Gone are the days when the market for sports supplements was small. Today there are a multitude of alternatives, thanks above all to the proliferation of e-commerce. Among the most successful in recent years are BCAAs.
What is BCAAs and what are they for?
BCAAs are an acronym for branched-chain amino acids. In other words, those chemical substances of organic origin which are not only basic, but also essential for the correct functioning of certain very important parts of the body.
Valine is one of the amino acids contained in BCAAs. The metabolism associated with muscles quickly benefits from the ingestion of this substance, as well as the action of the tissues it covers, in addition to the amount of nitrogen.
Another amino acid present in the branched set is known as leucine. In particular, it is responsible not only for shaping proteins, but also for their subsequent synthesis. Muscle tissue is kept in good condition for a long time thanks to the action of leucine.
Finally, BCAAs also contain isoleucine. This is an amino acid which performs a similar action to leucine, although it also performs an extra task: regulating the level of sugar in the blood.
Taken together, BCAAs provide a number of benefits that are greatly appreciated by sportsmen and women. This applies not only to professional athletes, but also to amateurs who simply do regular physical exercise as a hobby or in order to lead a healthy life.
Whatever your case, your body is quick to benefit from these branched-chain amino acids. First of all, they are of invaluable help in increasing muscle mass. Of course, the exercises needed to gain muscle usually involve a great deal of wear and tear on the groups that are most actively involved, but with BCAAs they will recover much more quickly.
And the amino acids that make them up are capable of collaborating in a short but effective recovery, preventing you from suffering from the aches and pains that are always annoying, regardless of the muscles they affect.
Continuing with regard to the muscles, it is worth noting that their breakdown is considerably reduced. It is for this reason that athletes who take BCAAs stay in better condition for longer.
The list of benefits does not end here. In addition, BCAAs also contribute to the daily supply of energy required for sporting activity. In addition, they help the brain to function under optimal conditions. To obtain all these benefits, it is essential to get your intake right, both in terms of total number and regularity.
How and when to take BCAAs
It doesn't matter whether you choose to take this sports supplement in powder form or in capsule form. In both cases, it is important to accompany it with plenty of liquid, which you are free to choose, with one exception: do not consume fat-containing liquids at the same time. For example, whole milk is not recommended, although skimmed or semi-skimmed milk is suitable. If you eat fat, the BCAAs will be absorbed at a slower rate.
To find out how much you need, simply multiply 140 milligrams by your weight in kilograms, although the recommended minimum is usually five grams. As for the timing, it depends on the athlete's goal. If your goal is to prevent muscle wasting, it is advisable to take BCAAs before you start training. This will allow you to make use of these substances without depleting muscle protein.
Speaking of this type of protein, it is worth noting that BCAAs stimulate its development. It is for this reason that it is also advisable to take the supplement after sports training.
The frequency is determined by the amount of physical exercise carried out. It should be taken every day if the sport is practised four or more times during the week.
Side effects of BCAAs
Unlike other supplements, taking an excessive amount of BCAAs rarely causes adverse reactions, although of course it does not provide the above-mentioned benefits in any greater quantity.
Branched-chain amino acids are generally well tolerated by all organisms, although in rare situations, anything from mild nausea to localised pain in the stomach can occur.
Another rare side effect is bloating. That is, even when not having eaten, the athlete has the sensation of a very full and bloated abdominal area.