BCAA for athletes and its useful properties


Some bodybuilders ask me via the forum or by email, if amino acids AND BCAA are the same thing and what’s the use of it to consume. I go in this article to detail everything you need to know about amino acids, BCAA, what they bring to the body, the interest for the athlete to consume, and especially when to take them to feel the effects.


AMINO ACIDS are the end product of the hydrolysis of a protein. That is, in terms of molecular weight: whey isolate> whey hydrolyzate> or = di and tri-peptides> amino acids.

Generally produced from bacteria or hydrolysis of plant proteins, amino acids have no biological characteristics that could have an intact protein (be it solid food or powder). They are absorbed relatively quickly, which gives them a slight anabolic property, but which remains very weak for two reasons:

– firstly their origin (vegetable hydrolysis) gives them a balance between amino acids (or aminogram) very uninteresting, far behind the whey or even soy.
– secondly because of the amount of ingested product, often very low compared to an intact protein. To give you an idea, know that it costs about three to four times more expensive to bring the same amount of essential amino acids from a product containing only amino acids powder from a whey. Interest is therefore rather low.

BCAA’s are unique. Supplementation is very useful for a number of reasons, and the one that interests us the most is the gains in strength and muscle mass. Indeed, the BCAAs are oxidized during the exercise because the latter are used as a source of energy by the muscle. An external supply will compensate for this loss much faster than the proteins alone (because they do not contain enough). We will optimize recovery and muscle mass gain. BCAAs also play an important role in the brain.


AMINO ACIDS – Glycine, alanine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, proline, henylalanine, tryptophan, methionine, selenocysteine, pyrolysin, asparagine, glutamine, serine, threonine, cysteine, tyrosine, aspartate, glutamate, lysine, arginine, histidine:

Amino acids are the chemical compounds that make up proteins. When you consume proteins, they are broken down into amino acids by digestion to be absorbed by the body. There are therefore 22 different amino acids that make up the proteins of all living beings (or almost). Amino acids play a crucial role in the structure, metabolism and physiology of cells of all living things. They are the constituents of peptides and proteins, and represent as such the bulk of the mass of the human body after water. In addition to the 22 protein-forming amino acids, there are a large number of so-called nonproteinogenic amino acids. Some do not meet in proteins, such as carnitine.


– 8 amino acids: tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, they must absolutely be brought by the diet (they can not be synthesized by the body or they are synthesized at an insufficient speed)

– 12 amino acids: alanine, asparagine, apartic acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, glutamate, aspartate, asparagine, cysteine, proline, glycine, tyrosine, because the body knows how to make them in case of a lack of food.

– 2 amino acids: arginine, histidine. The semi-essential amino acids can only be formed by the body under certain conditions: such as during a phase of intense growth in youth, or through the degradation of essential amino acids.

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