BCAAs: What They Are and Why to Take Them

What are BCAAs?

Bicarbonate of Carbon (BCAAs) are naturally occurring compounds found in many foods such as meat, fish, milk, eggs and dairy products. These substances have been used since ancient times for their ability to increase blood flow to muscles during exercise or other physical activity. Today they play an important role in maintaining normal body functions including muscle contraction and relaxation.

Why Take BCAA’s?

The purpose of taking BCAAs is not only to enhance your workout but also to improve the function of your brain. Studies show that BCAA’s may protect against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, there are studies showing that they can improve athletic performance and strength.

How Much Do You Need To Take?

There is no hard and fast rule as far as how much you need to take per day. Some experts suggest taking anywhere from 0.5 grams to 1 gram of BCAAs daily. Others recommend taking no more than .1 grams per pound of body weight each day. If you’re trying to lose fat, then it would probably make sense to take less than you normally do if you want to see results quickly.

How To Take Them

Your body cannot process BCAAs the way it processes other forms of amino acids. For this reason, the best time to take them is directly before and after your workout since they’ll be readily available for muscle synthesis.

If you decide to take them throughout the day, then be sure to space out your dosages since you don’t want to overwhelm your body with BCAA’s.

Are They Safe?

Mostly. There haven’t been any major side effects reported but some people have experienced stomachaches, nausea and vomiting after taking them. There are no major safety concerns when taking BCAAs but it is possible to build a resistance to them if you take them for an extended period. If this happens, then you may want to decrease your dosage or stop taking them completely for a couple of weeks.

What Products Contain BCAAs?

There are a variety of sports, health and wellness products that contain BCAAs. Most of these will fall under the “post-workout recovery” product category. These usually come in the form of powders or pills and can be added to other drinks such as fruit juice or milk. There are also many foods that contain BCAAs such as animal organs, meats and egg whites.

The Verdict?

BCAAs are safe and effective for increasing muscle mass, improving mental focus and enhancing overall health. However, taking them doesn’t come without risks since your body may develop a tolerance to them if you take them for an extended period. If you do decide to take them, then it would probably be best taken in moderation.

Have you ever taken BCAAs before? Do you think they’re effective for improving muscle growth and overall health?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Sources & references used in this article:

Give and take: competition for BCAAs in the tumour microenvironment by RE Ericksen, W Han – Nature Metabolism, 2020 – nature.com

Best bcaa ratio by J Stoppani, JYM Army, JYM Gear… – … of muscle & strength …, 2014 – jimstoppani.com

BCAAs… Do I Need Them? by AT FITNESS – ariellecrumblefitness.com