BCAAs: most of us have heard the term before or maybe seen our favorite YouTubers sipping on the stuff, but what really are BCCAs? And will they actually help your workout performance?
WHAT ARE BCAAs?
BCAAs: Branched Chain Amino Acids consist of three essential amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These are considered "essential" because your body cannot produce them on its own and must be consumed through diet. The primary function of a branched chain amino acids is to increase protein synthesis which is simply your body's ability to use protein for muscle repair & growth. Keep reading to find out our top reasons why BCAAs have become so popular in the health and fitness world.
WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
Studies show that best time to take BCAAs is intra-workout, or while you are working out. Exercising causes micro-tears in the muscle tissue. This is the reason why we experience fatigue during workouts as well as soreness afterward. By taking BCAAs during exercise they start the repair process right away, allowing you to go further before hitting fatigue and negating some post-workout soreness. BCCAs, however, can be taken at any time of the day for their hydrating effects.
MY TOP 4 BENEFITS
1) Muscle Recovery: Whether you workout on the regular or this is your first week in the gym, you know that killer leg day can really put a damper on the rest of your week. BCAAs play a key role in speeding up recovery time and eliminating soreness post workout.
2) Decreased Fatigue: BCCAs will slow down the muscle breakdown process, allowing you to go longer before hitting fatigue and calling a quits on your workout.
3) Increased Muscle Growth: Again, branched chain amino acids stimulate protein synthesis, or your body's ability to utilize protein from your diet to form new muscle.
4) Hydration: This is an extra I threw in because hydration is so so important for muscle growth. While amino acids do not specifically hydrate your body, your muscles require both protein and water to grow. Most BCCAs will include some sort of Hydration Complex.
WHICH ONES DO WE RECOMMEND?
As with all supplements we don't believe in one size fits all. It's important to find a BCAA that fits both your goals and your activity levels. If on top of the core benefits of BCAAs hydration is a struggle for you, look for BCAAs that include potassium, sodium, taurine, or even some brands include coconut water. If you are new to working out or always extremely sore you would benefit from a BCAA that also includes glutamine, EAAs, or protein. Lastly, performance is a key factor in your workouts, BCAAs that include beta alanine, green coffee, or creatine will be your go-to's.
Check out our selection here.