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.
The ones I recommend taste awful by themselves because they are JUST BCAA’s so I mix it with my pre-workout, Energize, and I can’t tell they’re even in there. You can see all my favorite things here!
So when asked Should you be using BCAAs , I would say if you’re following the MADE Diet – absolutely.