Do You Really Need BCAA's To Up Your Training Game?

Let's talk branched-chain amino acids.

Image: iStock

Whether you’re a daily gym junkie, a part-time iron-pumper or an occasional (at best) workout warrior, you would’ve most likely have heard of BCAA’s.

Branched-chain amino acids are widely regarded as a workout essential because they make muscles grow bigger and faster. Yep, that’s right.

We could spend hours talking you through the nitty gritty science behind these adventurous amino acids (commonly known as our pals leucine, isoleucine, and valine) but we’ll save that for another time, shall we?

Let’s just start at the beginning: BCAA’s work together to help repair damaged muscle proteins, which helps build and grow high quality muscle tissue, especially following exercise. Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to decide whether or not to branch out to chain BCAA’s to your own workout routine (sorry, we’ll stop).

They can speed up recovery

How often have you given yourself a free pass from going to the gym because the simple act of moving is enough to reduce you — a fierce and feisty female who don’t need no supplement — to tears? No more! BCAA’s actively work to prevent and combat muscle soreness and reduce recovery time, enabling you to get back in to the gym quickly and vigorously.

They help build lean muscle

Leucine is the amino acid proven to aid in muscle development. Obviously, as your muscles get broken down during both cardio and weight-based gym sessions, they need building back up. BCAA’s assist in this process by directing important nutrients to your muscles – ensuring you get the most out of your time in the gym.

You can get BCAA’s in non-supplement form

BCAA’s are considered “essential” supplements, which means the body can’t make its own. We actually get BCAA’s as it is through consuming protein-rich foods such as meat, milk, yogurt, legumes and nuts. So if you’re sceptic of supplements, you can up your intake of BCAA’s through other protein sources. The benefit of a BCAA supplement of course, is that you get all the benefits, without having to consume excess calories.

We all go to the gym for different reasons, but it normally revolves around looking and feeling great. These friendly amino acids of the branched-chain variety will assist in ticking both of those boxes; improving recovery time to reduce post-exercise pain as well as supporting lean muscle growth.

Winner winner, branched-chain-amino-acid dinner. Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?

Confused about how much protein you should be consuming in order to thrive in the gym? We Asked The Experts: How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

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