Bcaa - Branched Chain Amino Acids

by : Mike Boone

BCAA or branched chain amino acids are a group of essential amino acids that are absolutely vital to the proper health and functioning of skeletal muscle. The three branched chain amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. The three branched chain amino acids affect the body in different ways, but they must work together to be completely effective.

Supplementing only one or two BCAA is not effective and can even lead to serious metabolic disturbances. Because of their importance in muscle tissue creation and retention, branched chain amino acids supplements are very popular with athletes who are seeking to get the most they can from their bodies.

Since the three BCAA must work together, most supplements of branched chain amino acids consist of a ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

It has been estimated that between one fifth and one quarter of all of the amino acids that we obtain through our diet are branched chain amino acids. Even so, BCAA supplementation is often employed by serious athletes who are looking to take full advantage of the muscle creating properties of branched chain amino acids.

The BCAA are incorporated into the structure of new muscles. Therefore, you can think of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine as the raw building blocks of muscle tissue. That in itself is reason enough to take branched chain amino acids supplements, but the branched chain amino acids promote the growth and retention of muscle tissue in a number of other ways, some of which might be surprising.

BCAAs Differ From All Other Amino Acids

In one important way-branched chain amino acids are metabolized in muscle tissue. All other amino acids are metabolized in the liver. This means that branched chain amino acids go directly into muscle tissue. Other amino acids that positively impact muscle tissue must first go through the liver.

The hormone insulin is known to have a positive effect in the growth of new muscle tissue and the retention of existing muscle mass. Branched chain amino acids enable certain metabolic pathways that encourage the secretion of insulin. Some studies have indicated that branched chain amino acids can also increase the amount of growth hormone that is secreted. Growth hormone is the performance enhancing Holy Grail. Growth hormone has far reaching effects on the muscular system and is perhaps the single most important chemical for athletes who are looking to add large amounts of muscle.

It is clear that no bodybuilder or other athlete who is concerned about growing and sustaining muscle mass can ignore these aminos. Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine supplements are widely available, relatively inexpensive, and universally effective. If you are looking to quickly, efficiently and, of course, legally, add substantial muscle mass, you should definitely consider using branched chain amino acids supplements.