4 Powerful BCAA And Glutamine Benefits For Muscle Gains
Posted by Prolab Nutrition on 1st Mar 2022
What do BCAA and glutamine do? It is impossible to talk about weight loss and muscle building without talking about amino acids; after all, they are the primary building blocks of proteins and a fuel source for body cells. Indeed, they are only rivaled by glucose. Amino acids also improve immunity and speed up recovery from injuries.
Amino acid supplements are beneficial, especially when you are on a strict regimen comprising of a low-calorie diet and a vigorous workout. Your body will need amino acids to maintain optimum energy levels and heal. Two of the amino acids sought by bodybuilders and athletes are BCAAs and glutamine.
What is BCAA?
BCAA is short for branched-chain amino acids. There are three proteinogenic BCAAs: valine, isoleucine, and leucine. There's also a non-proteinogenic BCAA called aminoisobutyric acid. These are three of the nine essential amino acids in the human body and are known as branched-chain amino acids.
BCAAs promote muscle growth and improve recovery after training. BCAAs are protein-rich and must be obtained through diet as the human body is not capable of producing them. They can be found in abundance in eggs and meat and can also through supplementation.
What Are The Benefits Of BCAAs?
Branched-chain amino acids fill some physiological and metabolic roles leading to the following benefits:
Increased muscle growth
Many athletes and bodybuilders use BCAAs for muscle growth. L-Leucine, one of the three BCAAs is useful in the synthesis and replacement of broken-down proteins within cells. Studies reveal that drinking a shake with 5.6g of Leucine BCAA after your resistance workouts makes you 22% more likely to grow muscles than going it alone or with a placebo.
Reduces risk of obesity
BCAAs also help break down fatty acids. The oxidation of BCAA promotes the oxidation of fatty acids, thus reducing the risk of obesity.
Reduces muscle soreness
Some studies show that using BCAAs after workouts reduces muscle soreness. Most people experience soreness after physical exercises because of tiny tears in the muscle fibers that occur from working out. Supplementing with branched-chain amino acids before workouts can reduce muscle fatigue, protein breakdown, and creatine kinase levels.
Reduce fatigue after workouts
Apart from reducing muscle soreness, you can use BCAAs to reduce workout fatigue. It is common to experience tiredness and weakness after workouts.
During exercises, the levels of BCAAs in the blood decrease as muscles use them. The result is an increase in tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a brain molecule suspected to cause fatigue during workouts. On the other hand, supplementing with BCAAs boosts mental focus during workouts.
Prevent muscle breakdown
Muscle wasting happens if your body breaks down more proteins than it can synthesize. The common causes of muscle wasting are malnutrition, infections, fasting, cancer, and aging. BCAAs make up 35% of essential amino acids and 40% of all amino acids the body needs. When you start losing muscles, supplement with BCAAs to reduce muscle loss and turn the situation around.
May lower blood sugar levels
Studies also show BCAAs may help maintain normal levels of blood sugar. Isoleucine and L-Leucine are essential in the metabolism of glucose. They are thought to promote insulin secretion, causing muscles to absorb more glucose from the blood.
Vital for brain function in people with liver disease
One of the cirrhosis symptoms is haptic encephalopathy, meaning loss of brain function because the liver can't eliminate toxins from the blood. Certain antibiotics and sugars have been exploited to help with hepatitis encephalopathy, and now, BCAAs could be joining them. Studies show taking BCAAs reduces the symptom as well as liver cancer.
What Is The Difference Between Glutamine And BCAA?
While BCAAs are essential amino acids, glutamine is non-essential, meaning, your body can produce it. But you can also get additional glutamine through diet. Foods rich in glutamine are chicken, eggs, beef, fish, corn, soy proteins, beans, rice, carrots, and lentils. Glutamine is important for protein synthesis in the body, too.
You can also supplement with glutamine to replenish depleted levels, build muscles and enjoy other health benefits. Glutamine supplementation is safe. For example, doctors may recommend glutamine-rich foods or supplements to replenish depleted levels during stress and injuries.
Can You Take Glutamine and BCAA Together?
Both glutamine and BCAA are among the amino acids in the human body, and therefore there's no harm in supplementing both at the same time; you just have to consider timing, so your body makes the best use of them.
It's common practice to take at least 4.5g of glutamine per day and 5 grams of BCAAs per day.
