Making the commitment to start working out is the first step to a healthier and better you – the next step is getting your supplement and nutrition protocol in line so that you can maximize the results you get from your work outs. Failing to do so will prove to be a critical mistake somewhere down the road. Not only will supplements make your body able to perform better and longer, they will also make it more efficient in building muscle and burning fat. In this article, we’ll speak specifically about BCAAs, or branched chain amino acid supplements – how they affect the body not just when working out, but overall as well.
BCAAs and Your Immune System
One of the first things you’ll experience when you start taking branched chain amino acid supplements, is the boost in your immune system. Every time you work out, you’re putting a lot of stress on your body, however, if your body isn’t capable of tolerating that level of stress, it is very likely for it to have a hard time with muscle recovery and this could also result in your immune system getting weaker. What makes these supplements essential is the fact that BCAAs are not produced naturally by the body, they can only be consumed directly. If you consume less than the necessary amount of BCAA, your body won’t have everything it needs to maintain a healthy immune system.
BCAAs Protect Lean Muscle Mass
Every time your body is stressed or when you haven’t exercised for a while and perform little to no physical activities, you risk losing what you worked so hard for – lean muscle mass. This is especially important for those who undergo surgical procedures. Many people who work out put a lot of emphasis on their carbs and protein intakes, but often times they overlook the benefits of BCAAs. Try to avoid doing this mistake as although it may seem like a simple and insignificant one, it can make a huge difference in your training, especially if you’re already deficient of it.
BCAAs and Diets
If you’re on a diet, you might not be consuming enough branched chain amino acids. Many people who are on restricted diets, like people who adopt a vegetarian way of eating or those preparing for contests, have a higher risk of not consuming the essential amino acids. The keto diet, for instance, which focuses exclusively on meat products, dairy and eggs, doesn’t provide you with a sufficient amount of BCAAs. Overlooking them in this case can have serious consequences, so ensure you don’t make that mistake.
How Much Do You Need?
Certain studies show that about 3-10g of BCAAs is recommended. However, muscle protein synthesis maxes out with 3-4g of leucine, which means that about 6-8g is sufficient enough. Some coaches will tell you that consuming more than 20g of BCAAs during your work outs will get you incredibly buffed. Simply put, the amount of BCAAs that you need is dependent on the amount of protein you consume.
4-5g of BCAAs 30 minutes before your work out and 4-5g after a work out is likely the best practice.