What are BCAAs and why should we have them?
Popular within the bodybuilding community, these very special amino acids are mostly associated with delicious workout supplements, but we know that supplements can be confusing, so what exactly are Branched-chain Amino Acids, and what do they do for us?
To start off, the human body contains thousands of different proteins, and these proteins are made up of just 20 different amino acids. Nine of these amino acids are considered to be essential, which basically means they need to be consumed through your diet as your body can’t make them itself. Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) however, are three amino acids most commonly found in eggs, meat and dairy, and these are called Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Luckily, there are vegan-friendly alternatives available, and to make life much easier they are also available in the way of tasty supplements, just like our Macro Mike Plant Aminos Tropical Mango drink. Here are our top reasons why supplementing with BCAAs may benefit you!
Reduces muscle soreness
Research suggests that BCAAs may help in decreasing muscle soreness post-workout. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is completely normal to experience a day or two after a workout. The goods news is, sipping on BCAAs during your workout or adding them to your post-workout drink could help ease those post-leg day pains.
Promotes muscle growth
Struggling to increase your gains but not sure why? Maybe supplementing with BCAAs is what you’re missing! Leucine is known to activate a pathway in the body that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, and this is turn helps muscles grow. One study which had participants drink BCAAs post-workout, found that muscle protein synthesis increased by 22% in comparison to those who didn’t consume any BCAAs.
Prevents muscle wastage
Branched-chain amino acids account for up to 40% of the total amount of amino acids within the body. Muscle wastage is known to occur when the protein breakdown within the body surpasses the synthesis of muscle protein; balance is key. BCAAs can inhibit muscle protein breakdown, therefore supplementing with enough branched-chain amino acids could aid in preventing muscle wastage over time.
Decreases fatigue during exercise
Consuming BCAAs during a workout may actually keep your energy levels high during those strenuous workouts that usually leave you feeling exhausted. During exercise, our muscles use up BCAAs and this triggers a chemical response within the brain to develop the feeling of being ‘fatigued’.
"Nine of these amino acids are considered to be essential, which basically means they need to be consumed through your diet as your body can’t make them itself."
Although the Branched-Chain Amino Acids help to increase muscle protein synthesis and benefit us in many other ways, they do require other essential amino acids to build muscle. So, to maximise your workouts and get those ultimate gains, we recommend the perfect workout combo of Macro Mike Aminos to sip on throughout your workout, and our Macro Mike Protein Powder post-workout. As well as the key branched-chain amino acids, Macro Mike BCAAs contain a Vitamin B blend for optimum nerve function and cell health, L-taurine and L-citruline to help repair and recover, and a natural caffeine blend which contains beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Happy training!
"Athletes on a tight energy budget may be a good candidate for supplementation with BCAA’s as they can help to promote muscle protein synthesis and minimise muscle protein breakdown without a substantial calorie load."
— Sports Dietitians Australia
5 natural ways to boost your immune system