Branch Chained Amino Acids: Do We Need Them?

Branched Chain Amin acids also know as BCAA’s have been a popular supplement among bodybuilders or anyone training to gain size. Most would say its a necessity while others claim to be a waste of money. What are BCAA’s, and how do they work? Are they worth spending money on, or should you just stick to whole foods and protein powders?
Let’s take a look at how they work, and decide if BCAA’s are worth the price for the gains.

What Are BCAAs?

Branched chained amino acids consist of Valine, Iso-Leucine and Leucine. They are part of the essential amino acids meaning they need to be ingested from either food or supplement because the body cannot create them on its own. BCAA’s are the building blocks of protein and help stimulate protein synthesis which is basically how are muscles grow. Another benefit from supplementing BCAA’s are there anti-catabolic effect. Catabolic is a metabolic process where the body breaks down vs. anabolic which is the building up process. Anabolic is the preferred state for muscle building and recovery.

Benefits of BCAAs

What are you goals? If you are trying to lose weight, your probably on a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. Although, you don’t want to lose your muscle mass in the process of losing fat. Since the caloric deficit is creating a catabolic effect, BCAA’s can be supplemented to help slow down the break down of muscle. Which would help place you in a state of burning fat without sacrificing all the hard earned muscle you have attained. If your goal is to gain size, take in consideration of your daily calorie expenditure and how much protein you are taking in from whole foods and protein powders. Depending on those factors especially if you are a active person attempting to gain size, it would be in ones best interest to supplement BCAA’s pre workout to make sure they aren’t burning up muscle for the workout.

Also, just to highlight some of the other benefits of using BCAA’s. There are studies that support that supplementing BCAA’s can help aid in delayed muscle soreness and can even help gain strength if your goal is to increase overall strength. In conclusion, if you are someone who takes their training seriously, and trains four to six times a week; BCAA’s could be very critical in your path to gaining size, strength, recovery, and reducing body fat.


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