Don’t Bother Using BCAA’s

Supplement companies do a really good job of marketing their products to solve all your problems. A lot of men and women interested in burning fat and building muscle use some of these supplements. There are certainly good ones but there are also ones that are a complete waste of time. Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAA’s fall into the latter category. Before I explain why let me go over a few protein and muscle basics first. This is what muscle is made of;

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Protein and Muscle Tissue

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, which appear in different combinations and concentrations throughout the food chain. Nine of those 20 are classified as “essential” because your body can’t make them from other amino acids. You have to get them from a food source. Three of the nine essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are the BCAA’s.

Skeletal muscle tissue, like everything else in your body is constantly being remodeled. It’s being broken down and rebuilt all the time. To build muscle you need the building to outdo the breaking down. The BCAA’s are great for starting the muscle building process. However, the problem is the signal they send by themselves isn’t strong and doesn’t last a long time. In studies comparing BCAA’s to whey protein, which contains the three BCAA’s as well as all the other essential amino acids, whey had a 50% greater impact on muscle protein synthesis and lasted several hours longer.

If you’re choosing between a whey protein supplement or BCAA’s just go with whey. If you feel like using both would be more beneficial that just doesn’t work unfortunately. Overall protein intake will be a greater factor to spike muscle protein synthesis. A good figure to aim for is 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Even better if you can make that intake balanced throughout your meals and not all in one go at dinner.

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