Branched Chain Amino Acids are a kind of ‘essential’ Amino Acid.
They are essential because our body does not make them by itself so we have to get them from our food and their molecular structure is also different to other kinds of Amino Acids, hence their name.
The reason why Branched Chain Amino Acids are a good supplement for Bodybuilders to use is because they help to increase the synthesis of Protein, which means they will help your muscles to get bigger quicker.
Increasing your BCAA consumption can also improve your recovery time as well as all round endurance.
They are what your muscles are made of!
Of all the Branched Chain Amino Acids, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine are likely the most important for Bodybuilders and 33% of muscle protein is made of them.
In fact, some scientists think that regular exercise can increase a persons need for Leucine by 240%.
If you take BCAA’s before as well as after exercise you can not only increase nitrogen retention but also help to defend your muscles from the stress caused to them by heavy gym sessions.
Another way that Branched Chain Amino Acids are of interest to bodybuilders is because they can help to decrease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which is what you usually experience after intense weight training.
Popular brands of BCAA’s
A popular brand of Bodybuilding supplements here in the UK is ‘Reflex’ and they sell them in 500 capsule varieties as well as 200 capsule varieties.
They come in a 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine/L-IsoLeucine/L-Valine and this is the one I would probably go for since I am in the UK.
Another good brand to go for would be Gaspari since nearly all of their products have a good reputation all over the world.
The Gaspari brand BCAA’s also contain highly bio-available forms of vitamin B-6 as well as B-12 which will also increase your energy levels, this can only be a good thing for people who live the bodybuilding lifestyle.
To be honest, the most important supplement that you should get is a good quality protein shake and you should be getting enough BCAA’s anyway if you drink these regularly.
But if you do not make use of protein shakes then these kinds of BCAA supplements could be a good option if you want to give your body more of what it needs to grow and recover.
Or, if you already do use protein shakes and want to increase the BCAA content even further then you could also make good use of this supplement.