Let’s start by explaining what BCAAs are. Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are made up of three amino acids - valine, leucine and isoleucine. These amino acids specifically cannot be made by the body; you get them by either eating or supplementing them. BCAA’s are found in foods made up of protein like all meats, egg and fish. You can also buy BCAA’s as a supplement.
Although as mentioned you can get your BCAA’s through nutrition, we highly recommend using the supplement as well because they can be taken as you workout to increase use of fat as energy, reduce fatigue and lower the amount of muscle soreness you could experience.
How much do you need and when should you take it?
Studies have proven that a dosage even as low as 3 grams a day. For athletes you can take up to 9grams per 100lbs of body weight. If you are just starting out we recommend a scoop or two a day. The best times to take bcaa’s are during your workout, post workout or throughout the day if you need a stimulant free “pick me up”.
The Main Benefits
1. Increased protein synthesis
Just as the title says, BCAAs are best known for increasing protein synthesis in your body. What does that mean for you? Well, BCAAs are anabolic and the building blocks of protein, so that means they help you build muscle. And as you've heard us preach time and time again, protein and lean muscle mass is essential for those looking to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.
2. Fat burning potential
You read that right. How is that possible? Well first of all the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. Remember how we just said BCAAs help you build muscle? So there you go, when you take BCAAs you are building more muscle therefore, you will be burning more calories which when paired with a caloric deficit you will be burning more fat! It has also been proven that the amino acid leucine increases fat oxidation in your body, which again will help you lose fat when paired with a caloric deficit!
3. Keeps your performance high and fatigue low
Are you someone who gets tired easily in a workout or even randomly throughout the day? If so, BCAAs are definitely for you! How do BCAAs do that? First of all, they help keep you from getting tired because they stop your brain from taking up tryptophan. Tryptophan is what your body uses to make serotonin - which is what will make you feel tired. Secondly, your body can actually use BCAAs as energy when you are exercising.
So there you have it friends. The take away we hoped you would get from this article is that BCAAs are great for anyone to take whether you are an athlete or someone just trying to live a fit/healthy lifestyle. They will increase your performance and your potential.