Hype. The supplement industry is definitely a bunch of hype and promises of bigger arms and a huge bench. Supplement companies are consistently turning out new products and marketing them toward US – real dudes with real jobs. Let’s face it, 99.9% of us are never going to be the next Phil Heath nor are we training to be. We’re real guys and gals with families, jobs, hobbies and we all want to stay fit and healthy.
Enough of that. This post is going to touch on one supplement that lives up to the hype. This supplement is BCAA or Branched Chain Amino Acids. Amino acids are the essential building blocks of protein. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are the three amino acids that fall into the BCAA category. These special amino acids are metabolized in the muscle and not the liver which means they can be used for energy or for the creation of new proteins. BCAAs also make up about 34% of your skeletal muscle – so you can see they are definitely important!
The three BCAAs listed above are three of the 8 total essential amino acids. These amino acids are ones that your body can’t synthesize which means you must get them from food or supplements.
BCAAs can be found in:
- Red meat
- Whey Protein
Free-form BCAAs like the ones found in most BCAA supplements are very good for you because they pretty much digest instantaneously and enter your bloodstream just as fast.
When To Take BCAA Supplements
- Before you train
- During your training session
- After you train is important
You can supplement BCAAs during all of these times because BCAAs prevent muscle breakdown.
How Much BCAA supplement should I take?
Most experts recommend 10 grams pre- and post-workout.
BCAAs definitely live up to the hype. Regardless of your supplement stack, you still need to put in the work and eat clean to achieve amazing results, but BCAAs can help you get there – that’s for sure. Most whey proteins already contain some BCAAs, so if you are on a budget make sure to invest in a quality Whey protein. After that you can consider purchasing a straight-up BCAA supplement if your budget allows.