How do BCAAs work? What about electrolytes? Most folks in the fitness community have heard about and even take BCAA and electrolyte supplements, but many aren’t familiar with the science behind them. This blog on the science of sweat covers what BCAAs and electrolytes are, what they do, ways to replenish electrolytes and BCAAs, and more.
BCAAS, or branched-chain amino acids, refer to three specific amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—that your body uses as a fuel source when it’s running low on glycogen. While the body does use other amino acids as well, branched-chain amino acids are unique because your body doesn’t produce them naturally, so you must take supplements or eat certain foods to get them.
Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of protein, and we all know how essential protein is for building muscle. When you exercise, your muscles form tiny tears. Your body repairs them stronger and better than before, and that’s how muscles get larger. BCAAs help your muscles to heal faster, so you feel less sore after an intense workout.
Besides aiding in muscle growth and recovery, BCAAs (particularly leucine) can help with weight loss. Research has shown that leucine can help to balance blood sugar levels and reduce big appetites by increasing sensitivity to a hunger hormone called leptin. BCAAs work to speed your recovery so you can get back to work sooner, and they help to curb overeating.
While anyone can benefit from adding more BCAAS to their diet, athletes are especially prone to lower levels of BCAAs because they sweat so much. One scientific study showed that athletes’ sweat started with a 100% concentration of BCAAs after 15 minutes of exercise. After another 15 minutes, that number went down to 65%, and then after 45 minutes the concentration was a mere 45%.
In other words, you lose BCAAs when you sweat! And, while you’re losing BCAAs through sweat, your body is also burning them as a fuel source. How BCAAs work lies in the ability of supplements to replenish decreased BCAA levels, so your body can continue reaping the benefits. To put it simply, your body uses BCAAs fast while you’re exercising, so it needs a little help keeping those levels up.
BCAAs and electrolytes go hand-in-hand, but they’re not the same. Electrolytes are electrically-charged minerals, including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These essential minerals play vital roles in your body’s homeostasis and pH balance, and like BCAAs, your body loses them in sweat—that’s why sweat tends to have a salty taste.
So, you know that BCAAs help your body recover, but how do BCAAs work similarly to electrolytes? All electrolytes are important, but sodium is especially critical for athletes because it helps your body stay hydrated properly.
When sodium ions dissolve, they change your body’s osmotic pressure, which refers to the amount of pressure required to push a liquid into or out of a membrane. Sodium regulates the intake of water into your cells and the removal of waste out of them. When your cells are properly hydrated, you are too!
We make restoring your body’s BCAAs + Electrolytes incredibly easy and convenient by making one comprehensive supplement that contains both. How do BCAAs work in conjunction with electrolytes? It all comes back to the science of sweat! You sweat out significant amounts of BCAAs and electrolytes when you exercise, and our supplement lets you replenish both of them simultaneously.
The great thing about BCAAs and electrolytes is that they’re so versatile. These aren’t harmful chemicals, so you don’t have to overthink it too much. Some ‘salty sweaters’ take BCAAs and electrolytes as part of their pre-workout plan so they start off with plenty of both substances in store and ready to go, while others prefer to use them as part of their post-workout supplementation because of their powerful recovery effects. Whether you’re losing weight or building muscle, BCAAs and electrolytes are a fantastic addition to your stack.
BCAAs and electrolytes shouldn’t cause any problems as long as you’re taking the right doses. If you’re taking other supplements, make sure you check the label to see if there are any overlapping ingredients. Both substances are inherently safe, but even water can be dangerous if consumed excessively. When in doubt, speak to your doctor, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.
If you’re looking for ways to replenish electrolytes and BCAAs, you’ve come to the right place! Like any supplement, quality matters. How BCAAs work depends on the source—quality products yield quality results. You should only buy products from reputable brands vetted by the fitness community, and always check the label to make sure there aren’t any harmful ingredients or fillers.
Here at LFTD. Lifestyle, our supplements are always manufactured in the USA in FDA-registered and GMP-certified facilities under extremely strict control standards. We only use clean ingredients, and we’re committed to label transparency so you always know exactly what you're taking.
Before taking any supplement, it’s always wise to do some research beforehand. How do BCAAs work? Hopefully this guide has provided the answers you were seeking. If you have any questions about BCAAs, electrolytes, the science of sweat, or anything else at all, please feel free to contact us to speak with a friendly product specialist. Recover faster and work harder with LFTD. Lifestyle BCAAs + Electrolytes!