What Are BCAAs & Why Take BCAAs?

If you have heard about BCAAs, chances are that you may not know exactly what they are or why you need them. As head trainer and nutritionist, I understand their importance, which is why I’ve compiled my complete guide to help you understand the benefits of BCAAs and decide do you need BCAA supplements?

What Are BCAAs?

First of all, “BCAA” stands for “branched-chain amino acids.” These amino acids make up 35% of your muscle mass.

BCAAs are “essential,” which means that they must be consumed through what you eat and drink, as opposed to “non-essential,” meaning that your body can manufacture them for you with proper nutrition.

Do I Need BCAAs?

Everyone needs BCCAs in some quantity. Your body needs BCAAs to sustain you, but you don’t necessarily have to get them from a supplement, especially if you don’t work out. For many people who aren’t trying to build or sustain muscle, diet alone gives them all the BCAAs they need.

What Do BCAAs Do and What’s The Difference Between Protein, Amino Acids & BCAAs?

Protein is a macronutrient that your body uses to build muscle mass and other body tissues. Protein is essential to all living organisms—human and non-human.

Amino Acids are the organic compounds that make up proteins. So you must have amino acids to have protein.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids are an essential class of amino acids. They specialize in helping your body produce insulin, which helps your body turn sugars into energy. BCAAs also carry nitrogen throughout your body, which helps you form the complex muscle tissues you need to survive, and that you want to make your body look great.

So BCAAs are a type of amino acid, and amino acids are what make up proteins, and proteins are what make up your muscle tissues! We all know that we need plenty of protein to build and sustain muscle, but we need BCAAs for that, too.


What Are Some BCAA Benefits? Do I Need BCAA Supplements If I Take Protein?

Good question. If BCAAs are amino acids and amino acids make up proteins, aren’t you getting the benefits of BCAAs with your protein supplements? 

If you take a protein supplement, it probably does contain BCAAs, and it might even contain all the BCAAs that your body needs. But considering how beneficial BCAAs are, many athletes, fitness buffs, and regular folks chasing their ideal bodies choose to add a BCAA supplement to make sure they’ve covered all of their bases.

When you’re working out at high intensity, you’re rapidly depleting your body’s stores of nutrients like glycogen and glucose. The release of BCAAs into your body triggers your body to continue synthesizing protein instead of ceasing protein synthesis due to the stress of exercise. And protein synthesis is exactly what you want when you’re trying to build and maintain lean muscle.

Ultimately, IdealLean BCAAs supplements help muscle recovery and help you to rebuild muscle tissue broken down during exercise. In addition, IdealLean BCAAs help you maintain lean muscle mass even while dieting, which is critical for maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. With IdealLean BCAAs, you can reach your ideal body even faster! 

Do BCAA Supplements Have Calories? 

While there are established daily guidelines for protein consumption, there are not established daily values for nutrients like amino acids, and certainly not for the sub-group called BCAAs. Many strength training programs and websites give their own recommendations for daily BCAA intake, but these may or may not be right for you, especially if you’re a woman!

Our trainers and nutritionists here at IdealFit recommend taking a serving of IdealLean BCAAs every day.

As for calories, BCAAs alone do not have caloric value. Many BCAA supplements include sugars and other components that give them caloric value, but other BCAAs like IdealLean BCAAs are zero calorie.

When To Take BCAAs

Our trainers and nutritionists recommend that you take BCAAs during your workouts, throughout the day on non-training days, and between meals.

In short, you can be pretty flexible about when you take BCAAs, as long as you’re not forcing them to compete with other nutrients in your digestive system to get absorbed. If you take BCAAs right after your protein shake or with your dinner, you’ll absorb less of them than if you take them between meals or during your workout (when your stomach is probably pretty empty). If you don’t exercise on an empty stomach or if you snack a lot throughout the day, first thing in the morning might be the best time to take your BCAAs.


Why Do Women Need BCAA Supplements?

The goal for many women who work out is to build toned muscles, burn fat, and build strength. While pre-workout BCAA supplements alone won’t magically transform your physique into an athletic, eye-catching bikini body, when combined with exercise and a diet properly balanced in macronutrients, these branched-chain amino acids can definitely have an impact on your training and recovery, which is the next best thing. 

Considering all BCAA benefits, you can see how they can be so advantageous when coupled with regular exercise. BCAAs give you an edge on your training and recovery, placing you on the fast track to attaining your fitness goals. That said, getting sufficient BCAA amounts throughout the day may be a little difficult! But, here’s some great news: You no longer need to eat massive amounts of calories in order to get BCAAs. IdealLean BCAAs for women was created to harness all of the benefits of BCAAs in a convenient, calorie-free powder form, making it the best BCAA supplement for you. 

But, IdealLean BCAAs doesn’t stop there; it takes everything one step further by providing additional fat-loss compounds and workout-enhancing ingredients, allowing women to enhance their recovery and results.


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