Best time for taking BCAA And Glutamine
The best time for taking BCAA is either before or after exercises to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue and enhance recovery. In a study, two groups of athletes were treated to 25 grams BCAAs right before and after exercises for ten weeks, and both showed the same gain in body strength and composition.
There's no exact time window for taking BCAAs before and after exercise; you can take it shortly before or after exercises or even 5 hours after workouts, whichever works for you. For glutamine, it's important that you take the supplement post-workout, like half an hour into the training session, to increase its bioavailability. Taking glutamine into the workout makes the body absorb it more for strength. It also helps heal small tears in tissue muscle fibers.
Benefits Of Taking BCAA And Glutamine Together
There are several benefits of combining BCAA and glutamine doses especially pre or post-workout. Not only are they a source of fuel, but BCAAs also promote the breakdown of fats and fatty acids. Also, supplementing with BCAAs and glutamine promotes the gut microbiome, which is essential for weight management.
Can You Use BCAA and Glutamine For Weight Loss?
Several studies also support the use of BCAA and glutamine for weight loss. In one study, 66 diabetes type II patients were treated to 30 g glutamine powder/daily and revealed improved heart health and reduced body and belly fat. Another study revealed that taking glutamine consistently for 2 weeks reduced waist circumference, a common indicator of belly fat.
4 More Benefits Of Using BCAA And Glutamine Together:
Improves Muscle Growth
Glutamine and BCAAs are used in the synthesis of proteins. They also help cells draw water and salts in to stay hydrated, and as a result, they get denser and fuller. Supplementing with glutamine and BCAAs during workouts can help you pack on muscle faster.
Faster Recovery Time & Reduces Chance Of Injury
Cell volumization is essential for repair and growth. Athletes also supplement with glutamine to improve their immunity and reduce muscle soreness. When combined with carbohydrates, glutamine reduces a blood marker of fatigue after intense workouts.
Support For The Immune System
Glutamine is a known fuel source for cells of the intestine and white blood cells. Indeed, it's only rivaled by glucose. Your body needs the amino acid for optimal function. It also helps reduce infections and reduce recovery time.
Better Intestinal Health
Glutamine promotes the integrity of intestinal mucosa. This lining ensures bacteria from digestion activity don't migrate to the rest of your body and vice versa. It also enhances the immune function of intestinal cells by keeping them energized.
L-glutamine is also an anti-inflammatory. It soothes tissues and decreases intestinal spasms keeping various irritable bowel syndromes at bay.
Prolab BCAA Plus and Glutamine are a powerful combination of essential and non-essential amino acids that can help increase muscle gain, strength, and recovery.
Prolab's BCAA Plus blends valine, leucine, isoleucine, Vitamin B6 & C into a powerful muscle-preserving formula for high-training athletes and bodybuilders. BCAA Plus promotes the synthesis and replacement of proteins, while the vitamins will combat free radicals and prevent tissue degeneration.
Use our BCAA plus for lean muscle growth and protection, increase muscle energy, reduce fatigue, and speed up recovery.
Prolab Glutamine is an easy-mixing powder for adding to your morning beverage or any other hot or cold drink to restore the body's glutamine levels, speed up healing, and develop muscles.
Glutamine replenishes depleted stores, to help build new lean muscle and protect hard-earned gains by supporting protein synthesis.
Glutamine And BCAA Side Effects
Glutamine occurs naturally in the body, and BCAA is an essential amino acid and therefore shouldn't be harmful when taken in moderation in the short term. Using excess glutamine and BCAA may lead to nausea, headache, and pain.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also advised to stay away from BCAA. The supplements do not mix well with hormones and medications. Consult your doctor if you are under any diabetes medication, thyroid hormone, Parkinson's medications, or proglycem. Stay away from glutamine in the case of Reyes syndrome, kidney disease, and certain types of cancer cells.
BCAA And Glutamine Summary
Fitness experts and athletes supplement with these amino acids to lose weight and develop lean muscles. These amino acids have also got other benefits such as improved immunity and quick recovery after injuries.
However, like any other drug and extracts, it's always wise to consult a doctor before taking BCAAs and Glutamine supplements. Not everyone should supplement with these amino acids, especially when taking other medications and supplements. Get the advice from your doctor.