BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids)

Do you want to gain muscle mass? In that case, you may be interested in BCAA or branched amino acids, which are the most important amino acids to build muscle.

BCAA's are made up by 3 amino acids, isoleucine, leucine and valine, which are essential for muscle growth. These amino acids cannot be produced by the organism, so they must be supplied through the diet or nutritional supplements, which means that they are essential.

BCAA's amino acids enter the bloodstream directly and are immediately transported to the muscles, while other types of amino acids have to be previously metabolised in the liver. Therefore, nutritional supplements make BCAA's available to the body immediately after being consumed.

It is very important to take these three BCAA's at the same time. This is the only way to successfully enhance our ability to build muscle and to supply energy during while exercising.

BCAA's amino acids also stimulate the release of insulin, which accelerates their transport to the muscle cells. Particularly, leucine can also be used as a source of energy when there is a lack of carbohydrates and fat.

What are the BCAA's?

The BCAA's are very important amino acids

Table of contents

  • They are basic for building muscle mass
  • They carry out their muscle building task when they are taken together
  • They cannot be synthesized by the organism, so they must be provided through the diet or a dietary supplement
  • The branched-chain amino acids taken either in supplements or through food are absorbed by the intestine, discharged in the bloodstream and immediately transported to the muscle cells
  • They stimulate the insulin release, which in turn improves the transport of amino acids
  • They accelerate the synthesis of proteins
  • The proteins prevent an energy loss in moments of physical overstrain.

What is the purpose of Branched-Chain Amino Acids?

Branched-chain amino acids are used to form proteins in the organism. In turn, proteins are those substances that make up the muscles. Branched chain amino acids, or BCAA's, are broken down during the digestion and absorbed by the intestine. Then, they are immediately ready to perform muscle mass building processes.

The branched-chain amino acids are made up by three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids cannot be produced by the body, so they must be obtained from food or a supplement.

The BCAA's are directly absorbed by the intestine, without being metabolised in the liver. Then, they are transported to the cells through the bloodstream to build more muscle mass. A second important function consists of stimulating the release of insulin.

Insulin improves the transport of amino acids, which is particularly important when performing a physical effort, since it allows to restore the lost muscle tissue more quickly. Leucine also provides energy in emergency situations.

BCAAs are recommended for:

  • Athletes who practice strength and endurance sports
  • Athletes who want to gain muscle mass
  • People suffering from muscle weakness
  • People who perform high levels of physical effort
  • To prevent the breakdown or loss of muscle mass
  • To stimulate the protein synthesis
  • To prevent a protein deficiency in the diet
  • To follow a balanced diet, in the case of vegetarians or vegans

What are the food sources of BCAA's?

The three essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are mainly found together in meat and dairy products. Athletes who practice endurance or high-performance sports or bodybuilding need to take BCAA's, and it is advisable that they do so through dietary supplements.

What causes a lack or deficiency of BCAA's?

If the body does not have enough branched-chain amino acids, we will experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Less power and physical performance
  • Weakness and loss of strength
  • Fatigue
  • Less concentration

This deficiency can be easily fixed by takng BCAA's supplements.

When should we consume BCAA's?

The body consumes more energy in physically and mentally stressful situations, so a supply of amino acids is necessary to recover properly.

The best moments of the day to take BCAA's are before, during and after training, although there are other moments when its intake can be important as well. An extra BCAA's supply can be take throughout the day, which will stimulate the protein synthesis even more and reduce the muscle damage.

They should be taken as soon as possible when doing physical exercise. Vegetarians and vegans should buy BCAA dietary supplements since the main products that have branched chain amino acids are meat and dairy products.

Dose of Branched Chain Amino Acids

Several studies have proven that taking between 4-8g of BCAA's before training and 4-8 grams afterwards enhances the muscle growth processes.

Combining BCAA's with a post-workout drink improves the muscle recovery and prevents the overtraining syndrome.

Who can benefit from BCAA's supplementation?

  • Athletes or sportspeople who do strength sports or bodybuilding
  • Endurance athletes or sportspeople
  • People who are under physical or mental stress
  • Vegetarians or vegans
  • Patients with muscle weakness
  • Patients on a diet

Do BCAA's have any side-effects or interactions?

There are no known side effects or interactions of BCAA's.

What do the experts think about branched-chain amino acids or BCAA's?

According to the experts, the intake of BCAA's is recommended when we perform activities that involve a physical or mental overstrain. It is also advisable for vegetarians, vegans and those who follow special diets.

Buy branched chain amino acids

You can purchase branched-chain amino acids at many sport nutrition stores.

At HSNstore, we have an wide range of products where you can find the best brands in the sector.

BCAA's powder or capsules, flavoured or neutral, enriched with glutamine or isolated, with 2:1:1, 4:1:1 or 12:1:1 ratios. Choose the product that best suits your needs!

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105 Products
  • HSN
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  • Branched chain amino acids powder. 4:1:1 proportion. With 2900mg of L-leucine per serving. New formula!
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  • Branched Chain Amino Acids Powder. It provides L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine. New mango and melon flavors in 280g format!
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  • Ratio: 2:1:1 L-leucine L-valine L-isoleucine. With Vitamin B6.
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