Supplements 101 - BCAAs

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, you’ll eventually find yourself trying to maximize your results and optimize your gym time in some form or another, whether it be through training, dieting, or supplementation. Sometimes, you don’t have to look any further than the classics. BCAAs are one of the most proven, essential supplements you can take to optimize your results.


What are BCAAs?


BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, are made up of the 3 essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine found (among other amino acids) in protein rich foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and legumes. These three amino acids are considered “essential” because they cannot be produced by the body and are key components of muscle growth and repair (they make up over 33% of your muscle mass.) Traditionally, the only way to get these into your body is through consuming protein-rich foods, which your body breaks down into amino acids in the small intestine over time. One important thing to remember is your body wants those aminos as soon as you start training to repair damage as it happens. This is why taking BCAA supplements is so critical.

BCAA powders and capsules like RSP's BCAA 5000 allow you to get the amino acids your body needs when you actually need them, so you can start recovering before you’re even done working out. They basically allow you to skip a majority of the digestion process to fuel your muscles when they need it most.




Using BCAAs


The great thing about BCAAs is how versatile they are. Because of how BCAAs work in the body, you may use them before, during, and after a workout to help you achieve your goals.

To incorporate BCAAs into your routine, you can add 5-10 grams of BCAAs to your favorite preworkout beverage. You can add an unflavored BCAA powder directly in a flavored pre-workout or stack BCAA capsules with a cup of black coffee.

Follow up your workout with a healthy, whole food meal within 30-60 minutes of training. Real foods, such as lean chicken, fish and grass fed-beef are great protein options. Add in low glycemic carbs, such as sweet potato powder, leafy greens, such as kale, and nuts. If you’re stretched for time, try a protein shake with a balance of clean protein, whole food carbs as well as fruits and veggies. You may create your own shake using whole food ingredients and protein powder or use an all-in-one protein.

You can also take BCAAs on your off days if you’re looking to really lock in your recovery. Your body stores amino acids and uses them when needed for muscle and tissue repair, so if you train hard and often and you’re still feeling sore the next time you hit the gym, you might be depleted. Sipping on 10 grams of aminos all day means your supplying your muscles with a steady stream of fuel, so you don’t have to worry as much about not recovering on your downtime.


Takeaway


At the end of the day, the most important part of making sure you recover is with proper diet and supplementation. Proper nutrition before, during, and after training is often neglected, but it can go a long way. Aminos (like our BCAA 5000 powder and capsules) just might be that missing link you’re looking for to perform at your peak.