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July 04, 2021 3 min read 4 Comments

What BCAAs Can Do For Your Fitness

Here atFit Lifestyle Box, we’re no strangers to sports nutrition supplements, and we’re betting you aren’t either. 

You might already be slamming pre-workout and chugging protein shakes to give your body all the tools it needs to look and perform at its best. But there’s another sports nutrition supplement that you definitely should be taking if you want to maximize your fitness: BCAAs. 

BCAAs are some of the most popular supplements for athletes and weekend warriors looking to improve their performance and hit their workouts harder. Here’s why taking a regular BCAA supplement can give you the edge you need to take your fitness to the next level. 

What Are BCAAs? 

BCAA stands for “branched-chain amino acids” and includes three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. 

If you’re working out often and trying to make gains, protein is key. So what’s the relationship between protein, muscle growth, andBCAAs

To get a little technical, amino acids are actually the “building blocks” of protein. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids in total that make up one protein molecule. Your body makes 11 of these amino acids on its own, which means that it has to get the other 9 essential amino acids from your diet and supplements. Three of those essential amino acids you have to get from your food are the BCAAs. 

When you take a BCAA supplement, you’re getting more of the amino acidsleucine, isoleucine, and valine. This is important because they can activate protein synthesis, which can then lead to muscle growth when paired with a good workout and other protein sources. BCAAs can also improve how your body uses energy during your workout. 

So in other words, a BCAA supplement gives you three of the most important “tools” that you need to recover, grow, and excel at your workout! 

BCAA Benefits 

Here’s why you should be taking BCAAs: 

  • Promotes muscle growth.This is the biggest reason most of us turn to BCAAs in the first place: making gains. 

Muscle growth, aka hypertrophy, happens when you challenge your muscles with resistance exercises like weightlifting. This causes damage to your muscle proteins - and when you’re getting enough protein and amino acids, the proteins can then repair and lead to growth. 

BCAA supplementation can help activate this process and build muscle. A word of caution, though: you should also be getting enoughwhole protein sources so that your body hasall the essential amino acids it needs. 

  • Energy boost. Another BCAA benefit is that it can also help you last longer in the gym so you can maximize your performance and progress - always a good thing! 

  • Not only do those BCAAs prevent muscle damage, but they can also increase your serotonin levels (aka your “feel-good” hormones) while minimizing ammonia and lactic acid, both of which can make you feelfatigued during your workout. So if you’re taking BCAAs, you’re setting yourself up for better energy levels, and that means a better workout. 

    • Helps with muscle soreness.When you’re all-too-familiar with that achy, tight feeling that comes after an intense workout, you can definitely benefit from adding BCAAs to your supplement routine. 

    This delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short) is thought to be caused by those little microtears that happen to your muscles after a good lift or intense exercise-sesh. BCAAs prevent some of that muscle breakdown, so they can reduce soreness and help you recover faster. The less time you have to spend recovering and in pain, the sooner you’ll be able to hit the next workout! 

  • Limits calorie intake. If you’re looking to increase your gains but are concerned about limiting your calorie count, BCAAs are a great middle-ground supplement. Even though they have some of the crucial “ingredients” that your muscles want to grow, they generally don’t have any calories. So they’re a great option for anyone who wants to gain muscle and lose weight at the same time. 
  • Conclusion  

    As long as you’re getting enough dietary protein, adding BCAAs into your sports nutrition stack can build muscle, increase your performance, and make you a better athlete. BCAAs are an excellent supplement for women, men, and anyone who’s looking to take their fitness to the next level.

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