Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are vital for achieving your bodybuilding goals. If you are an aspiring bodybuilder and a vegetarian, then you must have heard about BCAAs. If you haven’t, in following paragraphs, you will get to know all about BCAAs as well as get answers to some of the common queries in this regard.
What Is Amino Acids BCAA?
A branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is basically an amino acid that has an aliphatic side-chain comprising of a branch. In other words, it contains a central carbon atom that is bounded to at least three or more carbon atoms. Out of all the proteinogenic amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the three BCAAs. BCAAs are ought to be mandatory amino acidsin the daily diet of humans for survival. Likewise, vegan bodybuilders and athletes cannotdo without them. Vegan BCAA is completely plant-based and considered an important nutritional source for vegans in order to build muscle mass.
Importance of BCAAs for Vegan Bodybuilders:
BCAA are responsible for muscle repair and formation. They have several properties that promotegrowth better than normal amino acids. BCAA’s account for 35% of muscle mass and act as foundations of muscle growth and catalysts for protein synthesis.
BCAA’s are essential amino acids required to be taken in true form, as human body does not have the ability to synthesis them, Contrary to this non-essential amino acids can be produced by human body through synthesis of various food and drink intake. BCAA supplements comprise of all three essential amino acids namely Leucine, Isoleucine and Valineoften in a ratio of 2:1:1.
Why BCAAs are Essential?
BCAAs are regarded as essential mainly because our body cannot produce them on its own and we need to compensate for them through food sources and supplements. Just like other amino acids, BCAAs are the building blocks of the most important muscle building component, Protein. However, BCAAs can also help in preserving muscle glycogen stores. These are responsible for fueling your muscles especially during and after an intense workout session as well as reduce the tendency of protein breakdown while exercising. It can be said you can retain your energy levels for longer in the gym through BCAAs.
Function of BCAAs:
During muscle training, BCAAs act as fuel to your skeletal muscle and provide you the much needed edge to train longer. When you are consuming a diet rich in BCAAs, you are basically preserving your glycogen stores, which are main energy producing elements for your muscles. It means that BCAAs are your body’s primary energy source that comes into play largely when you are working out. BCAAs are necessary to keep you going, and in their absence, you will feel fatigued and tired sooner than you expect. When your body has stored glycogen in abundance, muscle break down is substantially reduces and energy is also retained. So, the key functions that BCAAs perform include sustaining and safeguarding your muscles.
BCAAs- A Must Have in Your Daily Diet:
BCAAs play an integral part in building and repairing muscle tissue. Moreover, supplementary intake of BCAAs helpsovercome muscle damage, soreness and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after a workout session.Research conducted in this regard indicatesa variety of other medical benefits of BCAAs such as treatment of ALSand other muscular diseases. They also boost brain function in people who suffer from advanced liver disease and anorexia.
Food Sources of Vegan BCAA:
It must be noted that the main source of most amino acids is meat protein, therefore, it is a daunting task for vegan body builders to fulfill their BCAA requirement. Presented below is the list of vegan foods rich in BCAAs that will surely help you out in determining your next week’s meal plan.
Leucine: soybeans and lentils
Isoleucine: almonds, cashews, and chickpeas
Valine: peanuts, sesame seeds, and lentils
It is worth noting that soy protein also contains BCAA’s. Athletes and body builders are often requiredto enhance their BCAA intake for swift muscle recovery. Similarly, Physical stress or injury can also lead to an increased requirement of BCAAs meriting supplementary diet.However, physician or nutritionist must be consulted before selecting and consuming a BCAA supplementation.
Top 5 Benefits of Vegan BCAA
BCAA does not only act as a stimuli for muscle growth but they also render anabolic environment in the human body, propelling energy to muscles by burning body fat and thereof improvingspeed of muscle recovery and soreness. Here are the key benefits of Vegan BCAAs.
- Boosting Hormones
BCAA supplementation helps to improve the levels of muscle building hormones such as testosterone and restrict non-favorable ones like cortisol to offer most suitable anabolic environment for bodybuilding. Studies show that leucine stimulates insulin production, which is again beneficial for the body.
- Nutrient Partitioning
BCAA acts as balancers whereby they facilitate nutrient partitioning. They take energy from fat cells and provide it to more needy and under nutrient muscle tissues for even growth.
- Fuel for Your Muscles
Body builders and athletes want to lose fat but retain muscle;hence, they are always into a calorie-restricted diet. This limitation could result in temporary energy deficit, where catabolic enzyme can break muscle to get BCAA. Pre-emptive supplementation of BCAAs can preclude any such possibility.
- Pain Killers for Muscle Soreness
Feeling of soreness after workout is a common phenomenon especially as days are progressed into the training program. This phenomenon is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). BCAA help to mitigate the soreness.
- Recover Faster, Train Harder
It is a well-known fact that the faster you recover after an intense workout session the quicker you will be ready to hit the gym again. According to the College of Charleston’s professor of exercise physiology, Dr. Carwyn Sharp, BCAA is essential for athletes both before and after training mainly because it enhances the recovery, repairing, and growth of muscle.
BCAAs aren’t only necessary for bodybuilders but extremely essential for everyone regardless of what your ultimate objective is. You can consume them to increase muscle mass, endurance, strength, or get bulkier, choice is all yours. The bottom line is that BCAAs are helpful in letting your train with higher intensity, more energy, and naturally, speedy muscle growth.