What are BCAAs & The Benefits of BCAAs

Jan 23, 2022
7 mins read

What are BCAAs The Benefits of BCAAs

BCAAs are essential elements that provide a blast of energy during intense workouts. One of the benefits of BCAAs is it works great as fuel to revitalize the body by building muscles and also helps in muscle recovery.

Powerlifters, athletes, professional bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, weight training enthusiasts and people who want to lead an active lifestyle and build muscles rely heavily on BCAAs to do the work.


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are a group of three essential amino acids:

  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • valine.

They are also called so because of their molecular structure. BCAA are known to have a “side chain” of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms.

BCAA molecular structure

These are a group of three essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body and so one needs to externally get them from the diet. 

Among the three, Leucine is considered the most important one known to activate and stimulate cell growth. It is thought to have a maximum impact on building muscle proteins. 

BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acid, a group of three essential amino acids. If you can go back to your biology classes in school, you might recall that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and that there are nine of them that we can’t make on our own – the so they’re called “essential” amino acids.

There’s a bunch of amino acids out there, but these 9 essential ones are the only ones that our body can’t produce on its own. Meanwhile, there are amino acids like taurine and creatine that our bodies can produce endogenously which means that we don’t need to get them from our food – they are the non-essential amino out there.

BCAAs are basically a subgroup of those nine essential amino acids. Specifically, they are valine, isoleucine, and leucine, but the most important of them is leucine. Why are they referred to as “branched-chain”? because if you look at their molecular structure, they all have what looks like a branch. Simple as that!

The Function of BCAA In The Body

protein with bcaa

BCAAs are very strongly associated with building muscles and sustaining energy during workouts. They also help in weight loss and reducing fatigue after exercise.

BCAA consists of 35-40% of all the amino acids in the body and 14-18% of the ones found in muscles.

Unlike the other essential amino acids, BCAAs are broken down in the muscles and not in the liver. Due to this, they are thought to play a major role in energy production during exercise.

They also play another important role in letting the body use them as building blocks for protein and muscles.

Leucine and isoleucine are helpful in regulating blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion that causes muscles to take in more sugar from the bloodstream, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.

However, a high-fat diet along with BCAA might lead to insulin resistance as well. More study on this is still going on.

BCAAs reduce the sense of fatigue you feel during exercise by reducing serotonin production in your brain.

Meanwhile, Valine and Isoleucine are deemed more effective for regulating blood sugar levels and producing energy.

Benefits of Vegan BCAAs

BCAAs benefits

 1. Creates Ideal Anabolic Environment 

Other than stimulating muscle growth, one of the main benefits of BCAAs is that they create an anabolic environment that provides energy to muscles and helps the body burn fat and build muscles simultaneously. This, in turn, improves recovery and reduces muscle soreness.

2. Boosts Hormones

BCAA supplementation, when combined with resistance training, increases testosterone and reduces cortisol creating a favourable anabolic environment. In this anabolic state, your body is more likely to build more muscles. Also, studies suggest that leucine stimulates insulin release, further increasing the capacity for growth.

3. Nutrient Partitioning

Nutrient Partitioning is a process involving the simultaneous reduction of fat along with the growth of muscles. Recent studies on Branched-chain amino have been shown to support this with promising results. It further goes on to show that BCAAs give energy to undernourished muscle tissues by stealing it from fat cells, this is one of the main benefits of BCAAs

4.  Kills Muscle Soreness

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common phenomenon post-workout. BCAAs are known to significantly reduce muscle soreness after training. In a study, participants asked to consume BCAA supplements rated their muscle soreness as low as 33% compared to those given a placebo instead.

One of the reasons this happens is BCAAs lowers the level of enzymes creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase that are responsible for muscle damage. There is also some evidence that BCAAs may help lower blood sugar levels by promoting the release of insulin, but the research is unclear. If you are diabetic, consult your doctor before starting with BCAAs.

5. Helps in weight loss

BCAAs might be helpful in enhancing fat loss and preventing weight gain. In one study, Competitive wrestlers who consumed a high-protein, calorie-restricted diet when supplemented with BCAA lost 3.5 more pounds (1.6kg) than those given soy protein supplement over a period of 19 days.

6. BCAAs may reduce complications in Liver

One liver complication is hepatic encephalopathy (HE), which results in loss of consciousness, confusion and coma in patients. One study showed that BCAA supplements might reduce the severity of HE in comparison to other supplements. However, it is not known to lower infections or gastric bleeding.

Another recent study showed that BCAA enriched solution might reduce the risk of complications, improve liver function and decrease the duration of hospital stay. 

Do you really need BCAA supplements?

when to take bcaa

Well, the answer simply depends on your diet.

If you think you get sufficient amounts of protein in your diet, you don’t need to go for BCAA supplements.

Plant food sources like tofu, beans, and lentils all contain BCAA. Tofu is an excellent source of leucine to look out for. 

But for anyone wanting to gain muscle mass or wants to compete in bodybuilding or something should start with BCAA supplementation.

When to consume BCAA?

You can consume your BCAAs before or after a workout. Many people trying to gain muscles also practice having it in the morning or just before bed. 

How much BCAA do I need? 

BCAA  are essential products that provide a blast of energy during intense workouts. It works great as fuel to revitalize the body by building muscles and also helps in muscle recovery.

Powerlifters, athletes, professional bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, weight training enthusiasts and people who want to lead an active lifestyle and build muscles rely heavily on BCAAs to do the work.

Currently, as per research 10g of essential amino acids, including about 2 grams of leucine is needed to help support muscle recovery. Typically you can get this from 20-25g of high-quality protein. 

Plix Intra-workout Energy can be mixed in a 2:1:1 ratio that helps to replenish the body with amino acids and prevents muscles loss during an intense workout.

  • The 2.5gm of Glutamine present in Plix Energy helps to speed up muscle recovery, in the case of muscle exhaustion
  • 1G Citrulline Malate increases your pump during a workout session
  • 1G Arginine added to this boosts your immunity
  • 1G of Taurine decreases muscle damage.


Beginners can resort to taking one scoop a day during workout sessions. For bodybuilders, it is recommended that they take 2 scoops per day to gain more muscle mass and boost energy.

However, it is best to consult your trainer before deciding on the dosage. With zero added sugar, this supplement is excellent for weight loss and building lean muscle as well.


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