There are 20 different amino acids that make up the thousands of different proteins in the human body, and 9/20 are considered essential amino acids! This means they can't be made by your body. You must obtain them through food. Of the 9 essential amino acids, 3 are the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). They are known as leucine, isoleucine and valine. And guess what? They are in our Chocolate Magic! We have a complete BCAA profile in our Chocolate Magic to optimize recovery and promote a strong body. Most people think you need to eat animal products to get BCAAs, but that is not the case. Pea protein does just the trick to form a full BCAA profile. Here are five proven benefits of BCAAs that will make you even more eager to use Chocolate Magic!
1. Increase Muscle Growth
One of the most popular uses of BCAAs is to increase muscle growth. The BCAA, leucine, activates a certain pathway in the body that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of making muscles. In one study, people who consumed a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their resistance workout had a 22% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to those who consumed a placebo drink. While BCAAs can increase muscle protein synthesis, they can’t do so maximally without the other essential amino acids. Luckily, Chocolate Magic is a complete protein!
2. Decrease Muscle Soreness
Some research suggests BCAAs can help decrease muscle soreness after a workout. Several studies show that BCAAs decrease protein breakdown during exercise and decrease levels of creatine kinase, which is an indicator of muscle damage. In one study, people who supplemented with BCAAs before a squat exercise experienced reduced muscle fatigue compared to the placebo group. Therefore, supplementing with BCAAs, especially before exercise, may speed up recovery time! Trying drinking a Magic protein shake before and after workouts and see how your body loves it.
3. Reduce Exercise Fatigue
BCAAs also may help reduce exercise-induced fatigue! Everyone experiences fatigue and exhaustion from exercise at some point. Your muscles use BCAAs during exercise, causing levels in your blood to decrease. When blood levels of BCAAs decline, levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan in your brain increase. In your brain, tryptophan is converted to serotonin. In two studies, participants who supplemented with BCAAs improved their mental focus during exercise!
4. Prevent Muscle Wasting
BCAAs can help prevent muscle wasting or breakdown. Muscle proteins are constantly broken down and rebuilt. Muscle wasting is when protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis. It can be a sign malnutrition and occurs with chronic infections, cancer, periods of fasting and as a natural part of the aging process. It’s important that the BCAAs and other essential amino acids are replaced during times of muscle wasting to halt it or to slow its progression. Several studies support the use of BCAA supplements for inhibiting muscle protein breakdown. This can improve health outcomes and quality of living in certain populations, such as the elderly and those with wasting diseases like cancer.
5. Benefit People with Liver Disease
BCAAs may improve health in people with cirrhosis, a chronic disease in which the liver does not function properly. 50% of people with cirrhosis will develop hepatic encephalopathy, which is the loss of brain function that occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. BCAAs may also benefit people suffering from the disease. One review of 16 studies including 827 people with hepatic encephalopathy found that taking BCAA supplements had a beneficial effect on the symptoms and signs of the disease, but had no effect on mortality. Several studies have shown that taking BCAA supplements may offer protection against liver cancer in people with liver cirrhosis. Also, a lot of plant-based moms and soon-to-be mothers swear by BCAAs for protection, increased strength, and energy! Overall, BCAAs are AMAZING for longevity, vitality, and a healthy life. They are essential for the body, so make sure you are getting your BCAAs in.