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What are the benefits of BCAA supplements for sports performance?

Whether you’re an athlete trying to improve your performance or somebody looking to grow muscle, BCAAs can offer great benefits to your body. But, what are the benefits of BCAA supplements? Continue reading our helpful guide to discover the benefits and how often you should take BCAAs.

What are BCAAs?

Amino acids are crucial building blocks for proteins in the body, which are important in muscle performance and recovery. Making up three of the nine essential amino acids are the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. BCAAs can promote muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of growing muscles whilst also being shown to reduce protein degradation. BCAAs are found in protein-rich foods like meat, dairy products and eggs, and are also a popular dietary nutritional supplement like SiS BCAA capsules.

BCAA supplement benefits

So, what are some common BCAA supplemental benefits and can you use BCAAs in sport nutrition? There are a several benefits to using BCAA, and they are:

    • Muscle growth
    • Lower muscle soreness
    • Reduce fatigue


Muscle growth

One of the most popular uses of BCAA is for muscle growth. One of the amino acids in BCAA, leucine, activates the process of building muscle using a pathway inside the body that helps to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

In a study by the National Library of Medicine, it was found that people who consumed a drink with 5.6g of BCAAs after a resistance workout had an increase of 22% in muscle protein synthesis compared to those who consumed a standard drink.

However, their muscle protein synthesis was approximately 50% less compared to people who consumed a whey protein shake containing a similar amount of BCAAs. Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids required to build muscle so, while BCAAs are good for increasing muscle protein synthesis, they don’t perform as well as whey protein.

Lower muscle soreness

BCAAs are also useful for reducing muscle soreness after a workout or prolonged exercise. Post-workout soreness in muscles is classified as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It develops between 12 and 24 hours after a workout and can even last up to 72 hours.

It’s believed that muscle soreness is attributed to tiny tears in muscle tissue (via National Library of Medicine). BCAAs have been shown to decrease muscle damage, which can lead to a reduction in muscle soreness.

Reduce fatigue

Just as BCAAs can help to reduce soreness following prolonged exercise or a workout, they can also help to reduce fatigue. How quickly an individual tires from exercise depends on the severity of the activity, the duration, environmental conditions, nutrition, and fitness levels.

During certain scenarios, like very prolonged exercise, muscles can use small amounts of protein as energy, which causes blood levels of BCAA to decrease. When blood levels of BCAAs decrease, levels of the essential amino acid, tryptophan, increase in your brain. This is then converted to serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that’s thought to contribute to the development of fatigue.

In a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, individuals who supplemented with BCAAs improved mental focus during exercise. This is thought to result from the fatigue-reducing effect of BCAAs. That makes BCAAs ideal for endurance athletes.

How often should I take BCAAs?

So, how often should you take BCAAs for sport nutrition and for workouts? Well, you can use BCAAs anytime – before, during and after workouts to increase amino acid levels in the blood, promote protein synthesis, and prevent muscle protein breakdown.

Try to take at least four SiS BCAA capsules per day, which amounts to 4g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio (L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine, L-Valine).

BCAA supplement benefits at SiS

At Science in Sport, our SiS BCAA capsules contains an impressive 4g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio (L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine, L-Valine) per recommended serving and has been designed to support lean muscle growth and sustained workout intensity. These capsules are perfect pre, intra or post workout, or in between meals to keep you on track with your nutrition targets.

To find out more about the nutritional supplements we supply at SiS, contact us today.

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