Right, left, and centre, discussions about health and diets are never ending. Numerous lifestyle diseases have caused a paradigm shift in the field of nutrition, causing a narrow focus on what people eat. It is no longer about quantity but the composition of the meals that makes the difference. BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids consist of three amino acids namely: valine, isoleucine, and Leucine. The amino acids are commonly taken by people with insufficient dietary protein to improve MPS (muscle protein synthesis) and growth over time. BCAAs also help prevent fatigue in individuals involved in strenuous sporting activities such as athletes.
BCAA supplementation is now a common practice. A study on Leucine found that a fluid meal made of proteins, carbohydrates and BCAAs facilitate post-workout recovery. Unlike protein intake, there is no standardised dosage for BCAA supplementation, as different factors determine the required quantity. Amounts ranging from 3 grammes 50 grammes a day are enough to show BCAA benefits. Nonetheless, variables such as age, gender, experience and type of sport play a vital role.
Of all the amino acids, BCAA supplements exist, in free form, and hence are not broken down in the liver. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream triggering a rise in the levels of amino acids, quicker than the peptide-bound acids. A few grammes provide a faster response than 30 grammes of whey hence giving an immediate impact on the protein production process. They provide an immediate source of energy before, during and after workouts.
mTOR is a signaling pathway that regulates cell growth, cell survival, and muscle protein synthesis, it has been shown that BCAAs positive effects on muscle protein synthesis are mainly due to its ability to up regulate mTOR production making BCAAs a must have if you are looking to optimise your performance.
As the menace of obesity continues to haunt people, physical exercises help cut down the unwanted fat and build the much-needed muscle. Previous surveys indicate that individuals with high BCAA consumption stand a better chance to ward off excess fat and limited chance of regaining the fat. Health experts view Leucine as the ultimate solution to leanness when it is combined with other BCAAs. It raises energy to spend that triggers fat oxidation, resulting in flexible metabolism which fastens fat loss. On the other hand, Isoleucine promotes glucose tolerance in the body.
The supplements comprise of about 33% of essential amino acids that makes up the muscle. Essential amino acids are vital for one’s survival. BCAAs comprise of 40% of the performed amino acids needed by all mammals. While their by-products are known to reach potentially harmful levels, it is only very rarely that, they have caused disorders, as it was difficult to reach toxic concentrations in a healthy body. Are BCAAs worth it? They have featured in treatments for liver diseases and burn victims. They are rightly products categorised as dietary supplements. There are no restrictions from the NCAA and Anti-Doping Agency on the use of the supplements by sportspersons.
While most people are keen to get the benefits that come with the supplements, the chances are that they consume the components in their diets. Foods rich in proteins are known to hold significant levels of such supplements. BCAAs are present in foods such as beef, some legumes, and dairy products. However, they feature in small quantities; often too weak, to realise tangible results which is why people turn to supplements to achieve their fitness goals.
While the products are duped safe for consumption, they are not fit for everyone. They are not appropriate for persons under the age of 18 years, pregnant women and those that are breastfeeding. Due to the fact that BCAAs can alter blood sugar levels, people living with diabetes ought to seek medical advice before embarking on these products. Similarly, people with ALS ought to keep to the natural products as opposed to the supplements. Teens can find other muscle building supplements that promote muscle recovery after workouts.
BCAAs form an excellent source of energy that maintains ATP levels during heavy workouts. They play an inhibitory role, by preventing the absorption of the hormone tryptophan into the brain, hence preventing the fatigue of the nervous system. Serotonin is made of tryptophan that triggers fatigue and tiredness. Most scientists attribute this to the notion that fatigue comes when the brain says it is over. Similarly, a study of men taking 4 grammes of the supplement leucine showed that those men developed more strength than the counterparts on the placebo. Those on the leucine study gained 31% more on the average than the placebo group. However, protein supplementation remains one of the most useful in conjunction with physical workouts.
The ability to maintain hormonal balance plays a vital role in a person's ability to respond to severe exercises. Research on the effect of loading with 5 grammes of BCAAs for 21 days, trailed by a week of heavy resistance exercises shows higher levels of testosterone and reduced levels of the hormone cortisol. The BCAA group showed low levels of biomarkers of inflammations, which indicated better response towards high-intensity training. Other studies showed better recovery than those in the placebo group, with lower fatigue score after two hours of training.
BCAAs supplements have found their way back into the bodybuilding and fitness community for a good reason. Several studies recommend the use of these supplements rather than other forms of protein supplements available in the market. However, for optimal results, use in conjunction with a high quality whey or hemp protein supplement.
Servings Size: 5g
100% Instantised Branch Chain Amino Acids (2:1:1)
Each 5 gram serving provides:
Flavoured versions contain 0.1g Citric Acid per serving, Tumeric Powder or Beetroot Red, Flavouring, Sucralose, Stevia.
5g in 150ml water, your post workout protein shake, or intra-workout shake, 2 times per day.
iBCAA 2:1:1 should be used as part of a balanced and varied diet. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Store out of reach of children. Please consult your doctor prior to use if you have a medical condition. Not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
Produced in an environment that produces Milk, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Peanuts and Nuts.