The correct use of supplements, which accompany nutrition and training programs, is very important for individuals who are interested in active sports and want to increase their muscle mass. BCAAs are among the most widely consumed supplements. So, is BCAA really reliable, what effects does it have, how should it be used? All the details and curiosities are in this article!
What is BCAA?
BCAA; It is a group of proteins that stands for ‘branched-chain amino acid’ and means ‘branched-chain amino acids’ in Turkish. The amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine are called branched-chain amino acids.
What are BCAA-Containing Foods?
BCAAs are essential; They cannot be synthesized in the body. For this reason, it must be taken from outside with food. The BCAA needs of our body can be met with a sufficient protein diet. The foods containing the most branched chain amino acids are foods of animal origin.
Milk and milk products
Examples of BCAA-rich foods can be given. For vegan individuals consuming plant-based foods;
Legumes such as beans, lentils
Oilseeds such as hazelnuts
It can be an alternative to meet your daily needs.
The first method to be preferred for BCAA needs; natural foods should be consumed. Supplementation is recommended if adequate BCAA intake cannot be achieved with food.
Content of BCAA Supplements
Individuals using BCAA supplements should pay attention to the content and nutritional label of the product they use.
In 1 service product; BCAA supplements, which have almost no fat and carbohydrates, provide energy between about 20-30 calories. Protein amounts vary according to the amount of valine, leucine and isoleucine it contains.
In addition to branched chain amino acids; There are also various supplements that contain vitamins, minerals and extra amino acids such as glutamine. For this reason, the content of the product we use should be read to choose the most suitable BCAA and a professional should be consulted before using it.
What Does BCAA Do? Why is it used?
It is used to meet the protein needs that cannot be met with nutrition or are thought to be of insufficient bioavailability in individuals who do intense training. Protein requirement of athletes is 1.5-2 gr/kg. If this requirement is not met, sufficient efficiency cannot be obtained from the exercise and muscle building cannot occur at the expected level.
According to scientific research, the possible benefits of BCAA use can be summarized as follows;
A diet rich in BCAAs increases muscle protein synthesis and is helpful in preserving lean muscle mass, as it stimulates protein synthesis even without exercise.
By improving body composition, it supports fat burning as well as preserving muscle mass. Leucine accelerates fat oxidation for energy expenditure. In this way, the loss of adipose tissue increases.
It increases performance efficiency by regulating testosterone and cortisol levels during intense training.
Provides more fuel to be used during training. Thus, it increases endurance during training, delays fatigue after training and reduces muscle damage.
BCAA blends containing 40% leucine support and equalize muscle growth in young individuals; In elderly individuals, it prevents muscle loss due to aging.
Isoleucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, contributes positively to the glucose balance in the body, improves the insulin profile and reduces the risk of diabetes in the long run.
Branched-chain amino acids contribute to the prolongation of lifespan and support of general health by providing the formation of mitochondria in cells.
How BCAAs Work
Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are metabolized in skeletal muscles rather than in the liver. Metabolism in skeletal muscles; increases the susceptibility of these amino acids to physical activity. Their primary task is to maintain the three-dimensional structure of proteins. Therefore, they prevent protein degradation and increase protein synthesis. During exercise, amino groups of branched-chain amino acids enter the purine nucleoid cycle. It is effective in regulating muscle mass with several reactions occurring together.
How to Use BCAAs
Standard dose use of BCAA; 48-72mg per kilogram is . In intense training situations, this amount can go up to 10-15 grams, especially in men. Its consumption can be before, during or after training. It is recommended to be consumed with meals.
Are BCAAs Harmful?
No harm has been reported from BCAA supplements. But the safe limit is 35-40 grams per day. Taking more than this amount can cause side effects as it is toxic. Vomiting, nausea, gas and cramps can be given as examples of side effects that may occur.
What Should You Consider When Choosing BCAAs?
BCAA supplements, which are sold in various ratios such as 2:1:1, 4:1:1, are available in different flavors and various sizes. The ratios indicated represent the amounts of leucine: isoleucine: valine, respectively. Products with different amino acid combinations should be selected by paying attention to the weight of the training and protein needs. As the intensity of the workout increases, the amount of leucine that needs to be consumed should be increased.
As with every product we will use, when purchasing BCAAs, it should be considered that it is a reliable brand, that it has certificates approved for health, and that it is a legal product that is allowed to be used.
‘Contents’ information must be examined. The more extra ingredients added, such as protective additives, the more it is necessary to stay away from that product.
The form that the individual can use most appropriately should be chosen. Generally, powder forms can be easily consumed by adding to beverages.
Care should be taken with the dosage used. Use the dosage recommended by your dietitian or health professionals, as well as follow the instructions and instructions for the supplement you choose. For example, one product may contain the entire daily recommended amount in a single capsule, or another branded product may recommend 2-3 times a day. In addition, excessive use should be avoided in order to avoid side effects.