What are BCAAs?

BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. They are three essential amino acids with a branched structure: valine, leucine and isoleucine. A body needs these essential amino acids in order to function well. Without them, it will not be able to produce proteins.

Unfortunately, our bodies do not produce these amino acids by themselves. The same goes for pigeons. These three BCAAs should therefore be administered through food or dietary supplements.

What are the benefits of BCAAs?

1. Anabolic effect: increase in muscle volume

2. Additional source of energy

3. Less quickly tired

4. Less waste products

 

1. Anabolic effect: increase in muscle volume

BCAAs build up to 35% of the muscle mass; therefore, they are vital for maintaining and building muscle mass. They have a naturally anabolic effect. On the one hand they ensure that more muscle proteins are produced, stimulating the muscle building and on the other hand, they counteract muscle breakdown. Together, they lead to more muscle mass, logically resulting in better race performances.

 

2. Additional source of energy

During the races, the pigeon body needs nutrients as energy source. The muscle cells use carbohydrates, fats and proteins for that. If the body does not get enough food, it will draw on another energy source and it will start to burn muscle proteins. The more BCAAs in the muscles, the more they can be used as energy source. This also reduces the chance that the body's muscle proteins need to be used. This way, there will be less muscle breakdown and muscle loss during and directly after the race.

By administering additional BCAAs you optimise the muscle mass quantity, the muscle strength and consequently the performances of your racing pigeons.

 

3. Less quickly tired

Fatigue during the race is connected to the generation of waste products and any cramping that goes with it. The brain, however, also controls fatigue. Just like the human brain, the pigeon brain releases substances (serotonine) which gives the pigeon a signal of tiredness. The BCAAs ensure that these substances are released less quickly. This way the pigeons are less tired and can continue flying without resting.

 

4. Less waste products

As mentioned above, waste products that cause muscle damage (e.g. free radicals) are released during the race. Limited muscle damage strengthens the muscles after training- this is the so-called supercompensation effect, but if the muscles are damaged too much, this will lead to a bad and slow recovery. Muscles will only suffer minor damage if BCAAs are administered before the race. Administering the product directly after the flight will improve the recovery time after physical exertion. Moreover, BCAAs also ensure that less lactic acid is produced in the muscles, so cramping can be delayed. This allows the pigeons to fly longer at a constant speed, and consequently perform better.

 

CONCLUSION:

We can therefore say that BCAAs:

  • Ensure that more muscle proteins are produced which leads to more muscle volume (more protein production and less muscle protein breakdown)
  • Increase stamina and resistance against exhaustion (no pain and higher fatigue limit)
  • Reduce muscle damage (less free radicals)
  • Improve race performance (less lactic acids production)
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