BCAAs – the last supplement I would do without and probably the one most researched.
The term BCAAs stands for ‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’ and specifically refers to ‘leucine’, ‘isoleucine’ and ‘valine’.
Simply put, amino acids are broken down proteins. There are 20 types of amino acids, all of which together act to build muscle, red blood cells (which carry oxygen) and sustain life in general.
Of these 20, 10 are referred to as essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot produce them on its own and have to be obtained from diet or supplementation. The said BCAAs make up 3 of these 10 essential amino acids. On the other hand, whey protein powder usually consists of all the 20 amino acids in different ratios.
BCAAs are the 3 amino acids that the body highly taps on during intense exercise.
The main benefits of BCAAs are the following:
– BCAAs stimulate the rate of protein synthesis (muscle regeneration and growth) and reduce the rate of catabolism (muscle breakdown). This is particularly important when having low body fat levels because in this scenario one carries a higher risk of catabolism, as the body tries to burn muscle for energy while trying to hold on badly to its low body fat stores.
– BCAAs (especially leucine) are also known to suppress the hunger hormone leptin, in turn making you feel fuller for longer, thus making your life easier when on a restricted calorie diet!
Finally, the reason why many athletes opt to further supplement with BCAAs in addition to whey protein powder is specifically because these 3 essential amino acids are the most influential on muscle mass.
Personal dosage and timing:
– 5g or 5000mg (with at least 2.5g or 2500mg of leucine) during training while on a clean bulk with an additional 5g (in the same ratio) post workout while on a fat loss cycle.
To fitness with love,