The BCAA amino acids isoleucine, leucine and valine are by far the most important amino acids for building muscles. They can't be produced by the body itself, they have to be constantly supplied through food.
BCAA go directly into the blood stream and are transported to the muscles, while non-branched-chain amino acids are first metabolized in the liver. Therefore, BCAA taken as a dietary supplement is available to the body right away.
It is important that the three BCAA amino acids are supplied to the body together. Only then can they successfully perform their task: Building muscles, providing energy during exercise.
BCAA stimulate the release of insulin. In turn, insulin accelerates the transport of amino acids to the muscle cells. If there is a lack of carbohydrates and fat, leucine in particular can also be used as an energy source.
Amino acids are used to build up body protein, the basic substance of muscle cells. Amino acids are broken down from food protein in the course of digestion. They are absorbed in the intestine and are available to the body to build up muscle substance.
The branched chain amino acids, the so-called BCAAs, represent a special group of amino acids. These include the three essential amino acids isoleucine, leucine and valine. These are amino acids that can't be produced by the body, which means that it is dependent on a supplement. They are part of the diet and are also available as a dietary supplement.
BCAAs are absorbed directly in the intestine. Without being metabolized in the liver, they can be made available to the muscle cells as basic building blocks via the bloodstream in an accelerated manner. A second important function of the BCAAs is to stimulate the release of insulin.
Insulin, for its part, accelerates the transport of amino acids and, especially in the case of physical overexertion, ensures that there is no deficit of amino acids when building up lost muscle substance. In emergency situations, leucine is also available as a fuel for generating energy.
Combined, the three essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine are mainly found in meat and dairy products. Endurance or strength athletes in particular, but also vegetarians and vegans, have an increased need for BCAA. Taking BCAA in the form of dietary supplements is highly recommended in this case.
If the body is not supplied with enough BCAA, then this will be noticeable through various symptoms:
The lack of BCAA can be compensated relatively quickly by taking nutritional supplements.
In the event of physical and mental stress, the organism consumes more energy and therefore also has an increased need for amino acids. This is especially true for BCAA because they are essential substances, e.g. ones that the body can't produce itself.
BCAA should be taken as early as possible, ideally when additional stress is to be expected. Since meat and dairy products in particular are the suppliers of BCAA, the intake of BCAA in the form of dietary supplements is particularly recommended for vegetarians and vegans.
Side effects or interactions when taking BCAA are not known.
According to experts, the use of BCAA is recommended in the case of existing and foreseeable physical or mental stress. The intake of BCAA is also recommended for vegetarians, vegans and people who are on a diet.
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