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Are Bcaa Bad For Kidneys

Do We Need Bcaas Are Bcaas Good Or Bad

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BCAA is needed by everyone in some quantity and is an essential amino acid. It should be obtained from an outside source like your diet. The quantity of BCAAs that the body needs normally can very easily be taken from good quality protein food. Supplements are not needed.

However, if you are into an intense workout, weight lifting, marathoner, or an athlete, and are trying to build or sustain muscle, BCAA supplements can be a great addition.

This is mainly true when you exercise in a fasted condition where you want to lose weight without compromising on your muscles.

The Benefits Of Amino Acid Supplements

Now that weve covered the risks of using amino acids, lets talk about their benefits. Primarily, these products are used as fitness supplements rather than nutritional aids, as they almost exclusively contain ingredients meant to improve athletic performance and promote muscle recovery. Most amino acid supplements focus on supplying a specific classification of amino acid called a branched-chain amino acid, or BCAA, though others such as glutamine and arginine offer similarly advantageous effects.

Bcaa Supplements Reduce Muscle Soreness

BCAAs may also help your muscles feel less sore after exercise.

One way they may do so is by lowering blood levels of the enzymes creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase, which are involved in muscle damage. This may improve recovery and provide some protection against muscle damage .

Various studies asked participants to rate their muscle soreness levels after performing certain strength-training exercises.

Participants who were given BCAA supplements rated their muscle soreness levels as much as 33% lower than those given a placebo (

26 ).

However, theres currently no evidence that getting your BCAAs from a supplement is any more beneficial than getting them from your diet or from a whey or soy protein supplement.

In fact, studies show that taking supplements with whole protein may, at least in some cases, be better for muscle growth than taking supplements with individual amino acids .


Getting enough BCAAs may boost muscle growth. You can get them from high protein foods in your diet or through supplements.

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Bcaas Protect Muscle From Exercise

BCAAs before and after workouts have a muscle sparing effect and can be crucial in reducing the muscle wear and tear of the exercise.

In our body, muscle proteins are constantly broken down and rebuilt . This balance determines the protein amount in the muscles. However, when the breakdown exceeds the synthesis, âmuscle breakdownâ or âmuscle wastingâ occur .

It can be due to natural causes like malnutrition, chronic infections, cancer, or be a part of aging. It can also be due to an intense workout with improper nutrition.

BCAA has shown to halt or slow this progression by reducing the activity of the protein breakdown pathway .

Summary: Muscle breakdown occurs when muscle protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis. BCAA supplement can halt this by boosting the former one and preventing the later.

Bcaas May Lower Serotonin

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Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that aids sleep by calming and relaxing your brain. Incidentally, it also means it causes exercise fatigue and reduces endurance during workouts .

Serotonin is made by the body from tryptophan . During BCAA supplementation, BCAAs compete with tryptophan and donât allow this conversion, thereby lowering these serotonin levels .

They inhibit the tryptophan influx in the brain, reducing the serotonin levels. With lower levels of serotonin, you are more attentive and have a reduced feeling of fatigue.

Even though it is great when you are working out, there can be problems elsewhere. Serotonin is known as âhappy chemicalâ and is responsible for good mood, happiness, and a feeling of well being.

As the tryptophan level drops, so does the production of serotonin in your brain which may cause mood disorders and depression.

Summary: BCAAs reduce serotonin levels thereby preventing exercise fatigue. As serotonin is also responsible for good mood and good feeling, lower production can cause mood disorders.

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Bcaas May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

BCAAs may also help maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Leucine and isoleucine are thought to increase insulin secretion and cause your muscles to take in more sugar from your blood, thereby decreasing your blood sugar levels (

36 ).

However, its worth noting that those consuming fewer BCAAs also consumed around 20 fewer grams of total protein per day, which may have influenced results.

If youre attempting to lose weight, BCAAs may help your body get rid of unwanted fat more effectively.

Competitive wrestlers consuming a high protein, calorie-restricted diet supplemented with BCAAs lost 3.5 more pounds than those given a soy protein supplement over a 19-day study period .

The BCAA group also lost 0.6% more body fat than the soy protein group, despite consuming equivalent calories and slightly less total protein each day .

In another study, weightlifters given 14 grams of BCAAs per day lost 1% more body fat over an eight-week study period than those given 28 grams of whey protein per day. The BCAA group also gained 4.4 pounds more muscle .

That said, these two studies have some flaws. For instance, they provide little information about the composition of the supplement and of the diet followed, which could have influenced the outcomes.

Whats more, studies examining the effects of BCAAs on weight loss show inconsistent results .

BCAAs may help reduce complications linked to liver failure.

How Much Protein Do You Need While Maintaining And Bulking

While maintaining your weight or bulking, you can take your foot off the gas a little regarding protein because your body is unlikely to use muscle for fuel when it has an abundance of calories.

The results of a meta-analysis conducted by scientists at McMaster University that examined data from 49 studies, including 1,863 participants, showed that a good rule of thumb when not energy restricted is 0.7-to-1 gram per pound of body weight per day. The authors also noted that leaning toward the top end of this scale likely maximizes muscle growth.

