Everything you need to know about BCAAs

11 - 04 - 2018

You've certainly heard of them before: BCAAs. What are these molecules and what do they do in our body? Let's try to make this crystal clear for you with this blog.

Amino acids, building blocks of life

Every tissue in the human body is made up of 20 different amino acids. These amino acids can interconnect and form peptides. These peptides in turn bind to each other and form a protein. The body is almost completely constructed by these proteins. Muscles, bones, skin, hair, ... Everything consists of protein. So you can really say that amino acids are the building blocks of life.

Let's look a bit more at these amino acids. 12 of the 20 can be made by our own body. The other 8 we need to get out of our food. These are called the essential amino acids. Variation in our dietary pattern guarantees that we absorb these important molecules in sufficient quantities.

Leucine, isoleucine and valine

Lets focus on 3 of the 8 essential amino acids for a moment: valine, isoleucine and leucine. These are called "branched chain amino acids" The abbreviation of this therefore forms the term BCAA. 35% of our muscle tissue is made up of these 3 amino acids.

By performing sports activities you lower your energy reserves. When these get too low and are not restored quickly enough, your body can start to use BCAAs as an alternative energy source.

So you can imagine that your body has a great need for BCAAs when there is muscle damage. They have a stimulating effect on protein synthesis, your body will recover faster and the muscle damage will decrease.

Sources of BCAA

But where do you get those BCAAs? Protein-rich foods such as beef, beans, chickpeas and nuts naturally contain high levels of leucine. But a protein shake after the effort is convenient. Your best option for this is whey protein. These are rich in BCAAs and are absorbed by very quickly. You can even take it up a notch. By taking BCAAs in amino acid form together with your protein drink, you will give it huge boost in recovery capacity. This can be done in the form of capsules, a powder , or as a liquid. A 3 to 5 gram dose of these amino acids is perfect.

Do you have problems recovering after the effort? Or did you gave it your all and you do not want to walk around with aching muscles for days? Then give the BCAAs a chance, you will be amazed by their abilities!