAs?
By eating correctly and varied, we naturally bring a certain amount of BCAAs to our body which allows us to develop our muscles. However, the quantity of food recommended to the athlete adept in bodybuilding is often too high and the consumption of BCAAs, too low. It is therefore quite rare to meet all of your BCAA amino acid requirements.
In addition, intensive sports practice and muscle recovery increase the need for BCAAs in athletes. While a sedentary person will need 1 g of protein per kg of body weight, the athlete requires an intake of 2 to 2.5 g/kg. In order to meet these needs and restore its BCAA reserves, amino acid supplementation will therefore generally be useful to optimize its physical condition.
The different BCAA supplements
BCAAs 4.1.1 Builders
BCAA 4.1.1 Builders work to build muscle mass through the anabolic support of isoleucine and valine. They are also overdosed in leucine which contributes to mass gain by stimulating protein synthesis and muscle recovery.
BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance
2.1.2 Resistance BCAAs have the role of combating the catabolism and loss of strength that occur during training. These are the BCAAs with the highest concentration of leucine-valine, which is why, taken before and during exercise, they help limit drops in the level of valine in the blood and fight against muscle fatigue. Taking it 30 minutes before exercise immediately increases performance by 6%.