Another review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition explained that 0.55-to-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day is adequate for supporting muscle gain so long as calories are at or above expenditure .

Since eating toward the top end of these ranges likely maximizes muscle growth and minimizes fat gain, I think its sensible to do so, which is why I recommend 0.8-to-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day while maintaining or bulking.

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Leaner Than Protein Shakes

These supplements are more than just fast-acting, though they also tend to be much healthier than their protein-based counterparts. A glance at the nutrition facts on many popular protein shakes and powders will reveal an overabundance of calories and sugars that only serve to undermine users health and fitness goals.

Instead, amino acid supplements like those from aminoVITAL® provide only the nutrients essential for producing results this includes the three BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine along with glutamine and arginine which improve recovery speeds and promote blood flow, respectively and electrolytes to balance hydration. A few of our products, such as our Rapid Recovery drink mix, include a small number of carbs as well, which helps to replenish glycogen stores and restore energy levels after exercise.

How To Use Bcaas

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Both pill and powder form of BCAA supplements are available. The pill can be taken with water and the powder form can be dissolved in water or some other fluid and consumed.

Drink plenty of water when taking supplements. 5-20 grams of BCAA daily can be consumed. You can split this dosage to two or three times a day, especially if its more than 5 grams .

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Is It Safe To Take Bcaa Every Day

Yes, for most people, it is safe to take branched-chain amino acids every day. Many professional athletes and bodybuilders are supplementing their diet daily with BCAAs.

In 1985 the world health organization published a report stating that the average adult needs to consume a minimum of 15 mg branched-chain amino acids per pound of their body weight, every day.

My recent research indicates that the daily requirement could be higher, up to 65 kg per pound of body weight each day.

That means that women should consume at least 9 g of BC AAs per day. And, men would need to consume at least 12 g I’ll BC AAs per day.

If you are eating enough food that’s rich in protein you probably don’t additional supplements. But, this only applies to people living normal lives.

Athletes and bodybuilders put a lot more stress on their bodies. They need more proteins and also more branched-chain amino acids.

A lot of studies into the benefits of BCAAs use a supplemental dose of 10 to 20 g on a daily basis. We are not aware of any dangerous effects occurring during these studies, so it is safe to assume that you can take BCAAs every day.

Before and or after your workout is generally the best time to take BCAA supplements. However, if you are trying to bulk up you can also take them in the morning and before going to bed.

In case you are suffering from ALS, it’s highly recommended not to use BCAA supplements. And, if you happen to have maple syrup urine disease, you need to reduce your intake.

Influence Of Specific Amino Acids On Uremic Toxins Generation And Intestinal Microbiota

There is a growing recognition of the role of diet in modulating the composition and metabolic activity of the human gut microbiota, which in turn can impact health. Probably independently of fiber intake, the composition of AAs from plant origin may influence the production of UTs and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with the accumulation of UTs.

3.3.1. Aromatic Amino Acids .

More recently, in a large cohort of 223 hemodialysis patients, using the characterization of the gut microbiome, serum and fecal metabolome, permutational multivariate analysis of variance analysis revealed that the food categories did not have a significant impact on this UTs profile and microbiome. If the composition of diet was evaluated by a food frequency questionnaire of 117 items, the quality of protein was not evaluated, as well as the quantity of tyrosine or tryptophan . Overall, the bacterial metabolism of AAAs is both multifaceted, interconvertible and non-fully explored in CKD.

3.3.2. Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids

3.3.3. L-carnitine and choline

The link between TMAO concentrations and renal function has been demonstrated by Tang et al who observed in healthy male mice fed with a choline-supplemented diet an increase in collagen deposition and tubulointerstitial fibrosis . By contrast, choline-deficient diets have also been associated with hepatic steatosis and disrupt the intestinal barrier .

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Bcaa And Insulin Resistance

There has been some grumbling in some quarters that the prolonged use of BCAAs and indeed prolonged consumption of a high protein diet may be associated with the development of insulin resistance and subsequently Type 2 diabetes.

I have been looking at the scientific evidence between bcaas and diabetes. Again, the evidence is conflicting.

This is not surprising because we have evidence that bcaas do signal insulin to spring into action.

Of course, we know that insulins main job is to lower blood sugar quite apart from affecting the metabolism of available amino acids.

So, how for heavens sake, does a diet high in branched-chain amino acids or prolonged use of bcaas result in insulin resistance and high blood sugar ?

I suppose its all in the genotype and environmental interplay. Wolever and his colleagues studied the North American Aboriginal population and confirmed this interplay. They found a 38% increase in the risk of diabetes when the diet was a high protein one in that Aboriginal population.

Having a diet that is deficient or low in fiber, but high in protein can result in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Dietary fiber-depleted foods high in either starch or protein predispose the individual to diabetes.

Now, does that mean bcaa use will result in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Probably not. Especially if you dont use bcaas for a long period.

What does bi-directional effect mean?

Bcaa Improves Muscle Mass And Strength

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Strong muscles are important to strengthen bones, maintain a healthy weight, control blood sugar, and so on. Muscle strength is very important to help reduce muscle injury during a workout.

