Should You Be Taking Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?

You might remember amino acids from science class back in the day. Well, hopefully you paid attention then, because if you’re trying to build lean muscle and burn fat, the branched chain amino acids benefits are BIG. There are many BCAA supplements on the market. They all boast different benefits. The rest of this article will talk about what BCAAs are, what they can do for you, and how much of them you should be consuming.

What is a Branched Chain Amino Acid?

WebMD defines a BCAA as an essential nutrient the body obtains from proteins. The three essential amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. They have many different uses including improved exercise performance and reduced protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise.

How can BCAAs Benefit You?

The branched chain amino acids benefits are significant, whether building muscle or losing fat quickly. In order to build muscle, your rate of protein synthesis must be greater than your rate of protein breakdown. As you get leaner, this can become more and more challenging due to your body wanting to breakdown muscle for energy. This problem can be compounded if you’re on a calorie restricted diet, as your body won’t be able to obtain the fuel it needs through nutrition. This can lead to mental and physical fatigue, which is certainly going to negatively affect your workout.

Enter BCAAs! Luckily, there is an easy to way to combat this problem. BCAAs are well known to stimulate protein synthesis. They’re also known to DECREASE protein breakdown. This makes BCAAs a great option whether you’re trying to cut or bulk. The increased rate of protein synthesis is ideal for building muscle, and the decreased rate of protein breakdown is great during a cut to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass.

While Whey Protein does contain the essential amino acids, opting for a BCAA supplement has been found to be more effective. The amino acids in Whey Protein are peptide bound, which requires more time for digestion. BCAA supplements contain free form aminos can be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

What’s the Ideal Dosage and Timing for BCAAs?

The timing is very important for BCAAs to reduce waste of optimize the effectiveness. Whether you’re bulking or cutting, taking 5-10g of BCCAs pre and post workout is a great way to keep your body in an anabolic state. If you usually take a protein shake pre and post workout, stick to one 5-10g serving during your workout and keep your shakes.

BCAAs are especially useful if you’re trying to lose fat. They’re basically a calorie-free way to prevent your body from breaking down muscle during a calorie restricted phase. In addition to your workout dosage, you can take another serving any time if you’re feeling hungry to make sure you keep all of that hard-earned muscle!

Take Advantage of the Branched Chain Amino Acids Benefits!

BCAAs are a great addition to your supplement stack whether you’re cutting or bulking. They keep your body feeling good and help to prevent muscle breakdown during a cutting phase or an intense workout. They’re classified as safe and basically no known harmful side effects. Be sure to do your own research before putting ANY supplement into your body!