No, I’m not talking about bra sizes here… LOL! Actually, a very common question I get is should you be using BCAAs – and what are they??? In fact this is one of the most common questions I hear!
Well as always, please allow me to first explain what they are, what they’re used for, if they’re effective and if you should be taking them yourself, before answering the question “Should you be using BCAAs”
BCAA’s stand for Branched Chain Amino Acid’s and they refer to three amino acids called: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
If you’re .000001% of the population that doesn’t eat enough protein, BCAA supplementation would be a very important part of your diet to help promote muscle growth. It also can be used to help prevent fatigue during your workouts. This is definitely how it is marketed to fitness peeps.
Leucine, in particular, plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth), while isoleucine helps get glucose into your cells (use sugar for fuel). Finding the purpose of valine was a bit more difficult. It seems to be the least important of the 3 but I believe having all 3 amino acids makes them work better, together. Kind of like the 3 Stooges or 3 Amigos!
BCAA’s are important to have everyday, but you can get them from many protein sources (such as meat and eggs).
However, if you’re following The MADE Diet, I do suggest you supplement with some good quality BCAA’s before and/or during your workout. Remember, the “M” in MADE stands for moderate protein. We really overdue it and that’s hard on the organs.
Caution here though. Many supplemental companies add lots of unnecessary artificial sweeteners and colorings which negates the good BCAA’s do.
And yes, I know you have one more question for me, “Do BCAA’s break your fast?” The answer is no as long as there are zero or very few calories per serving. BCAA’s don’t have calories in and of themselves so they’re coming from somewhere else. Check what the source is.
So when asked Should you be using BCAAs , I would say if you’re following the MADE Diet – absolutely.
My name is Melissa McAllister. I just turned 44! I have a son and daughter and my husband and I are new empty nesters! My husband is the reason I eat, drink, and sleep health and fitness. He has 2 speeds, GO and GO Faster. We have been together for over 28 years and married for 23 (yes, he had me at “hello!”). Don’t get me wrong though…I was a Doritos and Coca Cola eating Hoover when I was in school! Fitness has been an essential part of my life for over 19 years. I have the 3 best jobs in the world—being a stay-at-home Mom, business owner, and group exercise instructor for several large fitness chains. I have been teaching everything from yoga to kickboxing for over 17 years. I have also had the great opportunity to train, inspire, and motivate other instructors for the past 11 years. You might even see me in a few fitness videos out there! 😉 Reaching out to others who are struggling to be healthy and happy is my passion. I couldn’t tell you next Fall’s latest fashion must have or what flowers to plant this season, but I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. With your determination and my motivation, we can find and keep the best YOU! I will inspire by holding myself and those around me accountable!