Are Branched Chain Amino Acids Effective?
Are Branched Chain Amino Acids Effective?
Are they worth the expense (cause they’re sure as hell not cheap)?
A question I’ve received a lot lately is about Branched Chain Amino Acids and whether they’re worth the cost. BCAA’s are nothing new. I took them about 10 years ago, but evidently they’re becoming more popular.
Some herald them as a “wonder supplement” everyone should be taking, while others poo-poo them as money wasted.
I’m somewhere in the middle, but lean more toward the positive than the negative.
Are Branched chain amino acids effective and beneficial?
Are they necessary?
Should you take BCAA’s?
How’s that for straddling the fence every which way under the sun!
Let me explain my wishy-washiness and shed some light on the picture.
The reason some say they are supplement’s best kept secret is that they can help prevent muscle loss in times of caloric deficit – like when you’re exercising and eating less with the goal to lose weight.
I believe Branched Chain Amino Acids can help tremendously if you’re actively trying to lose weight, especially the closer you get to your goal physique and trying to lose those final 5-10 pounds and have ramped the intensity up a bit.
That’s when I recommend them.
What I don’t believe is that everyone should be taking them. It’s not that Branched Chain Amino Acids aren’t effective, they’re just not worth it unless you have your nutrition and workout dialed in and know how to eat properly.
For instance, if you have just started to get your nutrition in order and are still trying to replace some bad habits with good ones and haven’t yet set your workout habits in stone, don’t purchase BCAA’s because they won’t do you much good.
Shoving your face with BCAA’s by the bottle when you’re still in the beginning stages of a weight loss plan, is like putting $5,000 rims on a $1,000 car (which I see all the time!)…it’s just plain silly.
Are Branched Chain Amino Acids are effective? Here’s where they are…
- If you’ve been actively trying to lose weight, and have seen some success and have hit a plateau, then maybe adding some BCAA’s can help.
- If you’re nearing your weight loss goal and want to keep dropping the fat, but are worried about maintaining your muscle mass, then adding BCAA’s could benefit you.
- If you’re very active and have trouble maintaining the muscle you have, then you also could benefit from adding BCAA’s.
But, like I said earlier, if you are just starting out and are figuring out how to remove the bad habits on a consistent basis, while also adding the healthy habits (smart nutrition) and sticking to a workout program, don’t do it. Get the rest of your house in order and then, and only then, think about adding them to your supplement cabinet.
If you’ve never heard of BCAA’s or are wondering whether or not you fit the bill about adding them to your supplement regimen, my buddies over at Prograde Nutrition, specifically Jayson Hunter, wrote a killer article explaining a little bit more about the science of them.
To give it a read, head to –> http://elswellness.getprograde.com/bcaa-weight-loss-research.html
Hopefully that article is eye-opening for you and you discover a little more about whether Branched Chain Amino Acids are worth the cost and whether you should be taking BCAA’s – I should, but I’m not…but I probably will be in the near future 🙂
And in the art of full disclosure (and per FTC rules), if you end up purchasing BCAA’s from Prograde, via that link above, I make a couple bucks because I’m an affiliate. But I’m only affiliates for people I know and trust and I trust those dudes over at Prograde…but the truckloads of cash and pills they send to my house helps a lot (kidding…I don’t make much and the big reason I recommend them is because I trust them).
Have an awesome day!
P.S. – Way back in the day when I was part of a supplement company (I was selling them), one of the few supplements I saw benefit from in people who were close to their goal was BCAA’s. I saw people try ephedrine, and all sorts of other stimulants, with little-to-no effect. I saw folks trying all sorts of new and fancy “performance” supplements and they didn’t work either. But the folks who had their nutrition in check, their workouts on point and added BCAA’s saw a tremendous benefit.
Hopefully I answered your question of “Are branched chain amino acids effective.” Like I said – I straddle the fence on the issue. I think they can be effective and worth the expense, but only in certain instances.