Branch Chain Amino Acids – Do I Need Them?

Written by Nia Furtado

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November 11, 2021

Let’s talk supplements and which ones we need! Or rather, which ones should you bother taking?

More specifically, let’s talk branched-chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAAs. We see folks walking around the gym lugging their gallon jugs filled with pink tinted water and hey, wait a minute, that person looks pretty darn good and if they’re drinking the kool aid, should I be too?

What are BCAAs anyway?

Our bodies require a wide range of essential and non-essential amino acids to operate at full steam ahead! Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce some (9, to be exact) of those AAs on their own and must look to our diets for them instead.

To maximize muscle growth/repair or endurance adaptations, we do in fact need all 9 of these AAs – 3/9 of which are the branched-chain aminos (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). While BCAAs play an important role in building muscle and your recovery, you need the full profile for the best results.

Should I be Taking BCAAs?

Bro science may try to convince you that BCAAs are an absolute MUST, this just couldn’t stray further from the truth. The reality is that you don’t need to supplement with BCAAs if you’re eating a well balanced and nutritious diet. If you’re hitting a protein goal of +/- .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, then you’re extremely likely to be getting all of them already from diet alone.

So, if you’re currently somebody who is stressing out over whether or not you should be taking BCAAs, stress no more, and simply start by addressing your nutrition. In the long run, it’ll save you your dollars too!

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