What is it?
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) is the name given to three of the eight essential amino acids – valine, leucine and isoleucine – that are necessary to make protein in the body. The combination of these essential amino acids comprises roughly one-third of skeletal muscle in the body. BCAAs form the foundation upon which protein synthesis and energy production in the body takes place. As a result, BCAAs are integral in various metabolic processes. For any of these processes to take place, BCAAs need to be present at both the right times and in adequate amounts in the body.
Why do I need it?
BCAAs aid in the process of new muscle growth and help to prevent muscle deterioration. However, they do far more than simply aid muscle retention and growth; they promote the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels (known as glucose homeostasis) and regulate general protein synthesis alongside assisting general immune function.
While everyone needs adequate BCAAs in their diet, they are especially important for anyone undertaking regular exercise. BCAA levels decline in correlation with the amount of exercise undertaken and as a result, supplementation is recommended during and/or after workouts. If you are training without adequate amounts of BCAAs, you are placing yourself at risk of losing more protein than is built during recovery. In other words, lost muscle. In short, BCAAs play an integral role in your diet – especially if you’re exercising regularly. They are instrumental in the synthesis of proteins, direct regulation of muscle protein synthesis, glucose homeostasis and general immune system health. For anyone looking to have less fat relative to lean muscle mass, the importance of BCAAs can’t be overstated.
Where do I find it?
BCAAs can be incorporated into your diet through either animal sources, including meat and dairy, or vegetable protein sources (hemp, rice protein). If you don’t think you’re getting enough BCAAs in your diet, you can always get them through supplements. Find out more about how WellPath creates customized supplement packages based on your unique lifestyle, goals, and needs.