Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

Many supplements purport to help with muscle growth and with the effectiveness of certain workouts. If you’re looking to gain muscle mass, you can feel inundated by all the different supplement choices that you have. Some of the best and most unknown options are BCAAs (or branched-chain amino acids). Most bodybuilders might be unaware of the unique properties of BCAAs, but they harbor plenty of beneficial material to help your workouts do the most work. They are composed primarily of the following three amino acids:

  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine

Obviously, the body needs plenty of amino acids particularly for strenuous exercise. That’s what makes BCAAs so important to anyone looking to build muscle mass.

Improved Protein Synthesis

BCAAs and, in particular, leucine have been shown to enhance protein synthesis just before and after a strenuous workout. While you are working out, your body starts to break down (catabolize) and amino acids are expended to improve energy. If the amino acids drop down below a certain level, your workout can lose a lot of its efficacy. But, the leucine found in BCAAs helps repair the muscles by synthesizing proteins. The best way to improve muscle growth is to create an environment that is ideal for protein synthesis. It’s also true that your body begins protein synthesis after the workout, and taking post-workout BCAAs can help foster growth.

BCAAs are also known to reduce recovery time and limit the effects of muscle soreness. The improved protein synthesis essentially means that the muscles are going to be repaired much more efficiently than they would without a helping of post-workout amino acids.

Increased Insulin Production

Taking BCAAs also increases insulin production at the molecular level. The insulin essentially combines with leucine to produce a more beneficial workout. Indeed, this is why many bodybuilders take a BCAA supplement prior to working out. The increased insulin and amino acids provides the muscles with something to work off of. So, during your workout, you’ll find that you’re naturally more capable and more energy-filled because your muscles aren’t catabolizing as quickly as they might have been.

It’s difficult to find an adequate concentration of BCAAs in products like whey protein. Although whey protein provides you with certain benefits, it’s better to find a supplement that boasts about 10 to 15g of BCAAs per scoop. That way, you can receive the ideal amount of protein synthesizing power both before and after your workout. Adding pure BCAAs to your custom weekly meal plan is certainly a great idea for growing muscle mass.

If all of that weren’t enough, BCAAs have also been shown to improve mental acuity. So, while you’re working out, you will be sharper, less inclined to depression, and more motivated overall. These supplements provide an increase in overall health and there’s virtually no reason to exclude them from any meal plans to gain muscle. BCAAs are muscle improvement machines but they offer holistic health benefits that extend beyond their primary function as protein synthesizers. Consider adding this supplement to your diet today.

Raymond Thornton is a health and fitness blogger who enjoys writing about the benefits of different supplements used to lose weight and gain muscle.

Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

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