Athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts alike know the vital role BCAAs play in helping them achieve their training goals. While the extensive list of BCAA supplementation benefits could fill page after page, we will look at the top 10 reasons why BCAAs should be a part of your supplement regimen. As a whole, BCAAs:
- Ignite muscle protein synthesis – Leads to larger gains in lean mass accretion and faster recovery times.
- Assist in maintaining an anabolic (muscle building) environment – Exercise can put the body in a catabolic state (muscle breakdown). When this happens, BCAAs are used for energy as opposed to growth and repair. BCAA supplementation can improve nitrogen retention by sparing other amino acid groups, which ultimately keeps the body in an anabolic state.
- Support lean mass growth – BCAAs activate satellite cells that travel and attach to individual muscle fibers, helping the stressed or damaged muscle as a whole grow in size.
- Increase muscle strength – Going hand in hand with benefit #3, increases in lean mass mean large muscle fiber sizes and greater cross-sectional areas, which equates to greater increases in muscle strength.
- Increase fat loss – This is largely due to isoleucine, which can stimulate receptors that inhibit fat storage and increase fat burning.
- Improve glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity – While isoleucine improves glucose tolerance on its own, the whole trio of BCAAs can support improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate for improved body composition.
- Increase endurance performance – During prolonged exercise, BCAAs are taken up by the skeletal muscle rather than the liver in order to contribute to energy production (oxidative metabolism). They also can help prevent muscle damage during long-duration endurance sports by protecting muscle tissue