Whether you’re looking for a competitive edge or just some more energy to support your fitness journey, BCAAs are a fantastic supplement.
f you’ve heard that BCAAs can help you reach your fitness goals, but you’re not really sure what they are or how they work, then this article is for you!
What are BCAAs?
BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, which are a group of 3 amino acids that the body uses for energy and muscle protein synthesis. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and the 3 BCAAs are called leucine, isoleucine and valine.
BCAAs are essential amino acids, which means the body doesn’t make them so you must take them in through your diet. They are different from other amino acids because they are metabolised within the muscle tissue and can be used by your muscle cells for energy.
While Tropeaka Tone BCAA+ is made with 100% natural, vegan and non-GMO ingredients, it’s important to note that many supplement companies prefer to cut costs. Beware of ingredients such as dairy, duck feathers and pig fur, in addition to artificial additives, sweeteners and colours.
What does BCAA powder do?
While we can get them from our food, dietary BCAAs have to pass through our liver for processing before they can be absorbed and put to use in the body. BCAA powder bypasses digestion to go directly to the bloodstream, where it is rapidly absorbed to be used as an immediate source of energy during a workout or busy day.
Requiring no digestion, BCAA powder can be taken before, during and after your workouts to provide immediate support for the metabolic processes involved in reaching your fitness goals.
Taking a BCAA powder may reduce fatigue, improve your exercise endurance, and help you reach your fitness goals in several other ways, which will be explored in this article.
Do BCAAs help with muscle growth?
Suppose you’re eating in a slight caloric deficit to reach your fitness goals. In that case, the leucine in your BCAA powder will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which helps you maintain the valuable muscle mass you already have. This amino acid will also reduce the rate of catabolism, which is the process of breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
In addition to helping you hold on to the lean muscle mass you already have, BCAAs can also help you increase your lean muscle mass if you’re eating in a slight caloric surplus. In other words, BCAAs can help with muscle growth when you’re consuming enough calories and doing regular resistance training with progressive overload.
Unlike many other amino acids, the isoleucine and valine in your BCAA powder can be converted into glucose for extra energy and help to combat fatigue during a workout. The leucine in your BCAA powder also converts to ATP, which is the primary source of energy that fuels muscle contraction while lifting weights.
In addition to stimulating protein synthesis and reducing the rate of catabolism, BCAAs can be used as fuel, providing your muscles with extra energy to support you through the more challenging workouts that lead to muscle growth over time.
Do BCAAs help with weight loss?
As building muscle and losing body fat go hand in hand, using a BCAA powder may enhance your fat-burning efforts. Increasing lean muscle mass raises your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which makes reducing your body fat a much easier and healthier process.
When used alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan, BCAAs are a useful tool to help you get lean and stay lean. However, it’s essential to make sure your BCAA powder has a good leucine ratio, as this amino acid encourages the body to use fat stores for energy.
What else can BCAAs help with?
BCAAs can help us with much more than just gaining muscle and losing fat. One of the best benefits of taking BCAAs is that they help balance some key hormones during and after intense workouts.
When life outside of the gym get’s stressful, intense exercise can exacerbate a pre-existing imbalance of cortisol, aka ‘the stress hormone.’ Despite its nickname, cortisol helps control blood sugar levels, regulates metabolism, reduces inflammation and assists with mental clarity.
However, chronically elevated levels of cortisol can lead to an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen. Both men and women produce both of these sex hormones, and their delicate balance directly affects energy, sex drive, lean tissue development, and fat storage, along with our moods and mental wellbeing.
While no supplement is a replacement for prioritising your mental health and your recovery time, BCAAs can help keep your hormones in balance. With your hormones in balance, junk food cravings, bad moods, low energy, water retention, and weight gain are much less likely to stand between you and your fitness goals!
BCAAs can also power you through a busy day without the adverse side effects of caffeine
Reducing tiredness and fatigue
As BCAA supplements are a healthy solution to boost energy production and reduce fatigue, they are particularly useful if you're in a calorie deficit and need a sustained energy source to fuel your training.
A delicious drink to replace coffee, BCAAs can also power you through a busy day without the adverse side effects of caffeine and other stimulants. Tropeaka Tone BCAA+ also contains powdered sea buckthorn juice, which is a natural source of vitamin C for healthy immune function.
Faster exercise recovery
Without enough rest and recovery during exercise sessions, as well as between your workouts, you’re at risk of overtraining. Another great benefit of sipping BCAAs during your workouts is that it can help reduce the damage to your muscles while accelerating the recovery process.
The result? You can safely train more frequently and at a higher intensity, which means you’ll reach your fitness goals faster! Tropeaka BCAA+ is even better for exercise recovery than standard BCAA powders; this advanced formula is blended with a deep-sea mineral complex that further supports rapid muscle recovery.
In addition to the extra hydration support from magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium, the delicious natural flavour of raspberry or passionfruit in your water will make it so much easier to stay super hydrated throughout the day.
Choose an organic, plant-based BCAA powder
Remember that not all BCAAs are created equal! Reach your fitness goals the healthy way by supporting the process with an all-natural, plant-based BCAA supplement like Tropeaka Tone BCAA+.
Always check the ingredients for chemical nasties, animal-derived ingredients, fillers and artificial sweeteners. A plant-based BCAA that’s free of herbicides, pesticides, soy and gluten, is the perfect tool for your health-focused fitness journey.