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BCAAs can reduce muscle soreness

BCAAs has probably been heard by everyone in the sports nutrition sector. But what is actually behind the name "BCAA" and what are the benefits of supplementation? In this blog article, we explain what's behind the name and the benefits of supplementation.

What are BCAAs

BCAA comes from the English and stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids, which means branched-chain amino acids . The name comes from the fact that these amino acids have a typical branching in their chain structure. The branched-chain amino acids include the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.

The body cannot produce these three amino acids itself, so they must be taken in with our daily diet. The amino acids are therefore essential for the body.

Amino acids are the building blocks of which the protein is composed. They are therefore essential for the body. BCAAs are therefore also involved in the maintenance and development of muscle tissue .

They are not metabolised in the liver like the other amino acids, but are broken down directly in the muscle cells . They can therefore be used directly by the body to build up proteins or other amino acids. The branched-chain amino acids make up around 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle tissue .

BCAAs: functions

As already mentioned, BCAAs are important for maintaining and building muscle tissue. As they are metabolised directly in the muscle, they have a special effect on muscle energy supply. They can therefore serve the body as important energy suppliers by providing glucose for the organism. BCAAs are also available to the muscle as a quickly available source of protein .

Administration of BCAAs leads to an increased release of insulin. Insulin regulates the glucose in the blood and increases the uptake of amino acids into the muscles.

In addition, BCAAs are said to be involved in fatty acid synthesis . Studies show that administering isoleucine leads to less obesity. An increased fat burning also appears to be associated with a high concentration of these amino acids.

Furthermore, BCAAs have a special effect on the immune system. A lack of BCAAs impairs many aspects of immune function and increases susceptibility to disease and infection.

BCAAs: studies 

There are now many different studies looking at BCAAs and athletic performance. We will present some of them below:

In various studies, supplementation with BCAAs shows faster regenerationafter training. This was also the case in the study by Howatson et al. A total of 12 men took part in this study, 6 of whom received a placebo and the other 6 BCAA supplements. All subjects were then asked to perform an exercise consisting of 100 consecutive drop jumps. The test subjects who received BCAA supplements had less muscle damage and muscle soreness and were more quickly fit again.

In another study by Shimomura, 12 healthy, young and untrained women were given either a BCAA supplement (isoleucine:leucine:valine = 1:2.3:1.2) or dextrin prior to exercise. The exercise consisted of 7 rounds with a total of 20 squats per round. A break of 3 minutes was taken between each round. Muscle soreness was highest in both groups on days 2 and 3. However, the women who took BCAAs had less muscle soreness. In addition, BCAA supplementation did not lead to a decrease in muscle strength in the individual sessions. Plasma BCAA levels were still significantly elevated 2 hours after training, while levels in the placebo group fell.

Another study by Kim et al. also deals with BCAAs and muscle damage. Here, the test subjects were also divided into a control and BCAA group and then performed a sporting exercise. In this study, glucose, lactate, serotonin, CK (creatine kinase) and LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)  were measured before and after training. CK and LDH can be used as reliable indicators to determine muscle damage.

Study results

The results show that BCAA supplementation reduces serum concentrations of intramuscular enzymes such as CK and LDH after exhaustive exercise . This result shows that BCAA supplementation can reduce muscle damage after physical exertion.

The studies thus show that supplementation with BCAAs reduces the fatigue processes in the body. Supplementation before and after exercise also leads to less muscle damage and to a promotion of muscle protein synthesis.

BCAAs: Who are they for?

BCAAs are the ideal nutritional supplement for every performance-oriented athlete. This is because it is important to meet an increased protein requirement during sporting activities in order to promote the maintenance and build-up of muscle mass. But even during a diet it is advisable to take BCAA supplements so that the body does not have to resort to important endogenous muscle tissue for energy production.

As BCAAs - as already written - also have a special effect on the immune system, they are not only a good dietary supplement for athletes, but also for people with high physical stress or illnesses.

These supplements can also be beneficial for older people , as muscle mass decreases with age and this age-related muscle loss can be counteracted with an intake of amino acids.

BCAAs: dosage, intake and side effects

BCAAs are considered well tolerated. Even three times this amount did not show any side effects in various studies. However, people with kidney or liver disease should discuss their intake with their doctor beforehand.

When taking BCAAs, it is particularly important to ensure that the three amino acids are always taken in a certain ratio to each other. The optimal ratio here is 2:1:1 between leucine, isoleucine and valine.  Leucine is most important here, as it supports the body's own protein synthesis .

We recommend taking at least 5 g of BCAA powder per day. 5 g corresponds to one scoop of powder and therefore contains 2.5 g of leucine and 1.25 g each of isoleucine and valine.

For intensive training, 1 scoop of powder should be taken before and after training with sufficient liquid.

Nutri-Plus Vegan Sports BCAA

Our product Nutri-Plus Vegan Sports BCAA contains high-dose BCAAs in an optimal 2:1:1 ratio (leucine (49%) : Isoleucine (24%) : Valine (24%)).

Nutri-Plus Vegan Sports BCAA are compared to many other products 100 % vegan, as they are made from corn. They are also free from sweeteners, colourings and preservatives. As no sweeteners or flavourings are added, our BCAA products are only available in the "Neutral" flavour. This means that the BCAA content is higher than in other products with sweeteners. However, if you can't do without flavour, you can dissolve our powder in water together with sugar-free syrups, for example.

Our product is developed by nutritionists and manufactured in Germany under the strictest quality standards.