Areas of application of BCAA
BCAA are widely branched protein chains, so-called branched-chain amino acids. This is where the abbreviation BCAA comes from. Protein is used in the body for many important processes. BCAA are not only used in sports, but also have other areas of application, such as medicine, aging and recreation.
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Who are BCAA suitable for?
BCAA are naturally occurring nutrients, but they are not always suitable for everyone. Non-athletes do not need BCAAs in addition to their normal diet. Non-athletes should only use BCAAs if prescribed by a doctor.
For all athletes, however, there are different requirements regarding the intake. To be on the safe side, you should always speak to your doctor, as every person is individual and dietary supplements always work a little differently and are tolerated differently. Depending on gender, intensity, extent and type of physical activity or training, more or less BCAAs should be administered.
In general, the recommendation therefore applies that athletes in particular are suitable for taking BCAAs. In this case, athletes refers to all athletes from a wide variety of areas, and extreme and competitive athletes also belong to this group. The different performance levels differed in the dosage amount of the BCAA.
But BCAA can also be suitable for older people, namely when there is a medical indication and the doctor recommends taking BCAA.
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BCAA and their areas of application
BCAA to build muscle
BCAAs are said to have positive effects, especially when building muscle. BCAAs are known to affect:
- the ability of the blood to transport oxygen
- the energy supply in the muscles
- the ability to regenerate
BCAAs ensure the production of red blood cells, which in turn are responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. Since muscles need oxygen to work, but also to regenerate, BCAAs could help build muscle.
The BCAA provides more insulin and releases it into the bloodstream. This in turn allows more BCAAs to be transported into the muscle cells. This provides natural protection against muscle breakdown and the formation of new muscle cells is favored by the increased number of BCAAs. The BCAAs freely available in the body are used up by training and / or physical exertion. If athletes were not to consume BCAAs, this could lead to a breakdown of the muscle cells.
The body needs energy for recovery after exercise. Therefore, BCAAs are ideal to protect the current muscle mass. If sufficient BCAAs are available through supplementation and nutrition, then the muscle can also concentrate on stimulating muscle thickness growth or muscle fiber growth and building new muscle mass after a workout.
BCAAs not only ensure that muscle protein remains protected during and after training. They also ensure that sugar and other BCAAs are transported quickly and, above all, more strongly into the muscles. This gives the muscle new energy and also gets the proteins it needs for muscle synthesis, i.e. muscle building. In addition, regeneration and recovery are positively influenced by taking BCAAs. These points lead to the fact that BCAAs can play an important role in building muscle.
Especially in strength sports such as weight lifting, sumo, swimming, bodybuilding, boxing, wrestling, martial arts and some athletics disciplines, the athlete's muscle mass is an important and significant point. In these sports, muscle mass can make the difference between victory and defeat. For this reason, supplementing with BCAAs in these sports is an important prerequisite for being successful. BCAAs are a frequently used dietary supplement in sports that focus on mass and maximum strength.
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BCAA in endurance training
BCAAs are also popular dietary supplements for endurance sports. On the one hand, they help to train the muscles required for running. This makes them an option especially for beginners who want to make progress quickly. The BCAAs can also protect endurance athletes from unwanted muscle breakdown.
BCAAs consist of three special amino acids that are not metabolized in the liver. As a result, they are absorbed in the intestine and get into the bloodstream more quickly and can therefore release their effect more quickly. They get directly into the muscles via the bloodstream and can have a direct effect on site.
In endurance sports, the loads are usually very long and therefore very high in many cases. As a result, a little muscle protein is always broken down. The free amino acids in the bloodstream can counteract this breakdown of muscle protein. Thus the muscles can be preserved, which preserves the performance at a high level.
In addition, the glycogen reserves are also used up during endurance units, which is what first attacks the muscle protein. At the same time, however, a stimulus is set that wants to create new cells. Protein synthesis takes care of this regeneration of cells. However, this can only be done if there are enough BCAAs available. Therefore, endurance athletes should also take BCAAs as a dietary supplement.
