BCAA

Amino acids are the building blocks of all of our tissues, especially muscle, and play a number of additional vital roles in the... Amino acids are the building blocks of all of our tissues, especially muscle, and play a number of additional vital roles in the body. They are essential for a healthy, balanced lifestyle and are important considerations for plant-based eaters.

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    Plantforce BCAA Powder - 300gram - Lemon
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Branch chain amino acids

Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine & valine which are named due to the branch-chain in their structure. They collectively represent the highest  essential amino acid pool in the blood (source: NCBI) (~35%) and in the muscle (~16%, source: JN.com). They are highly involved in the regulation of muscle mass and the highest concentrations can be found in animal sources of protein.


✓ Muscle Protein Synthesis (Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine)


Especially useful in plant-based diets where the amount of than on a mixed diet. (Source: JISSN) Akin to supplementing with vitamin or mineral supplements to avoid/reverse a deficiency. With plant-based diets, BCAAs are supplemented to replace what is missing.

Key health aspects of branch chain amino acids

BCAAs, particularly leucine, are signaling molecules and building blocks for protein synthesis. (Source: NCBI) Although the BCAAs alone can stimulate signals in the muscle, this increased signaling will not result in increased synthesis if other amino acids in the blood are not available. However, with plant-based diets, BCAA's can be the limiting factor for optimal recovery and remodeling of the muscle post exercise. (Source: JISSN


Muscle Recovery & Fatigue

Our muscles are continuously turning over, which is a combination of breakdown and production. The BCAA's are the primary rate-limiting factors of the production or protein synthesis response. For people with low dietary protein intake, BCAA supplementation can promote muscle growth and recovery over time. (Source: JISSN)  


Supplementing with BCAAs can prevent a drop in blood amino acids, which occurs during exercise. (Source: NCBI) This decline would normally cause tryptophan (another essential amino acid) influx into the brain, followed by serotonin production, which has been hypothesized to contribute to fatigue during exercise. (Source: NCBI)


In aerobic exercise, such as cycling or team sports (soccer), supplementation of BCAA's appears to preserve cognition in the later stages of exercise and appears to reduce mental fatigue. (Source: NCBI)