What Are BCAAs?

October 23, 2018

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Find Out What BCAAs Are and If They Are Necessary For Proper Recovery

BCAAs are a supplement that seems to be popping up all over the fitness industry, especially among people who are trying to gain muscle and weight. BCAAs stand for branched chain amino acids, and the branched chain refer to the structure of the amino acids. The three branched chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Out of these three, the most essential is leucine because it has been known to stimulate protein synthesis (muscle growth) on its own.

Benefits of BCAAs include:

  • Increase in muscle growth due to protein synthesis
  • Decrease muscle soreness due to reduced muscle damage during exercise
  • Reduce fatigue, because the body can use BCAAs as an energy source once glycogen stores have been depleted
  • Prevent muscle wasting

If being taken in the form of a supplement, it is typically recommended to drink BCAAs during a workout or immediately after. However, there is not a need for a BCAA supplement as all these amino acids can be received through food sources. These food sources include: red meat, dairy, chicken, fish, eggs, and whey protein. The more protein you obtain from your diet, the more BCAAs you will be receiving.

If you are eating enough protein through dietary sources, it is likely that you are obtaining a sufficient amount of BCAAs. However, if you are consistently feeling sore after a workout, or not seeing progress, try adding more BCAAs (and protein!) to your diet.

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