An even greater effect on the ability to regenerate could be demonstrated. Studies have shown that taking BCAAs has a positive effect on the build-up of new muscle protein. If no BCAAs are taken in competitive sports, especially endurance sports, an increased breakdown of muscle protein must be expected. BCAAs can also have a positive effect on the performance of the brain. Thus, with the correct dosage, an increase in brain activity can also be achieved here.
In general, every athlete should be aware that a healthy and balanced diet is preferable. The correct dosage of BCAA as a dietary supplement should only be determined after a detailed analysis of the nutritional composition and after consulting a doctor.
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BCAA in speed training
BCAAs can also have advantages for speed training. On the one hand, the protection against a breakdown of muscle protein is an important function of the amino acids. On the other hand, speed training is often used to train with maximum loads.
This is followed by a longer break so that the muscle cells can regenerate a little. Here the effect of BCAAs can help to regenerate faster and not to fall back on the protein in the muscle cells, but to use the free amino acids in the blood.
Due to the high stress in speed training, muscle pain can then occur. These can be demonstrably reduced by taking BCAAs, since the "damage" in the muscles is less.
It is not yet fully scientifically proven whether BCAAs can delay fatigue during a training session. This would have clear advantages in speed training, as the units could be extended over a longer period of time.
BCAAs can also have a positive effect on training success in speed training and are therefore a useful addition. However, it is also true here that a balanced and healthy diet is preferable. The decision on the dosage and consumption should be discussed with a doctor.
Taking BCAA in case of illness
In addition to the advantages of taking BCAAs in sports, there is also another area of application, that of medicine. BCAAs are also increasingly used to:
- Treatment of diseases
- after operations
- in case of injuries
In diseases of the liver, BCAAs can be used to help the organ to recover. This calming effect on the liver can prevent dangerous consequential damage. An example of such a consequential damage is a metabolic disorder of the brain. This case is prevented by using BCAA.
BCAAs can also be used after operations and after injuries. The most important thing here is that no muscle protein is broken down or the breakdown of muscle protein is reduced during a long regeneration phase of the body.
BCAAs are also used in the case of diabetes. BCAAs stimulate the production of insulin and can help to improve the blood sugar balance.
BCAAs are not only used in sports, but can also be used sensibly in medicine. You should refrain from self-medication and ask a doctor for advice first.
BCAA in other sports
BCAAs are mainly used in fitness and weight training to build muscle. They are also used in bodybuilding because of their muscle-increasing effect. Because BCAAs are also very effective for regeneration and the muscle protein is better protected, BCAAs are used in many sports.
Many endurance sports have discovered the benefits of an adapted supplementation with BCAAs. These are:
- Long distance runs
- Cross-country skiing
- to go biking
The effects of BCAA can be seen in many athletics disciplines. They are used in addition to nutrition in the following areas:
- Hammer throwing
- Long jump
- high jump
- Shot put
- Triple jump
The following sports are also used for muscle building, the ability to regenerate, or the optimization of strength development in muscles:
- Team sports
- ice Hockey
- Field hockey
- beach volleyball
In martial arts, BCAAs are no longer used that often, but are still used by many athletes to build muscle and to protect against muscle loss. Which includes:
- Teak Won Do
- Thai boxing
In general, it can be said that BCAAs are used where muscle mass, strength and the ability to regenerate or protection against muscle wasting play an important role. How high the dosage must be in the individual sports should always be decided in consultation with a doctor. A different dosage is determined depending on the type of sport and the individuality of the athlete. A balanced and healthy diet is also important.
When properly dosed and used correctly, BCAAs can help many athletes in a wide variety of sports. In addition, BCAAs have the advantage of having almost no side effects, which makes them safe and easy to use.
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You can read more information about BCAAs here:
- BCAA to build muscle
- Dosage and intake of BCAA
- BCAA powder
- Effect and function of BCAA
- Side effects of BCAA