Personal Trainer Tips: BCAAs For Athletes and Fitness Fanatics

Our Personal Trainers here at Capital Strength & Conditioning recommend supplementing with BCAAs, if you are not receiving adequate animal or dairy protein from your diet.

Are you an athlete or a fitness enthusiast? Do you want to get the most out of your efforts in the gym? Then you probably don’t want miss any opportunity that could help you achieve your goals!

That is why in addition to the  essentials of proper training, well-balanced nutrition, and proper rest; relevant and smart supplementation also becomes critical. Recently, BCAA supplements have made a lot of buzz. What exactly are BCAAs, what are their advantages, and how helpful are they?

BCAAs are essential nutrients that our body obtains from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy and legumes. They consist of 3 amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – branched in a chemical structure, hence the name branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Amino acids are the essential building blocks of protein. The reason BCAAs are of primary concern for athletes and fitness enthusiasts is that they make up about a third of the skeletal muscle in our body. They support everything from muscle building to intense training to improving mental function and mood.

More specifically:

1) BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis, enhancing muscle growth.
2) They decrease the amount of serotonin produced, allowing you to train for longer and with
greater intensity.
3) By increasing protein synthesis and allowing you to train with greater intensity, BCAAs
magnify strength gains.
4) BCAAs also reduce the rate of protein breakdown, making them especially helpful for
maintaining muscle mass while on a calorie-deficit diet.
5) BCAAs augment fat burning, resulting in a leaner body.

Due to these qualities BCAAs are crucial for strength & endurance athletes and bodybuilders.

Unlike direct food sources, BCAAs in supplement form require no digestion. As a result they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and provide benefits almost immediately. For optimal results, BCAA supplements should be taken in dosages of 4-10 grams before, during, and after your training.

Since you can get all the BCAAs you need from a well balanced diet that includes a sufficient amount of high quality protein from meat, dairy and legumes, BCAA supplements are not necessary for the average gym goer. However, if you are an athlete or a bodybuilder looking for the biggest bang for your buck, then BCAA supplementation can give you that extra edge on your road to success.

Many of our personal training clients want a lean toned look, which is achieved after significant fat loss while building and maintaining muscle.If you are attempting to achieve a very low body fat percentage, and a physique that could be on the cover of a fitness magazine, BCAAs can be a very effective tool to fuel your workouts! Your metabolism will first begin to break down muscle mass when calories are restricted. This is due to protein being broken down to help form sugar to power your brain and other vital organs. If you don’t have protein, or BCAAs, readily available, this protein will come from muscle mass. So, in simpler terms, to maximize fat loss and retain as much muscle as possible; BCAAs can help big time!

Here at Capital Strength & Conditioning, we go beyond just training you to build strength and burn fat, we educate to provide you with all the tools to acheive your fitness and performance goals! Click her to learn more about our personal training services.