Everything You Need To Know About BCAAs
BCAAs have become synonymous in the fitness community with muscle gains and intense weight training. However, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) are not as unapproachable as they seem (nor do you have to be a fitness expert to enjoy the benefits). In fact, BCAAs are actually essential for proper muscle recovery, which — in turn — can lead to improved physical performance and overall brain function.
What are BCAAs?
At any given time, you have 20 different amino acids that make up the thousands of different proteins in your body. Yet, of those 20, there are nine essential amino acids that can only be obtained through foods like meat, dairy, eggs, and legumes or workout supplements. Three of those essential amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine — also known as branched-chain amino acids.
BCAAs make up about 35% of your body’s muscle protein, which is why the fitness is so emphatic about getting enough BCAAs for proper muscle building and sustenance.
The benefits of BCAAs
The three powerful BCAAs are an integral part of giving your muscles what they need to stay energized during and after your workouts by preserving your muscle glycogen stores. Consuming BCAAs in protein-rich food or in supplement form minimizes protein breakdown in your muscles, providing your body with enough energy for longer endurance training and optimal restoration and recovery.
Other benefits include:
BCAAs, when used in tandem with other essential amino acids, can increase muscle protein synthesis, which helps build lean muscle mass.
When you workout, you can get delayed onset muscle soreness (doms), which happens as a result of tiny muscle tears (which are totally normal!). BCAAs help reduce the severity of doms as well as decrease overall muscle damage, so you can feel ready to go for your next workout.
If you enjoy pushing yourself during longer workouts, you may have noticed potential fatigue during exercise. BCAAs help to improve mental focus by delaying your brain’s conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, which can cause exercise fatigue.
Muscle wasting happens when there is more protein breakdown than muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs can slow down the progression of muscle wasting by replacing amino acids lost during exercise.
How to take BCAAs
BCAAs are an incredible pre, during, and post-working boost for enhanced muscle recovery and endurance.
If you’re concerned about getting enough essential amino acids from your diet alone, supplementation is an efficient way to complement your active lifestyle. Fitness experts recommend a BCAA supplement with a balanced ratio — five grams of leucine, four grams of valine, and two grams of isoleucine.
Beam’s Elevate recovery hydration booster combines clean electrolytes from coconut water and Himalayan sea salt with grass-fed, non-GMO collagen peptides and BCAAs for a 360-degree approach to muscle recovery. Just mix with water before or after your workout, so the only burn you feel is a good one.