Inactive muscles, pertaining to a sedentary lifestyle, cause loss of muscle protein, which decreases muscle strength. Without continued strength and resistance training, the rate of muscle mass decline is quite a lot.

BCAA improves this by promoting muscle protein synthesis and decreasing muscle protein breakdown . When coupled with an intense workout, BCAA improves lean muscle mass and gives strength to your muscles .

Summary: BCAA helps improve your muscle mass by favoring muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle protein breakdown. Combined with proper exercise BCAA strengthens muscles and increases its mass.

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Are Bcaas Safe During Pregnancy

Your protein requirements do increase during pregnancy, however this can be easily made up through whole food plant sources. Getting a variety of protein from different sources can help ensure you get a full range of amino acids – nutritional sources of BCAAs include lentils, nuts, and soy proteins.

Although amino acids are found in food, the amount found in BCAA supplements is much higher than that found in a normal diet. As a pregnant woman or nursing mother you have to be particularly alert as to how much and what youre putting in your body, and consuming an excessive amount of any substance can have unintended effects on your body.

So, if you are thinking of keeping supplemented with BCAAs during pregnancy, consult a doctor to see if you actually need another source of essential amino acids, as many people already get enough. Its also important to keep in mind that the supplement market is largely unregulated, so make sure you get yours from a trustworthy source and only includes ingredients youre comfortable with both you and your baby consuming.

As always, check with your doctor before supplementing during pregnancy.

Bcaa And Stomach Problems

Users of BCAA supplements have reported experiencing stomach problems such as cramps and gas, but no evidence has been provided that links this to BCAA use.

It is often an increased intake of carbohydrates and other foods that cause flatulence that is usually responsible. If this has been eliminated as the culprit, you could be among the very few people who have problems digesting chain amino acids.

If you experience this, you should try making some dietary changes such as taking certain spices such as coriander and turmeric or probiotics such as yogurt. Another reason for stomach problems can be that you are lactose intolerant, and many protein powders have lactose in it.

Result: False

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Microscopy Immunohistochemistry And Quantification

Remnant left kidneys that had undergone partial nephrectomy were removed, sliced, and fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin , followed by dehydration through graded alcohols and embedding in paraffin wax. Consecutive sections were prepared, mounted on glass slides, and subjected to hematoxylin and eosin staining. Immunohistochemistry for the detection of alpha smooth muscle actin was carried out on the renal sections using an antibody against alpha-smooth muscle actin in a Dako Autostainer . All slides were scanned using a digital slide scanner and histomorphometrical analysis was performed on the digital slides using the Visiopharm Integrator System . -SMA-positive areas were quantified in each animal using at least 40 fields per kidney section, avoiding regions containing large -SMA-positive vessels. Results were expressed as average fraction of -SMA-positive areas normalized against the total renal parenchyma.

Does Bcaa Build Muscle

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The branched-chain amino acids are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are essential, meaning they cant be produced by your body and must be obtained from food. BCAA supplements have been shown to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness.

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Glomerular Filtration Rate Measurements

Rats were shaved the evening prior to measurement. On the day of the measurement, the rats were briefly anesthetized with 1.5% isoflurane and the transcutaneous GFR measurement camera was attached via a sticky patch and surgical tape to the rat. FITC-sinistrin at a concentration of 7 mg/100 g body weight was injected via the tail vein. The rat was allowed to wake up and placed alone in a cage for 2 h. Following this, the camera was removed from the rat, the rat returned to the home cage, and the measurement from the camera analyzed using MPD studio .

Can Bcaas Cause Kidney Damage

Word on the scene is that BCAAs can negatively affect the kidneys or cause kidney stones, due to the consumption of excessive protein, which pushes your kidneys and can cause kidney damage. This is because kidneys filter waste out of the bloodstream, including excessive protein, so, theoretically, the additional effort of filtering supplemented protein could overwork the kidneys.

However, the results of the Nurses Health Study dont provide any evidence for this theory. The Nurses Health Study concluded that a high protein diet which included additional BCAAs would not affect kidney function in normal, healthy individuals – however, if you have pre-existing abnormal kidney function, BCAAs/a high protein diet can negatively affect kidney function. So as long as you have no prior issue with your kidneys, you can supplement with BCAAs with no worries.

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Side Effects Of Amino Acids

Arginine can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and bloating, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Additional side effects of ingesting arginine supplements can be gout, inflammation of the airway and other allergic symptoms.

Arginine supplements can make the symptoms of asthma or allergies worse as well, so if you have either of these health conditions, use this supplement with caution. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding arginine for anyone who has had a heart attack. Anyone with cold sores or herpes should take it with caution as it can trigger the virus that causes these health conditions.

Your mood levels may be lower than normal with too much BCAA, which is noted in a small study of 59 healthy women ages 45 to 65 that was published in the January 2015 issue of theBritish Journal of Nutrition. Also, your sleep and wake cycles may be disrupted, according to a July 2015 review published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, proteins raise acidity levels in the body when they are digested, which generally leads to calcium being pulled from your bones . This may lead to weaker bones, which can lead to more serious long-term effects.


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