BCAAs: What Are They and How Can They Help You?


BCAAs: What Are They and How Can They Help You?

Guest post by Chelsea Sherouse, Fuel Zone Director at Zone Health and Fitness.

Picture this: You just finished your workout and you gave it your all. You’re regretting tomorrow because the last time you worked out this hard you were sore for days. What if I told you that you didn’t have to be that sore?

How can this be possible you ask? BCAAs. BCAAs can be the difference between feeling a good burn and not being able to sit for a week. But they can do more than just that; BCAAs are something that few people know exist in their bodies, let alone know what they do for you.

What are BCAAs?

BCAA is an acronym for Branched-Chained Amino Acids. BCAAs are essential nutrients that are found in foods such as meat, dairy products, nuts, fish, and legumes. The “Branched-Chained” refers to the structure of the particular amino acid. The amino acids in this group include leucine, isoleucine and valine.

  • Leucine is a dietary amino acid that directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
  • Isoleucine is an amino acid best known for increasing endurance. It also helps heal and repair muscle tissue and clotting at the site of injury.
  • Valine supplies muscles with extra glucose for energy during intense physical activity, helps remove toxins from liver and transports nitrogen throughout the body.

Why is it important to replenish BCAAs during or after your workout?

BCAAs act directly with muscle cells to promote muscle growth, otherwise known as protein synthesis. BCAAs prevent muscle breakdown during hard workouts by providing fuel to the muscles during exercise.

How much BCAAs should we ingest and when?

For regular use, 5-10 grams in your pre-workout or post-workout shake will be sufficient. It will help speed up recovery time which means less down time and reaching your fitness goals quicker. BCAAs can also be used as a muscle gaining tool. If “gains” are your goal, we recommend you take a 5-10 gram dose first thing upon waking up in the morning to delay the onset of muscle degeneration from fasting while asleep.

BCAAs are extremely important for bodily function and fitness goals. However, we do not usually get enough in our normal diets. This can be remedied though with a flavorless BCAA powder that can be put into anything. 

Where can you find BCAAs?

You can find flavorless BCAAs at the Fuel Zone, which is open to members and nonmembers. These flavorless BCAAs can be added to all of our smoothies and shakes!

You can find flavored BCAAs like the Strawberry Kiwi flavor pictured above at most health stores. The Xtend BCAAs pictured were purchased at the Vitamin Shoppe located at 2701 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474. They carry a variety of flavors and brands, which can be added to water. If you’re trying to cut out sugary drinks, BCAAs are a great replacement because they can be consumed throughout your day!