What are BCAAs?
When cutting calories and trying to gain leaner muscle, your body can enter a catabolic state in which it breaks down tissues such as fat and muscle rather than building them. BCAAs help avoid this muscle break down. Amino acids are the building blocks of the protein of our muscles.
Building muscle mass can be calculated by the difference between muscle growth and muscle waste. By supplementing the building blocks of muscle growth, muscle growth can exceed muscle waste and they will grow overall. Branched-Chain Amino Acids also require no digestion in comparison to protein that is consumed and needs to be digested and broken down to be metabolised. This means the amino acids can be absorbed and utilised more quickly than protein consumed in foods alone.
How do BCAAs Help the Muscles?
BCAA Supplements can help to build lean muscle through the following process:
Protein Synthesis – In order for muscle to be built, the rate of protein synthesis must be faster than that of muscle break down that can occur during dieting. Branched-Chain Amino Acids help speed up protein synthesis, meaning it outweighs muscle breakdown to a greater extent and muscle growth can be achieved.
Reduced Protein Breakdown – Protein breakdown occurs when the body begins to use muscle tissue for energy when dieting, for example. However, by supplementing the BCAAs, the building block amino acids are in readier supply and don’t need to be broken down to obtain them. This of course means that the muscle break down rate is slowed and protein synthesis can exceed breakdown for longer.