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  • Written by Emily Stuart

As today’s lifestyle trend pushes people to be more health-conscious, workouts and nutrition have become some of their top focuses. From learning what exercises will work for your body type and goals to understanding the nutrients that you need to take, there are many steps involved in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. If you have recently started exercising more often to boost muscle growth or become more fit, then you may have encountered the term branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).


BCAAs are essential amino acids that help you grow muscle tissue. Out of the 20 amino acids, only 11 can be produced by your body, while the other nine have to come from your diet or supplements. Isoleucine, valine, and leucine are the three BCAAs that help fuel your muscles and prevent protein from breaking down when you exercise. Although you can also get amino acids from different food sources, there are huge benefits to trying out BCAA, especially if you are looking to build muscle mass.


Limits and Delays Fatigue


Studies have suggested that BCAAs can delay the onset of fatigue or the rate at which you get tired from exercise, allowing you to continue for longer periods. Naturally, the intensity, frequency, and duration of your workouts can still play a factor in how tired you will get. However, what happens is that your body uses the BCAAs to power the muscles once it uses up its glycogen storage, allowing you to have more energy. Similarly, BCAAs can regulate the levels of tryptophan in your brain to improve your mental focus and delay the feeling of central or brain fatigue.


Reduces Soreness


If you have been working out for some time now, then you are likely familiar with the feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). After exercising intensively, your body and muscles may feel sore for several days as a response to the workout. Studies, however, have shown that BCAAs can be helpful in reducing the soreness you feel, allowing you to recover more quickly from each workout. Some studies have also shown that BCAAs can decrease muscle damage to reduce the length of DOMS and prevent muscle breakdown.


Promotes Muscle Protein Synthesis


One of the biggest logic as to why BCAA is so popular today is that it can help promote muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Among the three BCAAs, leucine is known to be the primary amino acid that initiates MPS, which is a precursor to muscle growth. Dairy products and animal-based protein are particularly rich in BCAAs, which explains why whey protein is commonly used in post-workout shakes. If you have seen BCAA supplements before, you may also notice that some contain a higher dose of leucine than isoleucine or valine since leucine is the “star” ingredient that helps you build muscle.


Supports Immunity


Working out for long periods and regularly can take a toll on your health, especially if you do not give your body enough time to rest in between workouts. Doing repeatedly strenuous exercises can cause your immune system to become weaker due to the reduction in glutamine, which acts as a fuel for your cells. Researchers have found, however, that BCAAs may be able to support your immune system by being converted to glutamine to serve as fuel for your immune cells. This way, your system can regenerate and protect your body against possible illness.

Author Bio: Emily Stuart is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry.  She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things
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