BCAAs alone, not suf­fi­cient for max­i­mal mus­cle growth

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - HT CITY LIFESTYLE -

For body builders, sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing amino acids are con­sid­ered to be an im­por­tant part of the nu­tri­tion plan. From im­prov­ing brain func­tion to boost­ing mus­cle strength — lift­ing heavy weights has many ben­e­fits. Those who lift weights might be fa­mil­iar with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). They are ex­tremely pop­u­lar within the fit­ness in­dus­try. How­ever, a re­cent re­search sug­gests the pop­u­lar mus­cle build­ing sup­ple­ments are in­ef­fec­tive when taken in iso­la­tion. The study shows that while BCAA sup­ple­ments do stim­u­late the mus­cle build­ing re­sponse in in­di­vid­u­als af­ter they lift weights, other mus­cle-build­ing sup­ple­ments are far more ef­fec­tive. Other sup­ple­ments that con­tain all nec­es­sary amino acids stim­u­late a greater mus­cle growth re­sponse, which sug­gests that tak­ing BCAA sup­ple­ments alone is not the best way to op­ti­mise mus­cle growth with weight train­ing. The sci­en­tists also in­ves­ti­gated how ef­fec­tive the sup­ple­ments were at stim­u­lat­ing the ma­chin­ery inside the mus­cle it­self that leads to mus­cle growth. They found that while BCAA drinks stim­u­late the body’s mus­cle build­ing sys­tems, they lack some es­sen­tial amino acids that are nec­es­sary to sup­port a max­i­mal mus­cle growth re­sponse.

Pro­fes­sor Kevin Tipton, Chair in Sport, Health and Ex­er­cise Sciences at the Univer­sity of Stir­ling, said: “Amino acids are the build­ing blocks of pro­teins and the spe­cial class of amino acids, known as BCAA, stim­u­late the mus­cle growth re­sponse. These sup­ple­ments are con­sid­ered to be an im­por­tant part of the nu­tri­tion plan for many body builders, weightlifters and oth­ers seek­ing mus­cle growth. Our re­sults show that the com­mon prac­tice of tak­ing BCAA sup­ple­ments in iso­la­tion will stim­u­late mus­cle pro­tein syn­the­sis — the meta­bolic mech­a­nism that leads to mus­cle growth — but the to­tal re­sponse will not be max­i­mal be­cause BCAA sup­ple­ments do not pro­vide other amino acids es­sen­tial for the best re­sponse.”

He added, “A suf­fi­cient amount of the full com­ple­ment of amino acids is nec­es­sary for max­i­mum mus­cle build­ing fol­low­ing ex­er­cise. Ath­letes in­ter­ested in en­hanc­ing mus­cle growth with train­ing should not rely on these BCAA sup­ple­ments alone.”

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