12 Best Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements

AminoAcidProducts | June 15, 2020 | Amino Acids

These days, people are more concerned about their health and wellness. With all the advances in technology and medicine, people are now faced with more complex health issues caused by a sedentary lifestyle and food choices that prioritize convenience over nutritional content. This combination can be harmful to health and can ultimately be lethal if left unchecked. Fortunately, people can add supplements to their diet and exercise programs to aid them in their goal of achieving normal weight and physical fitness. One supplement that people often turn to for optimal health is known as BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino Acid supplements. But what are these BCAAs and what are its health benefits? In this article, let us look at what Branched-Chain Amino Acids are, their health benefits, and some of the best Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAA supplements available in the market today.

Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs: A Brief Overview

Most people who are into health and wellness generally know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. But what about Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs? Out of the Nine (9) essential amino acids, there are three Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs namely valine, leucine, and leucine. Being labeled Branched Chain simply means describes the chemical structure of the said amino acid. This Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs are usually found in food items that are rich in protein such as dairy products, meats, and eggs. People also take some form of BCAA supplement to achieve certain health benefits for their body, health benefits which we shall discuss in this article.

Some Health Benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs

Listed below are some of the known health benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs

1. It can help people with the growth of their muscles

BCAAs are more popularly used for the development of muscle mass. Leucine has been shown to promote pathway activation specifically for the synthesis of proteins in muscles. Evidence suggests that those who took in 5.6 gms of the said BCAA after doing their resistance routines had an increase in protein synthesis in the muscles by up to 22% versus those who did not take in any form of BCAA supplement. However, the said health benefits of BCAA supplements further improved when coupled with the intake of whey protein. This is because whey protein has the required essential amino acids to help in muscle growth and development. This means that BCAAs should be complemented by other amino acids and proteins to ensure optimal growth of muscles.

2. Reduce the soreness of muscles

Data show that BCAA supplements can help reduce the soreness of muscles after intense physical activities or exertion. People usually experience some form of soreness after an exercise routine especially if the said routine is quite new or recent. This is also referred to as DOMS or delayed onset of muscle soreness which can be experienced by individuals for up to three (3) days. DOMS are primarily caused by minute tears in the muscle caused by physical activities or exertion. BCAAs can help reduce damage to muscles which can aid in lessening the period of time DOMS is felt and experienced by the patient. There are a number of researches that indicate reduced damage to muscles and breakdown of protein as evidenced by the levels of the kinase. As such, BCAA supplements may contribute to the speedy recovery of individuals.

3. Lessen fatigue during exercise

As mentioned earlier, BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness caused by physical activity. But did you know that BCAAs can also aid in lessening the fatigue felt after exercise sessions or routines? People can feel exhausted after exercising and this will depend on a number of different factors such as the individual’s fitness, conditions of the environment, and the duration of the routine. With BCAA supplements, people are more likely to have better mental focus and reduced fatigue during the exercise routine.

4. Prevention of muscle wasting

Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs have been shown to prevent wasting and breakdown of muscles. Proteins and muscles are constantly being synthesized and processed wherein the balance of protein are determined by the said synthesis and breakdown of muscles. Breakdown or wasting of muscles happens when protein synthesis in muscles is exceeded by the breakdown of protein. Wasting of muscles is usually observed in people who are malnourished, those who are fasting, and those with cancers or infections. As such, it is important that people take supplements of amino acids and BCAAs to reverse or prevent the progression of the wasting of muscles. Studies show that supplements of BCAA can help prevent the breakdown of muscle protein.

5. It can help people suffering from liver disease

Liver cirrhosis may also be addressed by BCAAs. Evidence suggests that around half of individuals with cirrhosis of the liver will contract hepatic encephalopathy resulting in decreased function of the brain caused by toxins that were not removed due to the said condition of the liver. Antibiotics and some forms of sugars are used to treat the aforementioned condition but BCAAs can also provide certain health advantages for people afflicted with liver cirrhosis. This shows the enormous health benefits of BCAAs as this condition of the liver can also lead to a common form of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma.

Some Food Sources Rich in Branched-Chain Amino Acid or BCAAs

BCAAs are usually present in products that are considered whole protein. Some of these foods include:

  • Round Beef
  • Chicken Breast
  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Soy Protein Powder
  • Canned Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Turkey Breast
  • Eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Milk
  • Greek Yogurt

The 12 Best Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements

Listed below are some of the best BCAA supplements available in the market at present:

  1. OPTIMUM NUTRITION ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY
  2. MP Essentials BCAA Powder
  3. Scivation Xtend Hydrasport BCAA Powder
  4. Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids Capsules
  5. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy + Electrolytes, Watermelon Splash
  6. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy with Green Tea and Green Coffee Extract
  7. Scivation Xtend Hydrasport BCAA Powder
  8. Scivation Xtend BCAA Powder, Branched Chain Amino Acids, BCAA
  9. NOW Sports Nutrition, Amino Complete™ with Vitamin B-6,
  10. Scivation Xtend BCAA Powder
  11. Scivation Xtend BCAA Powder
  12. OPTIMUM NUTRITION ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY
Man Pouring a scoop of BCAA powder to a tumbler

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