The Top 5 Benefits of BCAA Supplements for Bodybuilders
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are among the most popular muscle building supplements today, and for good reason. These three essential amino acids play an important role in muscle growth and repair, and supplementing with them can improve your bodybuilding results greatly. Here are the top five BCAAs benefits for bodybuilders.
1) Increase Muscle Mass
During intense exercise, your body breaks down muscle tissue and uses amino acids to produce energy. Muscles have a higher protein concentration than other body tissues, so they are particularly vulnerable during hard workouts. If you're training hard or recovering from injury or illness, it can be difficult to meet your daily protein needs through diet alone—so supplementing with BCAAs can provide support by decreasing muscle breakdown and increasing lean muscle mass. So are BCAAs worth it? Absolutely! They’re one of those supplements that you truly see results from quickly.
2) Increase Strength and Performance
As bodybuilders, we’re all striving to increase muscle mass and overall strength. The top benefit of taking BCAAs is that they may give you a performance boost when working out. A study from researchers at Arizona State University showed that male athletes who took BCAAs for 10 weeks had a significant reduction in perceived exertion and increased repetitions over non-supplemented sets at 70% one-repetition maximum (1RM) resistance. In other words, these men were able to lift more weight without feeling as tired or exhausted. It’s hard to argue with results like that!
3) Improve Recovery Time
Studies have shown that supplementing with branched-chain amino acids can reduce muscle soreness and overall recovery time. This is because BCAAs—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are essential to proper protein synthesis. In other words, if you’re taking supplements to support muscle growth, it’s important to pair them with BCAAs (and also protein), since they are vital to proper muscle maintenance. Properly fueled muscles will recover faster from a workout than those that aren’t properly nourished. That’s just science!
4) Improve Endurance
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are three amino acids that make up protein—leucine, isoleucine and valine. They improve endurance because your body can use them during high-intensity workouts to prevent muscle breakdown; so if you are lifting heavy weights or engaging in short but intense intervals, BCAAs help keep your muscles from tiring out. In fact, studies show that taking them before exercise could boost endurance by as much as 15%. When you’re training hard to build lean muscle mass, it’s important to take steps to protect your muscles while still getting a good workout. Mixing a supplement containing BCAAs into your pre-workout routine will do just that.
5) Reduce Soreness
Compounds such as BCAAs, which include leucine, areoleucine and valine, can help reduce muscle soreness. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that post-workout supplements containing BCAAs significantly reduced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after resistance training. While it's not clear why these compounds have an effect on pain relief, some researchers believe that they may be able to regulate inflammation and oxidative stress after exercise-induced injury. As a bonus, supplementing with BCAAs has also been linked to improved physical performance and endurance.