Supplements containing BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are popular with bodybuilders and athletes for boosting muscle growth and performance. Limited research suggests that BCAAs may also have some other health benefits.
BCAAs are essential amino acids. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
The body uses amino acids to make proteins, which are the building blocks of every cell, tissue, and organ. Amino acids and proteins also play a crucial role in metabolism.
There are 20 amino acids, of which nine are essential. The body cannot make essential amino acids, so a person needs to get them from their diet.BCAA supplements may help improve exercise performance.
Taking BCAA supplements may help reduce exercise fatigue and improve endurance.
BCAA supplementation also improved energy metabolism and lowered levels of substances that indicate muscle damage, such as creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase.
BCAA supplementation can also help improve lean mass and decrease the percentage of body fat.
BCAAs, particularly leucine, may help maintain muscle mass in people with chronic conditions.
BCAA supplements may help limit muscle damage during intense exercise. Before taking a BCAA supplement, read the label and follow the manufactures recommendations carefully.