What is BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)?
BCAA is an energy source for muscles
BCAA is a general term for the essential amino acids* valine, leucine, and isoleucine that are metabolized by the body and used as sources of muscle energy. They are referred to as Branched Chain Amino Acids because the molecular structure of these three amino acids includes branches.
They have recently been identified as being very important to muscle since they are found in large quantities in muscle protein.
- *Amino acids that the human body cannot produce itself
Potential effects of taking BCAA during exercise
- Promotion of muscle protein synthesis
- Suppression of muscle protein degradation
- Muscle damage reduction
During endurance exercises
- Saves glycogen in muscle
- Suppresses the production of lactic acid
Recent studies have shown that amino acids, including BCAA, have individual physiological actions, in addition to being the constituents of body proteins. As a result, demand for amino acid supplements that can be taken when exercising has increased. However, there has been almost no research published that demonstrates the positive impact of amino acids upon exercise abilities.
With this in mind, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Saga Nutraceuticals Research Institute and partners studied the influence of BCAA on exercise performance, proving that it is effective during long distance and intense exercise routines.
The pages below introduce several studies into the effects of BCAA.
Research on BCAA
A study showing that at least 2,000mg of BCAA are required to benefit the most from the effects of BCAA.
A study highlighting the positive effects of BCAA on muscle damage, muscle fatigue and muscle pain.