Should I buy BCAAs? Do I need BCAAs?
A friend of mine takes BCAAs, do I need them as well?
I get these questions a lot and I feel it is time to explain once and for all if you need Branch Chain Amino Acid supplements.
One of my goals with JDFitness is to bust a lot of myths that are being promoted by bodybuilding magazines to get you to spend your hard-earned money on supplements that, more often than not, are a not what they say they are. That is why I offer a supplement guide with my online coaching to educate my clients on supplements and to explain that you do not need supplements to get in great shape. In this guide I explain which supplements are effective and which are a waste of money.
After reading this guide, my clients almost always ask me: ‘but what about BCAAs?’
What are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?
First of all, what are BCAAs? Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
BCAA supplementation, for people with low dietary protein intake, can promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. It can also be used to prevent fatigue in novice athletes.
In other words, Branch Chain Amino Acid supplements (BCAAs) are worthy to compensate for Essential Amino Acids deficiencies. If you are vegetarian/vegan or limit yourself to only a few sources of protein, then you might need them. Or:
• If you are on a low protein diet and/or struggle to eat a lot of protein;
• If you follow Intermittent Fasting, they can be useful. (provided you train fasted)
However, if you consume enough protein from different sources throughout the day, like myself, then it’s unlikely you are going to noticeably benefit from them due to different sources containing different Amino Acid profiles, so you will already be covering all profiles.
I’ve taken BCAA supplements before and did not notice a substantial difference. But I have to say some taste really nice and only contain a trace amount of calories. So, if you are training fasted or struggle to get your protein in, you could consider purchasing BCAAs.
If you do, I recommend purchasing this one here.
If you regularly eat varied protein sources throughout the day you will be covering all amino acid profiles and that is the main thing. So, as I often say, just buy food instead.