Have you heard of BCAAs, aka branched-chain amino acids? There are three proteinogenic BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine and valine; as well as non-proteinogenic BCAAs that include 2-aminoisobutyric acid.
I know, it sounds like a mouthful, not to mention what the heck is a proteinogenic amino acid? They are amino acids that are biosynthetically incorporated into proteins. It gets all scientific from there, so if you are into that info, I’ve linked to it. The important thing to know is, if you are an endurance athlete, BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness after a workout, as well as promote muscle growth and repair.
A lot of people believe that a supplement like BCAAs is just something for bodybuilders, but they are so much more. I’m an advocate of BCAAs for runners, as they have so many great benefits for endurance athletes and those who workout regularly.
1. Muscle Soreness. Consuming BCAAs before and after training, especially a hard or long run, can help reduce muscle soreness. This can help you recover more easily afterwards so you are ready sooner for your next workout or run.
2. Prevents Fatigue. Using BCAAs can reduce fatigue as well as improve performance. The BCAAs can be burned by the body as energy during glycogen-depleting exercise. They also help prevent fatigue of the nervous system by suppressing an uptake of tryptophan (used to create serotonin which increases fatigue) in the brain.
3. Immune System Boost. BCAAs can help protect the body’s glutamine storage levels and keep your immune system from becoming depleted. And, when you are always working out, that’s important.
4. Achieving Leaner Body/Fat Burning. Taking BCAAs can help you have a better overall body composition as well as aid in curbing appetite. Fat burning is increased due to leucine which helps you train harder and workout for longer periods of time. A win-win!
Do you use BCAAs in your training?