The 4 Main Benefits of Using Protein with BCAAs
What is Protein?
Protein plays a number of different roles within the body. From maintaining and repairing muscle and tissue health, preserving and protecting the muscle, controlling metabolism, all the way to providing the body with energy – if needed.
When it comes to athletics, bodybuilding, and muscle growth, protein is what allows you to actually build stronger and bigger muscles. In fact, protein is solely responsible for muscle growth. Therefore, it is impossible to build muscle without an adequate supply of protein.
Protein is widely available from natural food sources such as: chicken, fish, red meats, eggs, nuts and cheese. It’s also available in milk. Increasingly, it has become more popular as a supplement amongst bodybuilders. Supplements are used to ensure the body receives the correct ratio of proteins to carbs which enables the body to use the protein to build and maintain muscle as opposed to using protein to provide the body with energy – with is the main function of carbohydrates.
It’s important to note that proteins contain BCAAs. However, often times for athletes, the amount of BCAAs contained in these proteins are insignificant which contributes to the widespread use of protein with BCAAs.
So, What are BCAAs?
BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids. They are essential nutrients that the body uses to decrease muscle damage that results from exercise, regulate the synthesis of protein, and shorten the muscles recovery time after intense training. For those reasons, they are necessary for the body to be able to sustain activities that are strenuous to muscles and to reduce fatigue.
Although BCAAs can be found in some foods like legumes, dairy, and meat, they take longer to be absorbed in the body when consumed from natural sources. That’s because they need to go through rigorous digestion processes before they are capable of being absorbed and utilized by the body. In modern times, BCAA supplements have become increasingly popular to supply the body with its required BCAA supply quickly post-workout to help the body recover.
BCAAs are amino acids. These amino acids include isoleucine, valine, and leucine. In the group, isoleucine has been found to regulate protein synthesis as the other two play supportive roles such as increasing the amount of blood flow and balancing the increase in free tryptophan that occurs during exercise. These roles make BCAAs important in a variety of exercises such as endurance training, agility training, and strength training. Like any other amino acids, the body cannot produce them. That means you can only get them from your diet and supplements.
Benefits of BCAAs
So why should you consume BCAAs? The question is loaded because there are so many benefits of protein with BCAAs.
Benefit #1: Improve Performance during Exercise
Protein with BCAAs suppresses serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin causes fatigue that arises from exercising. By extension, BCAAs work by limiting the increment of serotonin and thus canceling out fatigue and improving exercise performance. A recent study established that protein increases the amount of oxygen (by increasing carrying capacity) that is transported by the blood to muscular tissues that are prone to fatigue during and after exercise.
Benefit #2: Reducing the Breakdown of Muscles
Another reason you need to take protein and BCAAs is because it will be metabolized in the skeletal muscle rather than in the liver as is the case with other amino acids. When you are engaging in exercises that are strenuous, you need a supplement that will repair your damaged muscles and decrease their soreness while increasing their function. With BCAAs, the repair will happen locally (in the muscles) as soon as you consume the supplement after exercising. Alternatively, you can choose to take it just before the exercise to enhance muscle recovery and reduce their breakdown when you begin exercising.
Benefit #3: Immediate Energy Supply
As mentioned already, BCAAs will be metabolized in the muscles rather than in the liver. In that form, it exists as a free-form that requires no digestion before absorption. Therefore, it will enter the bloodstream instantly. In the blood, BCAAs spike the levels of amino acids faster and to a greater extent. Once again, all of this happens instantly, and thus you receive immediate energy as soon as you take the supplement. Therefore, you can take it just before or during an exercise session to boost your energy for to get better results from prolonged high-intensity training.
Alternatively, you can take it after your training session to replenish the energy you lost immediately. The energy boosting function is enhanced by isoleucine and valine that are known to be glycogenic amino acids. That means that they can be easily converted to glucose and serve as energy sources during exercise sessions.
Benefit #4: Build Muscle Mass During Dieting
Dieting does not only burn your fat, it also shreds your muscles. That phenomenon is referred to as the catabolic effect of dieting. In severe cases it’s referred to as a catabolic crisis. There are two reasons why athletes and bodybuilders suffere from catabolic effect and/or catabolic crisis’. First, the body is always reluctant to lose its reserved fat and that forces it to breakdown muscles for energy. Second, the body will automatically increase the synthesis of proteins to save muscle amino acids for fuel that is needed to maintain the body’s overall health. As a result, the body loses both protein and amino acid at a very fast rate.
That results in loss of muscle mass at an equally fast rate. However, when you take a supplement that contains protein and BCAAs, it will be synthesized into amino acids and used for building muscles that will generate the energy required to power through your workout.
When And How to Use BCAAs
Protein with BCAAs is most effective when it’s consumed post-workout to aid in muscle recovery. For that reason, it is recommended that you take it within 30 minutes of the end of your training session. During the training session, your muscles will have undergone damage and strain, and you will likely experience soreness (or pain) and fatigue. A blast of protein and BCAAs provides the fuel that is required to repair and rebuild the damaged muscle.
You should consume 10 to 20 grams of BCAAs if you are involved in an intense muscle building or athletic program. We believe that it is better to consume closer to the high end of this range because the side effects of too much protein or BCAAs is minimal, if any.
Our whey protein powders will give you everything you need and more to get the most of your workouts.