5 Benefits of BCAAs, Essential Amino Acids that are Important for the Body

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5 Benefits of BCAAs, Essential Amino Acids that are Important for the Body
5 Benefits of BCAAs, Essential Amino Acids that are Important for the Body

The benefits of BCAAs as essential amino acids are numerous, from increasing muscle mass to preventing complications of liver disease. To find out more about the benefits of BCAAs and their sources, check out this article

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a type of essential amino acid consisting of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are needed by the body in the process of forming muscle protein and producing energy.

5 Benefits of BCAAs, Essential Amino Acids that are Important for the Body
5 Benefits of BCAAs, Essential Amino Acids that are Important for the Body

Although the body cannot produce itself, BCAAs are found in many sources of animal protein, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, tofu, and tempeh. In addition, BCAAs are also available in powdered supplement form, such as whey protein powder.

Benefits of BCAAs for the Body

Here are the various benefits of BCAAs for the body that can be obtained by consuming them regularly:

1. Increase muscle mass

One of the most well-known benefits of BCAA is that it can increase muscle growth. Leucine in BCAA is known to activate enzymes that function to stimulate the formation of muscle mass.

To get maximum results, you also need to do sports that focus on training your muscles, such as lifting weights.

2. Reducing muscle pain

Muscle pain after exercise is a common thing, especially if you are trying a new type of exercise or have just started exercising again after a long time. Usually, this pain usually appears within 12–24 hours and can last up to 3 days.

Several studies have shown that taking BCAAs through food or supplements before exercise has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness after exercise and prevent damage to the muscles being trained.

3. Reducing fatigue during exercise

In addition to helping reduce muscle soreness, BCAAs can also help reduce physical and mental fatigue during exercise, especially for people who rarely do it. This amino acid works by reducing the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that signals fatigue, during exercise.

4. Prevent muscle atrophy

The next benefit of BCAAs is to help prevent muscle atrophy or muscle mass wasting. This usually occurs due to malnutrition in certain diseases, such as cancer or chronic infections, as well as due to aging.

Muscle is made up of protein, which is made up of a wide variety of amino acids. In humans, 35% of the amino acids present in muscle are BCAAs. So, the consumption of BCAA can play a big role in preventing or at least slowing down the loss of muscle mass.

5. Reducing the risk of complications due to liver disease

The benefits of BCAAs in reducing the risk of complications in cirrhosis, a liver disease with complications that are often fatal, have been proven by many studies.

Consuming foods rich in BCAAs or BCAA supplements have been shown to improve he alth and reduce the risk of encephalopathy in people with cirrhosis. Not only that, taking BCAA supplements in the long term is also thought to protect people with cirrhosis from complications of liver cancer.

By seeing the benefits of BCAAs above, it's a shame to skip this amino acid in your nutritional intake. The BCAA needs that need to be consumed by each person may vary, depending on the purpose of consumption.

The average adult needs to get a minimum of 9-12 grams of BCAA intake per day. This is roughly the equivalent of 100 grams of beef plus 100 grams of chicken breast.

Meanwhile for people who want to build muscle, the BCAA needed is around 10–20 grams per day. Apart from food, BCAA intake to build muscle can also be obtained from supplements.

Although generally safe for consumption, BCAAs are not recommended for people with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. People suffering from maple syrup urine disease should also limit their intake of BCAAs because their bodies cannot break down protein properly.

If you want to add BCAAs to your daily diet, you should first consult your doctor to find out what types of foods are recommended and their dosages, according to your needs and he alth conditions.