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BCAA-Fitness Can’t Live Without It

What is BCAA?

Let’s first understand that the types of amino acids can be roughly divided into three categories: essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, and semi-essential amino acids (also called conditionally essential amino acids).

Essential amino acids refer to the amino acids that the human body cannot synthesize or the speed of synthesis is far from meeting the needs of the body. It must be supplied by food. Non-essential amino acids are amino acids that the human body can simply synthesize and do not need to be obtained from food. Semi-essential amino acids are the human body. Although it can be synthesized, two kinds of amino acids are often not enough.

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BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) is actually a collective term for three amino acids: leucine, valine and isoleucine. They are considered necessary because the body cannot produce these three amino acids itself, but needs to be ingested through food.

For people whose goal is to obtain high-quality muscle and protect muscles from loss, branched-chain amino acids are particularly important because they promote the synthesis of muscle protein, inhibit protein breakdown and regulate protein metabolism.

Because branched chain amino acids are a component of protein, like protein, branched chain amino acids are very important for people who gain muscle and need to maintain muscle mass. In particular, leucine can promote muscle protein synthesis, inhibit protein breakdown and help protein metabolism.

Although branched-chain amino acids are not as well-known as common protein powders, those with a little nutritional knowledge will know that branched-chain amino acids are very helpful to fitness. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of branched-chain amino acids. And usage.

Why do we need BCAA

In the process of endurance exercise, the physical energy burn comes from fat and glycogen as the main sources, but when these two calories are not enough, burning fuelwood will turn to grabbing muscle fibers. The human body is very mysterious. When the fuelwood is insufficiently burned and exercise is continued, the body will naturally look for skeletal muscle protein that has little effect on physiological functions. However, when exercise burns out the amino acids in the skeletal muscle, the human will develop muscle endurance. Insufficiency and cramps.

Do you think why you can’t grab fat as fuel when you burn physical energy? Body fat is very high! First, because the fat burning efficiency is very poor, the body must be able to quickly replenish physical fuelwood in a high heartbeat state. Secondly, fat is actually a protective mechanism built in the human body to prevent cold, famine and other problems. Therefore, to burn fat, only low heart rhythm LSD can help. Most importantly, fat is not the main energy to support muscles!

Studies have found that whenever the leucine content in the blood increases, the rate of protein synthesis will increase. But even if the amino acid content in the blood keeps increasing, it will decrease after reaching a peak. So even if we drink BCAA continuously for 24 hours, or eat BCAA between meals, or eat some protein every 2-3 hours, the protein synthesis rate cannot be maintained at an accelerated state. Therefore, even BCAA can accelerate protein synthesis temporarily , This cannot prove that it can really \”build muscle\”. If you definitely want to take some supplements, a scoop of protein powder after training will definitely give you a better muscle-building effect than BCAA.

  1. There is already a considerable amount of scientific research supporting this theory. When you want to train a stronger and more powerful body, it is necessary to stimulate and energize your muscles at the cellular level. Branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine, isoleucine) make up almost 1 /3 muscle protein. BCAA slows down muscle fatigue, accelerates recovery, reduces the loss of other amino acids from muscles during exercise, and helps the body absorb protein. Lack of one of these three will result in muscle loss. Unlike other amino acids, the metabolism of BCAA is mainly carried out in the muscles, not the liver.

    Branched-chain amino acids are competitive with each other in absorption capacity, so they must be supplemented at the same time to ensure maximum absorption. The consumption of branched chain amino acids in muscles during training is also very fast. Supplementing branched chain amino acids before and during exercise can improve exercise capacity and delay fatigue. Taking branched chain amino acids immediately after exercise or with a meal after exercise can reduce cortisol (muscle damage-the culprit of overtraining!) and quickly restore the level of branched chain amino acids in muscles.

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What are the functions of BCAA

As a carrier of nitrogen, branched-chain amino acids help muscles synthesize other amino acids needed. Simply put, it is a process of simple amino acid synthesis of complex and complete muscle tissue. Therefore, branched chain amino acids stimulate the production of insulin, and the main role of insulin is to allow peripheral blood sugar to be absorbed by the muscles and used as an energy source. The production of insulin also promotes the absorption of amino acids by the muscles.

Branched-chain amino acids have both synthetic and anti-decomposition effects, because they can significantly increase protein synthesis, promote the release of related hormones, such as growth hormone (GH), IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) and insulin, and help To maintain a reasonable testosterone/cortisol ratio.

Branched-chain amino acids also have a very good anti-decomposition effect, because they help prevent protein breakdown and muscle loss, which is very important for those who are in the pre-match diet phase. At this time when calorie intake is relatively low, it is strongly recommended to use branched-chain amino acids, because at this time the rate of protein synthesis decreases and protein breakdown increases. At this stage, as in the process of protein digestion and absorption, the protein in the muscle will be hydrolyzed Into small molecules, soluble substances, such as peptide chains and amino acids. Therefore, if you don\’t supplement enough amino acids in time, there is a risk of muscle loss!

Timing and how to eat BACC


Priority 1: Enhance exercise energy

Time: About 30 minutes before exercise, the most critical time to take 6-10 grams of BCAA is before exercise. The reason is that BCAA is different from other amino acids. They don’t need to go to the liver first; they can go directly to muscle cells and be used as fuel.


Priority 2: Promote muscle recovery and growth

Time: The next most critical time to take 6-10 grams of BCAA within 30 minutes after exercise is after exercise. Here, it is important to get leucine into muscle cells, where it can activate the protein kinase mTOR and promote muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth.

Priority 3: Add between meals

Time: 2 hours after a meal, when your meal contains at least 3 grams of leucine and at least 30 grams of protein, muscle protein synthesis will increase instantly. About two hours after the meal, protein synthesis will decrease, but the amino acids in the meal are still in the blood. At this point, if you provide another 3 grams of leucine (and the other two BCAAs), it may cause a second peak in muscle protein synthesis in the same meal.

Priority 4: Increase the leucine content in the diet

Time: With the meal, and this meal provides less than 30 grams of protein. As mentioned earlier, you need at least 30 grams of intact protein and 3 grams of leucine to maximize muscle protein synthesis. If a meal provides less than 30 grams of protein, then it may not provide a complete 3 grams of leucine. In order to make the protein synthesis of this meal reach a greater peak, you can take 6-10 grams of BCAA to ensure that the leucine content is high enough.


Branched-chain amino acids can be converted into alanine or glutamic acid after muscle metabolism. Glutaric acid has a great influence on the immune function of the body, including the transmission of nitrogen between organs and the detoxification of ammonia, and the maintenance of acid-base balance in the body. , Nucleotide synthesis and regulation of protein quality are very effective.

But after sports training, the lack of glutamic acid will affect the metabolism in the body. Therefore, after high-intensity exercise or overload training, the concentration of glutamic acid in the body decreases significantly. In addition, overtraining syndrome can cause damage to internal organs and immune system at the same time.

Therefore, supplementation of branched-chain amino acids after training allows the muscles to be converted and metabolized into glutamic acid, which has the effect of repairing the damage of the immune system.

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