BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acid) – Benefits, Dosage & Possible Side Effects – Best BCAA Supplements to Use

As anyone who is involved in the bodybuilding industry will tell you, phenomenon’s come and go.

bodybuilding and bcaa


Something that is certainly on its way back in at the moment is BCAAs and if you are looking to protect your muscles whilst dieting, branched-chain amino acids could be right up your street.


What are BCAAs and how do they work?

bcaa mollecule

One word which is on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment is dieting. Unfortunately, while slimming down is something that everyone wants to achieve, dieting can have some unwanted muscle-related side effects.

As our dieting progresses, our body will start to shed muscle mass instead of fat. Ultimately, that hard body has soon been quashed.


This is where BCAAs step in. They are able to increase your rate of protein synthesis and as anyone who is involved in the bodybuilding industry will tell you, this is an essential process of building muscle.

bcaa working mechanism

As well as this, they will reduce the rate that protein is broken down. Ultimately, you are able to break protein down at a much slower rate, whilst build muscle at an even quicker pace.

For those of you who like to deal with equations, let’s look at BCAAs from a slightly different perspective. The muscle mass equation can be broken down into the rate of protein synthesis minus the rate that we break down protein.

As BCAAs are able to increase the former, but reduce the latter, immediately we are left with more muscle mass.


Why should you use BCAAs?

man working out

As we have just highlighted, BCAAs are absolutely ideal for anyone who wants to retain muscle mass whilst embarking on a diet.

By using them you are able to make your body turn to burning fat rather than muscle, and create that shredded appearance that every man desires.

While protein synthesis is one of the primary reasons why athletes are turning to BCAAs, this isn’t necessarily the only reason.

It’s also been found that a lot of these supplements are able to make you train harder. This is for the simple reason that they are able to convert tryptophan into serotonin, which is then able to disguise fatigue levels to our brain.

In the end, you are just able to work harder through gym sessions and reap the results because of this.


How should they be used?

man using the best bcaa supplements

Most advice suggests that you should take one dose half an hour before your workout, while another thirty minutes afterwards.

As well as this, try and take a dose as soon as you wake up to stop muscle-breakdown in its tracks following your sleep. Finally, most people will take BCAAs with their last meal to prevent hunger occurring late in the day. As some athletes get more used to BCAAs, they will also start to take them in-between meals.

However, for the beginner at least, four doses a day is sufficient.


In terms of the size of this dose, you should start with just 1-2g per dose to get your body used to them.

Then, as things progress, steadily increase this amount to 5-10g to give your body the maximum impact from the supplement.

If we turn to methods of consumption, BCAAs arrive in both powder form as well as capsules. Neither is regarded as being more beneficial than the other and is entirely down to personal preference.

It’s also worth mentioning that BCAAs that arrive in supplement form (regardless of being powder or tablet-based) don’t require any digestion and are therefore absorbed into the bloodstream almost immediately.

This means that the effects occur so much more quickly and will make muscle-building easier than ever before.

Note that Bcaa does not enhance the athletic performance, it only improves the muscle recovery, and can also affect the immune system.


What are the best BCAA supplements?


Following on from the above, it hardly comes as a surprise to hear that BCAAs are absolutely huge at the moment and anyone who is serious about fine-tuning their beach body is right on top of them.

It means that more and more supplements are entering the market although at the present time, it’s Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com and BCAA 1500 which are grabbing the headlines and are the current leaders.

Here, we break down the two products in further detail.


Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com:

catalyst recovery

  • Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com is regarded as one of the most modern BCAA supplements around. It has been based on extensive science, with the manufacturers including ingredients that aren’t just in there for their muscle-building potential alone; they are able to speed up the whole process as well.
  • An example of the above is the Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology, which ensures that all of the powerful ingredients are delivered as efficiently as possible.
  • Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com takes advantage of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine to boost your protein synthesis and allow you to not only retain your muscle during dieting, but also build on it.
  • The product also contains CLA and Agmatine Sulfate, both of which can just enhance the lean muscle-building effects that you are looking to achieve.
  • As well as the results, Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com arrives in umpteen flavors. Think fruit punch, blue raspberry, watermelon ice and passion fruit – four flavors that will get your tongue itching for more. Gone are the days of having to gulp down a supplement as your taste buds bid to avoid it.
  • Catalyst Recovery By Strength.com is priced at $36.94, with this providing you with thirty servings. Additionally, the manufacturers have thrown in free shipping for good measure.
  • The Amazing Body Store are one of the best retailers of supplements in the world. The fact that you have a mammoth 100-day guarantee after purchasing the product means that you can buy with complete and utter trust.

Learn more & Buy Catalyst Recovery from The Strength.com Store


BCAA 1500 By MyProtein

bcaa 1500

  • BCAA 1500 is a similar product, but arguably a more budget solution. This time, it’s priced at approximately $29.99, while it is only available as an unflavored substance.
  • Nevertheless, don’t let the flavor put you off. After all, for less financial outlay you are receiving 120 tablets. It’s the definition of value-for-money for those of you who are happy to consume a supplement in tablet form.
  • While no bulk savings are available for this particular product, My Protein do offer free delivery to anybody who meets the minimum spend limit. Considering the popularity of BCAA 1500 and the amount of repeat custom, this might be something worth considering.
  • Despite its low price, the product still relies heavily on science. The manufacturers have taken three essential amino acids that make up 35% of the body’s muscle protein, meaning that you are boosting your body’s muscle-building potential no-end.
  • Again, it might be marked up for a low price, but don’t let this detract from its quality. BCAA 1500 doesn’t contain any artificial colors, preservatives, yeast or lactose – it’s absolutely perfect for your body.
  • This is a product which has been able to forge a superb reputation amongst past customers over the years. Size gains are almost noticed immediately, while a lot of past users are surprised at just how your recovery times benefit by using BCAA 1500 as well.
  • Let’s also give a mention to the brand behind the product. My Protein are absolutely huge, a global company, and anything they do produce just flies off the shelves. This product is no different.

Learn more & Buy BCAA 1500 From MyProtein Store


About George Allen

George Allen – Author – An AFPA Certified holistic and preventative nutrition professional. George is a well known exercise physiology and sports nutrition expert, the co-founder of MensAnswer.com.
Syracuse University graduate: bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics (B.S.) and a master’s degree in nutrition science with a concentration in counseling (M.A.)
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