Beginner supplement series Part II– BCAA
Balivada Sravan Kumar
After whey protein, the most recommended supplement by gym bros to retain muscles or build muscles is BCAA, the colorful and flavored water that you see in the gym. What are BCAAs? BCAA is Branched Chain Amino Acids, the three amino acids that help in muscle growth. The three amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Leucine plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis, Isoleucine leads to glucose uptake and Valine doesn’t seem to have any benefit so far. Is BCAA useful? When the protein intake is appropriate and when it comes from the complete protein sources than investing in BCAA is nothing but a waste of money. We get the required amino which BCAA provides from meat, eggs, and other dietary protein sources. BCAA availability: BCAA are highly available in the market in powder form with added flavors and also non-flavored. They are also available in capsule form. The powder form is always recommended when you want to consume it. Dosages and when it is useful: When you are not able to meet the required protein through dietary foods and other supplements like whey. Then you can add BCAA to your stack. The standard dosage of Isoleucine is 48-72mg/kg of body weight (differs for an obese person), leucine is 2-10g and valine is unknown. The combined dosage should be 20g with balanced ratios(2:1:1). Bottom line: BCAA is not required if your protein intake is appropriate and there is no additional advantage of adding them to your stack.