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BCAA: taking supplement helps in gaining muscle mass

BCAA: taking supplement helps in gaining muscle mass

These essential amino acids help the cells produce proteins. They participate in the process of energy production during the practice of physical activity, especially long-term exercises and thus avoid central fatigue. BCAA supplementation can be presented in a liquid form or in capsules.

What BCAA is used for

Research indicates that BCAA helps muscle recovery after training, reduction of central fatigue, improvement of immunity and decrease in the degree of muscle injury induced by physical exercise. The supplement can also be used in conditions such as protein energy malnutrition and hepatic encephalopathy.

Proven benefits of BCAA

Help in gaining muscle mass:

Consumption of BCAA increases protein synthesis and reduces the possibility of post-workout muscle injury. This is because when the individual is in intense training, the body quickly enters a state of catabolism, a process that leads to loss of muscle mass. At this point the muscle initiates the release of its own BCAA's and sends a signal to the body to stop the synthesis of proteins in the muscles. If the person is supplemented this sign is reversed. Thus, BCAA contributes to muscle hypertrophy. Good against hepatic encephalopathy:

Decreased BCAAs may trigger hepatic encephalopathy, with neuropsychiatric, neuromuscular and behavioral symptoms. According to the Nutrition Therapy guideline in Chronic Liver Diseases and Liver Failure, BCAA supplementation for patients with hepatic encephalopathy may be beneficial. Supplementation generates a competition of the branched amino acids with the aromatic chain amino acids that pass through the blood-brain barrier, minimizing the entry of toxic amines into the central nervous system. Good for patients with reduced mobility:

BCAA helps to decrease loss of muscles in patients with mobility restrictions. However, it is necessary for the patient to consume the correct amount of protein in their food, since the BCAA only provides three amino acids and the muscles are formed by a group of them. BCAA supplement prevents fatigue - Photo: Getty Images

Control of fatigue:

Studies indicate that during long-term exercises, BCAA supplementation has benefits in the control of central fatigue. The greater consumption of these amino acids leads to competition with tryptophan, as a consequence of the decrease of serotonin, the main neurotransmitter involved in the modulation of central fatigue. Improves immunity:

Amino acid replacement after intense exercise is essential for body metabolism, especially for the immune system. This is because studies show that the practice of intense and prolonged exercises is associated with temporary immunosuppression, since there is depletion in the levels of these essential amino acids, affecting the amount of macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes, important cells of defense of the organism. in a study of BCAA Good for patients with spinocerebellar degeneration:

Some studies, including one published in the Journal of The Neurological Sciences, show that BCAA supplementation for 4 weeks improved the condition of patients with spinocerebellar degeneration with ataxia, neurological disorder characterized by a lack of coordination of voluntary muscular movements and balance. BCAA treatment may be effective in patients with spinocerebellar degeneration, but its action is still not well established.How to take BCAA

BCAA is found in capsule or powder form and there is no better version, the important thing is that the dose is correct. The time of ingestion of the BCAA will also depend on the type of exercise practiced by the individual, whether it is bodybuilding or aerobic of high performance. You are not advised to consume the BCAA on days you will not train. Both the BCAA dosage and the correct time to ingest it should be determined by a nutritionist or a specialized physician. Who can consume

This supplement is recommended for sportsmen, bodybuilders and physical activity practitioners in general. In addition, doctors may also indicate the supplement for the treatment of diseases such as hepatic encephalopathy and spinocerebellar degeneration.

Pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly should avoid BCAAs and only do so after medical advice. Alcoholics should avoid BCAA consumption, as studies show that after the ingestion of alcohol there is an increase in branched-chain amino acid concentrations in the blood.

BCAA care

First, it is important to take some care at the time of the purchase. Both BCAAs and other dietary supplements need to be released by ANVISA. Some studies also relate that the best ratio between amino acids is 2: 1: 1 ie for each portion of valine and isoleucine we need 2 servings of leucine.

BCAA also improves immunity - Photo: Getty Images

Pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly should avoid taking BCAAs and only do so after medical advice. Alcoholics should avoid BCAA consumption because studies show that after the ingestion of alcohol there is an increase in the concentrations of branched-chain amino acids in the blood.

Recommended amount

The BCAA dosage should be prescribed by the physician or nutritionist. However, it can range from one to seven grams, depending on the individual, type and duration of the exercise.

Excessive intake risks

Supplementation with branched-chain amino acids in excess may increase plasma ammonia concentration , heart rate and subjective perception of exertion in some individuals. Other adverse effects of high doses, above 20g / day, are gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, as well as impairment of the absorption of other amino acids.

BCAA combinations

BCAA + Whey Protein:


BCAA + Creatine:

This combination will improve the intensity of training. BCAA + Protein Foods: Protein will help increase protein and amino acid levels in the blood for recovery of the muscle that has been degraded.

The BCAA contains only three amino acids out of a total of 20. Therefore, the consumption of protein foods mainly after training is of fundamental importance. Choose proteins that contain little concentration of saturated fats and cholesterol like lean meats, skinless chicken, turkey breast, cheeses (cottage, ricotta, mines, muzzarella), fish like tuna, sardines, salmon, omega 3 rich and yogurts and low-fat milks. Interactions

Be sure to tell your doctor or dietitian about the consumption of a continuous-use medication or any other remedy for this professional to make a better evaluation. However, there are no reports in the medical literature of interactions between medications and BCAAs. Sources consulted:

Nutritionist Karina Valentim from PB Nutrition Consultancy

Nutrologist Euclésio Bragança, founder of Integralmédica.

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