What are BCAA’s?

BCAA are the building blocks for the body and stands for branch chain amino acids, BCAA are made up of the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These aminos are the most important aminos in regards to the manufacture and maintenance of muscle tissue. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies, they are part of the enzyme & hormonal system.


Why use BCAA’s?

During intense weight training the body is normally in a highly catabolic condition and the stress hormone cortisol is released into the body. At this time glycogen stores are being rapidly depleted and the liver in turn must synthesize glucose. Supplementing with BCAA’s during exercise can halt the catabolic hormone cortisol, therefore slowing any muscle loss and catabolic effects. This in turn allows protein synthesis to continue leading to greater results.

BCAA’s are also useful on low calorie, and calorie deficient diets. They help with the muscle maintenance by fuelling the muscle cell with the amino’s it is not always receiving from food as calories are reduced.

Reduced muscle soreness (DOMS) is also apparent when taking BCAA’s. Also muscle growth will be helped, BCAA’s make up around a third of the amino within the muscle so supplementing with them will only help the cause.


When to use?

With BCAA's 4-8 grams before a workout and 4-8 grams after is optimal. Lesser amounts are effective but if increased performance and recovery are needed a higher dosage is more effective. Taking BCAA's immediately before or during a strenuous workout or cardio session will increase performance. Taking them after with a post work out meal or recovery drink will help speed the replacement of BCAA's in the muscles, speeding muscle recovery and preventing overtraining.

Taking BCAA’s intra workout (During Training) is again advised 4-8g to stop any muscle catabolism. Before Fasted cardio is another good time to again help against any catabolism that can accrue during fasted cardio.


What I currently use

At the moment during an off season period i am currently using 5g BCAA’s pre workout and 5g post workout. I am not supplementing with BCAA intra workout because I’m having a shake with carbs and protein in during training so the catabolic affects aren’t as strong if I wasn’t taking anything intra workout.


Performance Foods Customer Adviser

Niall Dexter



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