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Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Best Supplement for Prolonged Workouts

These days people love to find some of the best supplements for themselves, and it is important to not only help in having better nutritional addition to the diet but also for better health and growth. Though a balanced diet is something that can satisfy every nutritional requirement of the body, at times food may not be enough. For this, one may need something extra like dietary supplements. One such popular supplements that many opt for are branched-chain amino acids.

What are branched-chain amino acids?

Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs are chain structures of some amino acids. They are usually found in food and can be taken in the form of supplements as well. Branched-chain amino acids are crucial for one’s body because this is what is burned to produce energy. Amino acids valine, isoleucine and leucine is formed into a chain-like structure and that is why it is named as BCAA. Today you can find several BCAA supplements in the markets that will help in fulfilling the amino acid need in the body.

Natural sources of BCAA

Many think that supplements are the only way to get the branched-chain amino acids, but that is not the case. Several natural foods are rich sources of branched-chain amino acids like:

  • Lentils
  • Chicken/eggs/fish
  • Soy proteins and whey
  • Milk
  • Chickpeas
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Whole wheat
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brown rice

When BCCA is needed?

Most of the time the BCAA supplements are taken by the athletes and sportspersons who need to recover from rigorous workout sessions and games. They are not meant to enhance the performance, but instead helps make the muscles more adept to workout. As the muscles get tired and worn out during workouts, these supplements help in recovering from muscle fatigue and tiredness. There are certain times when the BCAA are also used as therapeutic options to treat brain disorders of some type, muscle wasting and loss of appetite.

BCAA is also effective in increasing the appetite in those who are malnourished or in cancer patients. Depending on what is the objective of taking BCAA, the dosages tend to change as well.

Benefits of BCCA

Some of the advantages of taking BCCA supplements are:

  • Improved aerobic and anaerobic performance can be improved and thus is good for those who are speed athletes or sportspersons like cyclists.
  • Daily consumption can reduce the fatigue of the muscles. Also, it can help in delaying the fatigue time if you are working out for a longer time, as the BCAA acts as a source of energy.
  • BCCA supplements also help in making the immune system stronger and better. As continuous training at high velocity can lead to immune suppression, BCCA can help in keeping the immune cells in the gut functional.
  • Lastly, the main reason why BCCA supplements are common for the weightlifters is their capability to synthesize muscle protein. The leucine that is found in BCAA is the main source for starting muscle protein synthesis.