“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may seem like an oversimplified cliche for people to observe a healthy diet. It is an oversimplification since healthy eating, and proper nutritional intake is so much more than just eating the same type of fruit each day. Many diet programs and exercise routines are being touted as the next big things in health and wellness. It is now up to individuals to choose the most appropriate type of health program for them. On top of these health routines, there are also complementary items that may boost the health and wellness of individuals beyond exercising and healthy eating. This is where supplements come in, and one very popular form of a supplement is amino acids. But what are some of the best branched-chain amino acid supplement to take daily? In this article, let us look at what amino acids are, their health benefits and some of their risks, and some of the best multi amino acid supplements available in the market today.
Amino Acids and BCAAs or Branch-Chained Amino Acid Supplement
Amino acids are protein’s building blocks. There are a total of twenty (20) essential amino acids, and nine (9) of these are essential. These essential amino acids are those that are not produced by the body, and as such, will require acquisition through the food items consumed. Out of these nine (9) amino acids, three (3) are considered BCAA or Branched-Chain Amino Acids, and these include valine, isoleucine, and leucine. These BCAAs are some of the most well-known multi amino acid supplements available in the market today despite their being available in various food items such as dairy, meat, and eggs.
Health Benefits of BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplements
Listed below are some of the major health benefits of Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplements:
1. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplement can help in muscle growth increase
BCAAs or Branched-Chain amino acid supplements are popularly utilized to help muscle growth enhancement. Leucine is a form of BCAA that can lead to the activation of certain bodily pathways, which serve as the body’s bridge to protein synthesis in the muscles and the growth or development of muscles.
One study showed that individuals who took around 5.6 gms or grams of Branched-Chain Amino Acids after working out on their resistance had an increase of around 22% for the enhanced synthesis of muscle proteins versus those who just took a placebo. However, it must be noted, that this protein synthesis for muscle development is on average less than 50% compared to what has been seen in individuals who took in protein shakes, which contain a similar number of BCAAs and whey. It means that whey containing protein has the essential amino acids required for muscle development. As such, while BCAAs can enhance the growth and development of muscles, it won’t be able to do so optimally without the assistance of the other amino acids, which can be obtained from whey supplements, other food sources, and multi amino acid supplements.
2. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplement can help reduce soreness of muscles
There is evidence to suggest that BCAA supplements can help lower the soreness of muscles. It is common for people to feel sore after working out, especially if it is a routine that is new. This feeling of being sore is referred to as DOMS or delayed onset of muscle soreness, which is experienced within 12 hours to one (1) day after the routine and can last for up to three (3) days. While experts are still uncertain regarding the real reason behind this condition, it is believed that DOMS is caused by small tears resulting from the workout or exercise routine. It has been shown that BCAAs may reduce the damage to muscles and can also aid in reducing the severity and length of the aforementioned condition. Some data shows, that BCAAs can lead to the reduced breakdown of proteins during workout routines and lower the amount of muscle damage indicator, which is known as creatine kinase. It is also suggested that BCAA supplementation before exercise can help hasten the times of recovery.
3. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplement may aid in the reduction of fatigue-related to exercise
Similar to its effects of reducing muscle soreness prior to and during exercise, BCAAs can help individuals in reducing fatigue after exercising or physical routines. Different people can experience exhaustion and fatigue based on several factors such as fitness and nutrition level, conditions of the environment, exercise duration, and intensity. That is is because the muscles utilize BCAAs while exercising, resulting in decreased levels in the blood. Once these levels of BCAAs are reduced, the essential amino acid known as tryptophan will have levels that are increased. The brain converts tryptophan to serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is known to contribute to fatigue development while exercising. Several studies showed that those who took supplementation of BCAAs enhanced their mental performance even during workouts, which are seen as the result of BCAAs that can help in the reduction of exercise-related fatigue.
4. BCAA or Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplements can help in the prevention of muscle wasting
Muscle wasting may be prevented as well with BCAA supplementation. Several studies showed that BCAA supplementation inhibits the body’s breakdown of protein.
Some of the Best Multi Amino Acid Supplement Brands for Daily Use
Listed below are some of the best Multi Amino Acid Supplements as ranked or listed on Amazon:
- Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA
- BPI Sports BCAA Powder
- Scivation Xtend Hydrasport BCAA Powder, Branched Chain Amino Acids
- Dymatize All9 Amino, 7.2g of BCAAs
- MP Essentials Amino Energy
- EVL Nutrition BCAA Energy
- Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs