“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ―Thomas Edison
Says one of the most renowned American Scientist. His words seem to have been proved true in 21st century. For centuries now we have seen people cautiously choosing Right Food, Right Nutrition, Right Exercise for a well postured healthy body. Adding to it, nowadays we find people concerned about Right Supplements as well, predominantly, Amino Acid Supplements.
Curiosity and Hesitation regarding Amino Acids supplements, or BCAA’s, are well known globally, still, the rising stakes of these supplements show an altogether different perspective. The reason for such a huge rise in the sales and production of BCAA’s nutritional supplements is the unique benefits they provide you.
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are compounds that combine to form Proteins. Wherefore, when you intake proteins, they break into amino acids, which further help build your muscle tissues, enhance your metabolism, vitalize your energy levels, create neurotransmitters, regulate blood sugar levels. In a nutshell, proteins in the form of amino acids, are the key to your healthy well-nourished body.
When you ingest protein rich foods, the proteins break into amino acids, that further repair, remodify and rebuild the tissues, thus strengthening your muscle tissues. This is a continuous cycle
The broken muscle tissues need to be immediately replaced with another set of muscle tissues, which is possible only when you have a regular consistent protein consumption, which may not be managed that well if you rely only on your regular staple diet, or protein rich foods. You need the right number of supplements, and their regular intake.
Table of Contents
Branched-chain amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine are all important for a sustained muscle growth and repair functions. Human muscle contains residues of amino acids, second largest component after water, in the form of proteins, hence, BCAA supplements are designed according to your muscle enriching needs. Sufficient intake of BCAAs supplements before/after your regular exercise, helps you prevent muscle soaring, muscle damage, increase muscle growth by stimulating muscle protein synthesis, activated through Leucine. BCAAs account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals, which is why muscle wasting or muscle breakdown can be effectively prevented.
Metabolism, in simple language, is the conversion rate of food into energy. To keep your metabolism in a proper condition you need the right amount of adequate amino acids to keep the body functioning, which is why your body needs BCAAs which need to be taken through a proper diet, that includes eggs, meat, fish, or the right supplements, now-a-days available in powder format. Because of their biological significance, branched chain amino acids are important in nutrition and are commonly used in nutritional supplements
Human body uses BCAA’s for protein synthesis, so that the produced energy could help in many other functions of your body, like muscle growth, tissue repair, food digestion.
Protein synthesis is the process of creating protein molecules through cells. It involves two steps: Transcription & Translation. Amino acids are produced by biochemical reactions from carbon sources. All these processes take place within the cell, whereby, proteins are generated with the help of Transcriptions and Translations. Transcription is the process where the mRNA (Messenger RNA) pattern is copied from DNA. The pattern is then used in Translation. In translation, amino acids are linked together in an order based on the genetic code. Now, the newly formed protein undergoes further processes to get the final protein molecule.
the branched chain amino acids BCAA’s, namely, valine, leucine, isoleucine metabolises differently than other amino acids. During heavy workouts, BCAA’s are taken up by the skeletal muscle rather than the liver in order to contribute to energy production, making up a major part of the muscle amino acid pool, BCAA’s can quickly deplete with exhaustive exercise.
Amino acids are processed in the liver, while, the best factor of BCAA’s is, that they enter the bloodstream rapidly, bypass liver breakdown, and instantly get into the active tissues, mainly muscle, hence, are metabolized within muscle tissue. What it means is, that they are quickly absorbed, for processing. Also, they help retain muscle mass and increase fat loss.
As soon as you start chewing, the two enzymes in your saliva, amylase and lipase, break down carbohydrates and fat. Once, protein reaches your guts, they are broken by proteases into smaller chains of amino acids. Amino acids are joined together by peptides, broken by proteases. These smaller chains of amino acids move through your small intestine. Simultaneously your pancreas release enzymes, this reduces the acidity of digested food.
Protein helps in strengthening the muscle fibres, that are broken during exercise, rebuild the muscles, and reduce muscle soreness impact. Consuming amino acid supplements after workout to prevent muscle soreness, initiating muscle repair, maintenance and growth of muscles. The concept is DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which develops 12 to 24 after your workout.
your energy to perform exhaustive workouts come from noncarbohydrate sources. When your muscles contract, they use the stored ATP, for the first few seconds. the compound used to reload these ATP reserves, is Creatine Phosphate. Thus, Creatine has gained popularity among fitness freaks. The compound is made up of arginine, methionine and glycine. Which is why, amino acids should be important in your nutrition, to keep CP and ATP in your bloodstream.
BCAA’s have a great ability to abstain the mental fatigue caused due to prolonged workouts. The main reason behind this is the relationship between low BCAAs and tryptophan. When you are BCAA deficient, your body produces more tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in your brain, leading to feelings of tiredness and mental fatigue. Hence, BCAA supplements prevent this.
One of the most important health benefits of BCAA is, it’s an energy and performance booster, which also helps maintain muscle and tissue strength. Though everyone can benefit from amino acids, as they help build protein chains and play a supporting role in almost every part of your body, Supplements of branched chain amino acids are often recommended to athletes and active individuals to help boost performance and maintain body pH levels.
Athletes benefit the most from amino acids. Specifically, some of the amino acids are better known for their ability to build muscle & increase strength than others.
Below is a chart of amino acids and their main functions:
|improvement of blood flow
|increase water retention in the muscle cells and to assist in signaling cell growth
|fat burning and faster recovery
|Branched-chain amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine
|muscle tissue growth and repair
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to make a consistent effort with respect to your diet, your workout schedule, and your daily routine. But, one more thing that you need to be wide awake about is, what supplements you choose. As its rightly said a healthy body makes way for a strong and clear mind.
Packaged workout supplements contain pre-digested proteins and free-form amino acids. powdered amino acid supplements are being used by an increasing number of weight trainers and fitness freaks. The good thing about these supplements is that they don’t require digestion like food does. All these excellent qualities make these supplements your perfect workout buddy.