BCAA: Supplement for Athletes

BCAA is an acronym for the supplement called “Branched-Chain Amino Acids” in English, which basically consists of 3 essential amino acids , not produced by the body, that is, only obtained through food : L-Valine, L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine . In different proportions, these amino acids are also found in protein foods, such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy products, and proteins of plant origin such as beans and legumes.

What BCAA’s Role

The function of the essential amino acids contained in BCAA is to make cells produce proteins . Mainly, during the production of energy in the practice of physical activity of long-term exercises that, without proteins, can cause fatigue. Therefore, the BCAA supplement is widely used by athletes and by those who practice long and intensive exercises.

Indications of BCAA

The BCAA is mainly indicated for sportsmen, bodybuilders or those who work out at the gym and practice physical activities, in general. In more rare cases, some doctors may recommend BCAA supplementation as a treatment for protein malnutrition, liver encephalopathy disease or for spinocerebellar degeneration .

Contraindications

There are some contraindications for BCAA consumption: pregnant women, or breastfeeding women, children and the elderly should avoid the supplement and only start using it with medical advice. Another risk group that should not take BCAA are alcoholics, because of studies that show drug interactions with excess alcohol.

The main objective of BCAA is to assist in muscle recovery after training, and it has been proven in research that it reduces central fatigue, improves immunity and decreases the possibility of muscle injuries caused by physical exercise.

Benefits of BCAA

BCAA has some benefits related to physical performance, such as gaining muscle mass. The amino acids L-Valine, L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine increase protein synthesis and reduce the possibility of post-workout muscle damage.

When the body is about to lose muscle mass, in the state of “catabolism” of an intense workout, normally the muscle begins to release its own BCAA’s by emitting a signal for the protein synthesis to cease, but when the person takes the supplement, the protein synthesis continues.

BCAA also minimizes the entry of toxic amines into the central nervous system, which prevents neurological disorders caused by hepatic encephalopathy and lack of amino acids. For those who have mobility impairments, the supplement can also be useful to not atrophy the muscles, but it should always be taken with a diet rich in protein.

The benefits of BCAA also involve improving immunity and controlling central fatigue , acting on the neurotransmitter serotonin and preventing the decline in the amount of defense cells in the body: macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes. But this is only valid for those who exercise intensively, who are therefore subject to fatigue and immunosuppression.

Is there a better BCAA?

BCAA is sold as a supplement and can be found in powder or capsule form . The best version would be 100% pure, but if the dosage is correct for each person’s diet, it doesn’t matter much. The advantage of 100% pure BCCA is faster absorption by the body.

Recommended brands that sell pure BCAA are imported and have a higher price, such as Optimum Nutrition and Dymatize Nutrition . But the national Max Titanium is indicated for its cost benefit, in addition to NeoNutr i, another national brand, which commercializes BCAA plus carbohydrates.

The proportion of each amino acid in the different products varies from 2: 1: 1 to 5: 1: 1, so there must be monitoring by the nutritionist , who will indicate which product, dosage and best time to take.

The type of physical exercise practiced interferes with the recommended dose and time , as it can be aerobic or weight training, such as lifting weight. On days when you don’t exercise, you shouldn’t take BCAA.

Care with BCAA Consumption

In addition to the contraindications for pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly, supplementation with excess BCAA can cause an increase in plasma ammonia concentration . Elevated heart rate effects have also been reported .

High doses are considered above 20g per day, and also cause gastrointestinal disorders , such as diarrhea, and impaired absorption of other amino acids as a side effect .

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Dr. Alexis Hart
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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