BCAAs have become an essential part of every fitness enthusiast’s routine. This article explains it’s food sources, health benefits, dosage directions, and side effects.
The human body requires 20 essential amino acids for muscle re-building and regeneration. Of these, 9 must be obtained from food sources. Three among those 9 amino acids are commonly known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): valine, leucine and isoleucine. ‘Branched-chain’ amino acids get their name from their chained chemical structure.
Food Sources of BCCAs
You can get BCAAs from food, though these are not in concentrated form and you would not know the exact quantum of your consumption. These food sources include:
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Whole wheat, brown rice
- Dairy products like milk and cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy products like tofu and soya milk
- Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils
BCCAs are sold primarily in powder or tablet forms. Let’s take a look at their benefits:
* Improve your exercise performance: BCCA powder can help reduce exercise fatigue and improve endurance.
* Improves lean mass: Several studies have proven that BCAA supplementation can help improve lean mass and reduce the percentage of body fats.
* Maintains muscle mass during illness: Leucine contained in BCAAs can help maintain muscle mass in people with chronic illness.
* Prevents muscle damage during workouts: BCAA powder can help reduce muscle damage occurring during high-intensity or endurance workouts. Many athletes consume them for ensuring faster recovery.
There are no officially recommended dosage instructions for BCAA supplements. Before taking them, make sure to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. BCAA powder can be either mixed with water or a sports isolate drink, so muscles can absorb amino acids quickly. Always make sure to read the label before consumption to avoid any side effects. It’s recommended to take this powder15 minutes prior to a workout. Also, buy this product from a reputed brand as the quality and active ingredients may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
BCAA supplements are generally safe if a person follows the manufacturer’s instructions and does not exceed the maximum dosage. They normally do not cause any harmful side effects. However, if you experience any serious side effects, stop taking the supplementation and consult a doctor. Some common side effects include:
- BCAA can affect your blood glucose levels before and after surgery. Therefore, try to avoid consumption if you have been operated up on or are about to undergo surgery.
- BCAAs should not be taken by pregnant or lactating women.
- BCAA powders may interfere with medications for diabetes, thyroid, or Parkinson’s.
You can even consume creatine monohydrate supplements, which are also used for building muscle mass and strength. The creatine monohydrate price is quite affordable, and the product is well worth the price. Many health and fitness stores sell these supplements, and you can also purchase them online.