Dear Dr. Bell, I have been working out for several months now, some guy at my gym said I should be taking BCAAs. What exactly are BCAAs? Do you recommend taking them? When and how much should I take if you recommend BCAAs are a good thing to incorporate in my daily routine?
The Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Most of the current research shows they are most beneficial in a 2-1-1 Ratio: two parts Leucine / one part each of Isoleucine and Valine.
It is widely believed that BCAAs can protect your muscle against muscle loss during dieting, helps with increasing the intensity and volume of exercise so you can train longer and harder. It is also believed that BCAAs can help you gain muscle size and definition.
To get the most from BCAA supplementation, I recommend sipping one serving as a sports drink during your training. Some athletes have reported good results from sipping it throughout the day on non-training days.
While there is no reason to Cycle Branch Chain Amino Acids, I pretty much Cycle everything since I never want my body to get used to anything.
Dr. Jim Bell
CEO of the IFPA