BCAAS Expectation vs Reality
Updated: Jan 20
A big topic of conversation within the fitness landscape is Pre-workout (PWO) vs. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS). Unlike PWOs, BCAAs do not stimulate the nervous system nor improve coordination/cognition.
BCAAS are essential amino acids that our bodies do not synthesize on our own. This includes valine, isoleucine, and leucine, and assists in building muscle, reducing soreness, repairing muscle fibers post training. Additionally, BCAAS lower our fatigue threshold and improve our aerobic performance.
While there are tremendous benefits, the perception/expectation is usually extreme muscle growth and high muscular hypertrophy. BCAAS are not a magic pill or a miracle powder. In fact, consuming protein of a high biological value after a workout would be JUST as effective in building muscle than taking BCAAS on a daily basis.
When it comes to exercise, bioindividuality is key. BCAAS may be extremely effective in fighting fatigue or a welcome supplement after train fasting. However, it may not be as effective for every trainer. If your budget is more limited, take a second before investing in this supplement. Ultimately, a major focus in general after a workout is replenishing muscle glycogen and restoring muscle tissue. This will come mainly from the food we consume which is fuel and energy for our bodies. After a major workout, both carbs AND amino acids will help strengthen the muscle tissue that's just been damaged.