What Are the Benefits of Branched Chain Amino Acids?


Quick Answer

Some key benefits of branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are their ability to decrease exercise-induced damage to muscles and to increase muscle recovery. They also reduce fatigue, allowing training for a prolonged period of time.

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Full Answer

Branched-chain amino acids are a group of essential amino acids mainly consisting mainly of leucine, isoleucine and valine. As the body can't create BCAAs from other amino acids, they are either ingested through food or as supplements. BCAAs are more useful to athletes in supplement form as they go directly to the blood stream, bypassing the liver and the gut.

BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis and increase the cells' capacity for protein synthesis; when BCAAs are combined with resistance exercises, the mTORC1 signalling pathway, which is responsible for optimal protein synthesis, is stimulated. BCAAs may prevent fat gain due to inactivity as they trigger protein synthesis even in the absence of exercise.

Branched-chain amino acids support hormone balance during training. A proper hormone balance leads to greater strength, power and endurance during the training period. Another benefit of BCAAs is their ability to reduce muscle soreness and to accelerate the recovery process during training. They also promote healthy insulin levels, significantly reducing the risk of diabetes.

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