Here is a surprising fact – did you know that body image issues in men, are just as common if not more than body image issues in women. It usually starts by looking at ourselves in a mirror and pin pointing the one thing that we find we do not like on our body and this can gradually escalate to not liking our entire image.
The truth of the matter is that they are spoken about much less between men, than between women. In society it has been ingrained in our minds that men are supposed to be big muscular and strong, while women are meant to be slim and petite. However this type of thinking has for the most part gone out the window, the notion of men being big and strong has still remained, and will possible remain for as long as time itself.
As a result we see more and more men frequenting Gymnasiums and sport centres, to lift weights while the rest of the time reaching our for supplements and weight-gaining protein shakes or things like Creatine , Citrulline, Testosterone boosters or even BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino Acids, some of which can do more harm than good for your system and overall health if not taken correctly.
BCAAs in particular have been known to fall under this category, and have been a highly debated substance within the health industry with some researchers stating that there are plenty of side effects of BCAAs that range from aspects like hair loss, depression, stomach problems and more.
Let’s try and get some clarification, shall we?
Start at the beginning
There are three main ingredients incorporated into these amino acids, namely Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine.
In brief this is what they do:
Valine: Known for energy release and regulating blood sugar levels.
Leucine: Known to build overall muscle protein.
Isoleucine: Also produces energy along side Valine and regulates blood.
This product is still in its research stages and studies are being done to find out if these kinds of additions do in fact help add more protein to our diet alongside our daily protein enhanced caloric intake from various food groups. It is of course a lot more beneficial to eat a protein-rich meal first, before opting for external factors to help out, like supplements that have chemicals in them that you cannot even pronounce. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-delicious-high-protein-foods
Having said that, after all is said and done, the sceptics have claimed that taking it over long-period can cause things like hair loss, acne, depression and even kidney damage. The fact of the matter is, that because our hair is made from protein, it would make sense to add this to our diets in order to maintain the levels in our body so as NOT to lose hair.
Something like acne, needs more research.
Secondly, some people have claimed that it gives them stomach issues such as gas, however research still needs to be done about this too. Perhaps a diet change could help? It could be the combination of taking the supplement with the particular diet, that is causing gas and discomfort.
Thirdly, stating that this product gives people depression is a shot in the dark. Depression is a highly understudied topic and has various angles to it. a good deal of research has been on-going for many of these supplements but no conclusion has been reached yet. Read more about this online.
Again, with things like kidney damage, no conclusive evidence has been found to relate taking BCAAs and it leading to kidney damage. As a matter of fact, some patients with kidney disease have been asked to take amino acids to increase their protein intake.
It is also good to note that when starting to take products and enhancement pills, one should always consult their GP or health practitioner and also do their own homework about it. Things like taking medication can affect the progress of these supplements and sometimes we may think that its one thing when it can be another.
So, what are the benefits then?
The three ingredients mentioned above that are in BCAAs, cannot be produced by our bodies, so taking it in powder or pill form, would help in supplementing it.
As we have already stated, our bodies need protein, and sometimes it is hard to come by especially if for instance you are allergic to some food items or don’t get enough of it. Taking this, helps maintain that in our bodies.
Especially for people who lift weights, and are into body-building, taking this item would keep their protein level at optimum rates and support their workouts while enhancing muscle-building properties. It helps to increase muscle growth, and in some cases, it even helps people to lose weight by cutting out body fat and keeping only muscle, thereby making you more lean in the process.
In providing you with an energy boost, this helps to lessen fatigue which is usually caused in the gym and helps keep you going longer. Also known to reduce muscle pain when taken after a work-out, BCAAs act as pain-reducers for some.
With these types of supplements, they can be taken before, during or even after a workout. It is always best to try it out for a few weeks to see what your body’s reaction to it is, and then change or remain the same, accordingly.