If you are planning to improve your body’s muscle appearance, you may hear a lot of suggestions about taking protein supplements during and after your workouts. Protein supplementation is necessary since taking additional protein will ensure you get optimal results with each visit to the gym. However, there are a lot of protein supplements that are available for bodybuilders — with each type of protein supplement having a different function.
Whey protein supplements, for example, are useful in repairing the micro-tears in the muscles brought about by an intense workout session and can help your muscles recover faster. Moreover, whey protein has a lot of calories, which makes it a good supplement if you want more energy during your workout sessions. On the other hand, if you want to reduce your weight while building your muscles, the best supplement for you to consider is a BCAA supplement.
What Are BCAA’s?
BCAA is short for the Branched-Chain Amino Acids composed of Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine, and are part of the nine essential amino acids needed to build muscle proteins. The human body cannot synthesise these essential amino acids, and therefore, the body needs to get these amino acids from food or supplements.
BCAA’s are unique since these three amino acids are the only ones that have branched-chain chemical structures, giving them different functions inside the body. BCAA proteins are not utilised as a fuel in the liver but instead catabolised readily within the muscles.
Why Should You Take BCAA Supplements?
As we grow older, the amount of proteins our body can naturally synthesise and utilise diminishes; this is the reason why we need to take regular supplements of protein. When you are working out, you are increasing the rate in which you are using up the proteins in your muscles. If the amount of BCAA in your muscles is not enough to support the protein synthesis during a workout, you may end up losing muscles instead of gaining them. It is therefore essential to have enough levels of BCAA in your tissues during and after workouts.
To fully appreciate the importance of taking BCAA supplements, it is best to determine the function of the individual BCAA that you are taking.
- Isoleucine is a vital amino acid that takes part in the biochemical processes that give your muscles the necessary energy during the workout. Having the right amount of isoleucine allows you to feel energised during an extensive workout.
- Leucine helps in healing muscle micro-tears formed during workouts. Leucine also helps the body in healing wounds and injuries. Another function of Leucine is to maintain the glucose (sugar) levels within your muscles to prevent muscle fatigue and soreness.
- Valine is a BCAA that helps repair damaged muscle tissues and also regulates blood sugar levels within the muscles to maintain the energy levels during a workout. Valine also takes part in triggering the muscles to start protein synthesis during workouts.
When Should You Take BCAA Supplements?
To get the optimal results for your workouts, you should have the right amounts of BCAAs which can readily be utilised by your muscles. It is best if you take BCAA supplements at least 30 minutes before and after a workout.
So if you are planning to take a significant muscle-sculpting workout program, then you need to incorporate the right amount of BCAA protein into your diet.