What are they?
BCAA's or Branched Chain Amino Acids is the collective name given to the essential amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine.
Peptide BCAA's can be found in almost every food that contains protein, while free form BCAA's are commonly found in intra-workout / amino acid supplements.
What do they do?
BCAA's help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue (catabolism) and reduce muscle soreness thus aiding in muscle repair and recovery.
BCCA's also assist with endurance, allowing you to train harder for longer thus increasing performance.
When do I take them?
To prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue for energy and enhance exercise performance, BCAA's can be taken immediately before training or sipped on during your workout.
To reduce muscle soreness and enhance recovery, BCAA's can be taken immediately post-workout or throughout the day.
To improve muscle protein synthesis and to ensure adequate amounts of water is consumed daily, BCAA's can be taken throughout the day in between meals.
The most effective dose of BCAA's is between 5g - 10g per serve.
The most effective and common ratio of BCAA's is 2g Leucine, 1.5g Isoleucine and 1.5g Valine (2:1:1 ratio).
How much is it?
BCAA supplements range anywhere from $1.00 to $4.00 a serve depending on the brand and size.
For a 30 serve tub, anywhere from $39.95 to $69.95 is the standard BCAA price range.
Supps42 has a wide range of high quality, value for money BCAA products.
Xtend BCAA's and EHP Labs Beyond BCAA would be two we'd recommended that ticks all the boxes we look for in BCAA supplements.
Do I need it?
BCAA products, although not necessary can definitely assist those looking to improve muscle recovery and endurance during their workouts.
They work perfectly in conjunction with a high protein diet and over time you'll notice your ability to recover and performance will increase.