Importance of BCAAs in Training

As every bodybuilder knows, protein is essential to getting huge. It provides one of the building blocks, amino acids, that we need to pack on pounds of muscle. Amino acids have their various classifications, and perhaps the most important type is branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

Why are BCAAs so important to a bodybuilder and why is it perhaps mandatory to supplement with them? Well, here’s why:

  • BCAAs are metabolized when we work out. When we’re resting between workouts, the body is repairing damaged muscle. In order to repair muscle, the body uses BCAAs. So if the BCAAs are used up from when we worked out last, there may be none available for new muscle growth. No BCAAs for muscle growth = no new muscle.
  • BCAAs only account for 20 percent of the amino acids in a total protein meal, but BCAAs are the most used amino acids by the muscle, so they can be used to repair damaged issue. To get enough BCAAs in your system, then, you’ve gotta be eating almost nonstop, which isn’t convenient for many.
  • Supplementation of BCAAs has been shown to reduce the soreness following a workout.
  • And perhaps most importantly, your body can’t create its own BCAAs.

Considering your body can’t generate its own BCAAs and how they’re used for energy while working out, it should be obvious that supplementation of BCAAs is essential. And that’s not even considering the fact that BCAAs play a key role in the process of building muscle.

Henkin, J., After the workout: Restoration. Retrieved from


Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Maratico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008;48(3):345-51.

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