Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs is one of the most intimidating things you will encounter when you start taking on a healthy lifestyle. This is because it is a complex idea. It is hard to decipher what it does to help your body. Let us try to help you out with that.
To start with, “branched-chain” refers to the structure of amino acid on a molecular level. As you know amino acids are the building blocks of protein. This is one of the reasons why it is a great supplement to your protein sparing modified fasting diet program. It also has functions related to energy production especially for people who choose to have an active lifestyle.
BCAAs are essential supplements simply because your body does not produce them. They consist mainly of leucine, isoleucine, and valine – the three amino acids your body needs. The US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health even shares that it was once used to treat burn victims. Now, more than gaining mass, it is widely used by people who need to maintain muscle mass, especially when taking on a calorie-deficit diet such as the PSMF.
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Benefits of BCAAs
It might surprise you to know that BCAAs are used in the medical world for a host of reasons. For one, older people confined to bed rest and suffering from cancer benefit from these amino acids. It is also helpful for brain conditions that are the result of liver disease. It even helps in the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Although less than 3% of American people get to meet a healthy lifestyle qualification according to The Atlantic, this should not stop you from pursuing a healthy life approach. As such, these amino acids can help and here are a few things you can expect when you start to incorporate them into your diet program.
Whenever you exercise, you eventually experience the perception of fatigue. This caused by serotonin which is a by-product of amino acid tryptophan. This basically tells your brain that you are getting tired and that you have to slow it down. Taking in BCAA competes with tryptophan in entering your brain. Less tryptophan means less serotonin which could allow you to put with a longer workout.
Simply explained, these essential amino acids help minimize that hormone in your brain that tells you that you are getting tired. This enables you to exercise more, put in a few more reps or sets or even exceed that personal record (PR) you have been stuck with for the past few weeks. As it helps preserve your muscle fibers, it gives you that chance to train frequently to reach your health goal.
This is one of the benefits of BCAAs that is widely accepted in the health and medical community. As it stimulates protein synthesis in your system, is also promotes the protection of your muscles from breakdown by driving up the carbohydrates you need. In essence, in does not only help you create protein but protects the same from breaking down.
When consumed together with other types of amino acids such as aspartate and glutamate and even alanine, it will not only help you get bigger muscles. It can also maintain the same during off-peak training sessions or even as you recover from injury. This is why it is used for bed rest older patients as it keeps the muscles from breaking down so easily. Its anti-aging properties are also one of the reasons it is used in cancer treatments.
When you are going through any diet program, especially the PSMF regimen, hunger is always a side effect you need to manage. And as Reader’s Digest points out, the sensation of hunger has become complicated over the years. The more we know about it, the more it becomes a complex topic.
Luckily, Branched-Chain Amino Acids is one of those things that can help you regulate that sensation of hunger. Leucine, one of the amino acids present in BCAAs helps regulate your body’s sensitivity to the leptin. As you know, leptin is a hormone that basically tells your body that you are full.
Leucine also promotes the burning of fat as well as promoting and striking a balance in your blood sugar levels. This is a key characteristic of Branched-Chain Amino Acids because imbalances in sugar levels can eventually lead you gaining weight. Regardless how much you diet and exercise, your weight could just keep on coming back.
Promotes greater strength
One of the things that these amino acids are able to bring to the table is an increase in testosterone level. As this happens, you feel great power and improved strength. It also facilitates in providing you that extra push of endurance you might need in times when you feel like you can’t go on any further.
Sources of BCAA
There are a number of food types that can provide you with BCAAs your body needs. Found mostly in protein-rich foods, they can greatly complement your protein sparing modified fasting program. Some of them are chicken or turkey breast and lean beef as well as flank steak. Eggs can also be a great source of amino acids.
Whitefish, tuna, salmon, cod, and trout can also provide you these essential amino acids your body needs. It is a great alternative if you are not into eating meat or chicken that much. There are also supplements in the form of powder, liquid, and capsule that can be taken in lieu of food mentioned earlier. There are times that they even work more efficiently because they work faster as they eliminate the need to be digested. You just have to keep an eye out for “clean” supplements. This means they do not have additional dyes, sweeteners or other chemicals you don’t really need.
Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are essential to any diet program and healthy lifestyle that you choose. Apart from having real medical benefits used in treating various illnesses, it also provides you the edge that you need. At least, when it comes to building a better version of yourself. Through proper monitoring of the food that you eat as well as an active lifestyle, these amino acids can prove to be a great supplement to complement the new you.