What Are BCAA’s And Do You Need Them?

Optimum Nutrition BCAA

For the most part, the most important supplements you should be taking are a Quality Whey Protein, and a simple creatine monohydrate as long as you have a balanced diet. But you may have also heard about BCAA’s aka Branch Chain Amino Acids. Some people say you must take them while others say you can go without. Naturally, you want to get and preserve as many gains as you can. Sure there is some truth to both sides of this argument. So should you use BCAA’s? The GYMCADDY Team will tell you!

First off, what do BCAA’s do?! Branch Chain Amino Acids are made up of a few components, Isoleucine which helps with energy uptake and prevent protein break down. The main component in BCAA’s is Leucine, which helps preserve lean mass, increases insulin levels, and increases mTOR which promotes muscle growth. And then theres Valine, which doesn't do much but supports both Isoleucine and Leucine. If BCAA’s do what they claim to do well its no a brainer to invest in right? Well funny enough, studies have shown that taking Leucine by it self actually yields better results. 


Although BCAA’s are pretty important, you don't really need to take a supplement to get your daily recommend dosage of 5 to 20 grams. You're actually getting plenty of BCAA’s from your food. Foods with BCAA’s in them include chicken, steak, eggs, peanuts, and even your protein shake. Over all, if you’re getting enough protein in your diet you should be getting enough BCAA’s. 

So do you really need to take a BCAA supplement if you’re already getting it from your food? It depends. If you’re in a caloric surplus, or eating your maintenance you don't need to spend money on BCAA’s. Even if you’re in a SLIGHT caloric deficit you still don't need to take BCAA’s. You really only need to take BCAA’s if you’re in an extreme caloric deficit and not getting enough protein in your diet. You might also have take a BCAA supplement if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. But in general you don't REALLY need to take BCAA supplement. 

Instead we urge you to just stick to the basics. A quality whey protein and creatine monohydrate is all you need. Getting in shape can get expensive at times, and theres no need to spend money if you don't really need to. check out some of our other fitness advice articles. We’ve got one on Creatine and we’ve got another on Whey Protein. And when you’re done reading those get out there and make some gains.  

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