Branched-Chain Amino Acids - Side Effects and Cons
Now that we’ve gone over all the benefits that can be attained from supplementing with branched-chain amino acids we need to look at the other side of things.
You should always look for the possible side effects from using a certain supplement before you start to consume it yourself.
That being said, let’s look at the side effects of BCAAs.
Side Effects of BCAAs
Studies have shown that supplementing with branched-chain amino acids for up to 6 months is safe for most people. But not everyone’s the same, and more long-term research needs to be done before it can get the stamp of approval for long-term continuous usage.
So what kind of side effects can occur?
Well, for some people, BCAAs can cause them to feel fatigued or cause them to lose coordination. These are somewhat minor side effects, but it’s the reason why you’re sometimes cautioned not to use branched-chain amino acids before or during activities like driving, which requires coordination.
What are some of the more major side effects?
If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, then you should NOT supplement with BCAAs. They are believed to cause lung failure and higher death rates when given to ALS patients.
If you have Maple Syrup Urine Disease, or branched-chain ketoaciduria, then you also should NOT supplement with BCAAs. Increased amounts of BCAAs have been known to cause seizures and severe mental and physical retardation for those with this condition.
And, if you’re an alcoholic then you should also avoid supplementing with branched-chain amino acids, to help avoid liver disease and brain damage.
It is also recommended to not supplement with BCAAs within two weeks of surgery, because of how they affect blood sugar levels.
There are also some medications that branched-chain amino acids interact with in a bad way.
BCAAs Interactions with Medication
Branched-chain amino acids can actually decrease the amount of levodopa your body absorbs, so try to avoid taking these two together.
And, as I already mentioned, BCAAs can affect your blood sugar levels and this should concern you if you’re a diabetic. If you were to take branched-chain amino acids AND your diabetic medicine then you might end up with severely low blood sugar levels.
Here are some antidiabetes drugs that you should avoid taking with BCAAs:
- Glimepiride (Amaryl)
- Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase)
- Pioglitazone (Actos)
- Rosiglitazone (Avandia)
- Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
- Glipizide (Glucotrol)
- Tolbutamide (Orinase)
Heed these warnings when dealing with branched-chain amino acid supplementation! If you have none of the conditions or diseases listed above, or don’t take any of the medications listed above, then you should be able to supplement with BCAAs without any side effects.
I feel like you should know a good amount of information about branched-chain amino acids by now, and we can move onto talking about the proper dosages to supplement with.