I find that the most common talked about supplement, besides pre-workout or a multivitamin, are BCAA’s.
While BCAA’s can be a beneficial supplement to add into your routine.. I think there are a lot of misunderstandings about the importance & just general understanding of what they do.
What are BCAA’s?
BCAA’s stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids.
There are 20 different types of amino acids that make up the proteins inside of your body.
Of those 20, only 9 of them are essential (Aka, your body can’t make them) & only 3 of those are branched chain- Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine.
(“Branched-chain”= chemical structure of these amino acids)
BCAA’s are found primarily in protein rich foods such as eggs, dairy & meats.
What do they do?
Alright, so let’s think of the body as a construction site & lets say the goal of that construction site is to build muscle. To get any work done at the construction site you need both the foreman & the entire crew. The crew is the 20 amino acids & the foreman are the 3 BCAA’s. If you don’t have the crew work can’t get done, but if you don’t have the foreman then nobody knows what to do. Following me still? Good.
Do you really need to supplement with them?
Nope. (Regardless of whatever some IG influencer says)
If you are eating protein every couple of hours, you have plenty of amino acids flowing through your body to keep muscle building going. (Reference to the example above with the construction site) The only time that supplementing with BCAA’s is truly effective is if you haven’t eaten in a couple hours, have a vegetarian diet or are in a large enough caloric deficit & are trying to preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible.
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t supplement with BCAA’s because there are some perceived benefits such as; preserving lean muscle mass, keeping muscle protein synthesis going, prolonging the intensity of your workout & keeping you hydrated (because your drinking more water).
But, on the hierarchy of needs I’d say it’s much lower on the totem pole than people make it seem. Personally, I like to sip on BCAA’s during my workout because it’s something other than water to drink (lol) & typically I go more than a couple hours between my meals.
You guys know the only supplements I take are from 1st Phorm because of their high quality standards, so here are their BCAA’s if you’re interested in checking it out- https://1stphorm.com/a/products/amino-acids/bcaas/bcaa?a_aid=slynnmfitness.
My email is always open for questions & please consult with your doctor before adding any supplement into your routine.