If you’re on the fitness circuit, you’ve probably overheard someone talking about their BCAAs as they mix a heaping scoop of powder into their shaker cup.
While you might view the supplement in question with a side-eye, chances are you didn’t bother to inquire about it and just went on your way. After all, BCAAs sound like some complicated chemical concoction that gym bros and bodybuilders take to get big.
Well, what if we told you that a scoop of BCAAs can help you recover faster, beat fatigue, and build muscle proteins — would you be interested?
Yeah, we thought so.
In this post, we’re exploring BCAAs to uncover what they are, how much per day is healthy, and why they deserve a place in your routine. So if you’re ready to get the low-down on the increasingly popular supplement — keep reading.
Everything You Need To Know About BCAAs
First things first, what exactly are BCAAs anyway?
Short for branched-chain amino acids, BCAAs are made up of three essential amino acids:
When looking at their molecular structure, it’s not surprising that these three are grouped since they’re the only amino acids with a chain that branches to one side — hence why they’re called “branched-chain” amino acids.
That’s all the chemistry stuff you don’t need to know, so don’t worry about it. What you do need to know, however, is that BCAAs make up three of the nine essential amino acids.
They’re “essential” because your body can’t make them on its own — you have to get them from food or supplements.
Like other amino acids, BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. But this particular group of aminos may also help preserve glycogen stores, which fuel your muscles while minimizing protein breakdown during exercise. In simpler terms? BCAAs can help you get more out of your workout.
What’s The Best Way To Take BCAAs?
You can get all the amino acids your body needs from real food like meat, dairy, eggs, and legumes. So if you’re eating a pretty balanced diet, you don’t necessarily need to supplement with BCAAs. The problem, however, is that most of us aren’t. Cue the supplements!
The easiest and most foolproof way to ensure you’re getting the BCAAs needed to support you on your fitness journey is through supplementation.
Not sure where to find a great quality BCAA supplement? Check out our phenomenal tasting Precision ISO Whey Protein powder here at BioHealth. Designed to help build lean muscle and strength while fueling muscle recovery, you’ll find 27+ grams of clean protein in each scoop along with the amino acids you need to nourish your body from head to toe.
Are you a vegan? Never fear — we have something for you, too! Our Phyto Perfect Protein + Superfoods powder is a premium plant protein blend made from hemp, pea, rice, and chickpeas with powerful superfood greens and fruits.
Vegan, all-natural, gluten-free, and lactose-free — finally, a high protein supplement that doesn’t just taste great but actually works, too!
Is It Possible To Overdose On BCAAs?
For the most part, BCAAs are relatively harmless, and most experts agree that daily supplementation increases their effectiveness. However, as with anything in life, excess use can come with potential negative side effects.
That being said, if you’re concerned with taking too much, there’s good news: Unless you’re physically trying, it’s tough to overdose on BCAAs.
According to a study conducted in 2012, researchers estimated that the upper limit of consumption for leucine — one of the three BCAAs — is about 35 grams per day.
Since most BCAAs are only partly made up of leucine, that means you would have to take more than 35 grams of BCAAs to reach the limit, which is way more than what someone is likely to consume — even accidentally.
And if you do happen to take too much, there’s no need to panic as the effects are generally pretty mild.
OK — So How Much BCAA Per Day Is Healthy?
Depending on your workout regime, your daily BCAA dosage should be somewhere between 5 and 20 grams. Of course, this will vary from person to person:
- Women following a normal gym schedule should stick with three to five grams of BCAAs a day. You can take this in one single dose or take half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.
- For the ladies training intensely and regularly, 12 grams of BCAAs per day divided into four to five servings is what you should aim for.
- The recommended dosage for men who perform moderately strenuous exercise should take roughly 10 grams of BCAAs daily, divided into two to three servings.
- For the men who train intensively, 15 to 20 grams of BCAAs broken down into four to five servings should suffice.
No matter what regimen you’re on, be sure always to follow the manufacturer’s suggested daily dose.
What Are The Benefits?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or a fitness newbie; anyone can benefit from supplementing with BCAAs! Whether your goal is to build muscle, speed up recovery, or fight fatigue, a premium quality BCAAs supplement like our Whey ISO Protein can help get you there.
Here are some of the top benefits of adding BCAAs to your supplement stack:
- Increased muscle growth. When used in tandem with other essential amino acids, BCAAs can increase muscle protein synthesis, which helps build lean muscle mass.
- Reduced muscle wasting. Muscle wasting occurs when protein breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis. Thankfully, taking BCAAs can slow down — or even halt — the progression of muscle wasting by replacing the amino acids lost during exercise.
- Decreased muscle soreness. When you exercise, you can get delayed onset muscle soreness — aka, DOMS — which happens due to tiny muscle tears. BCAAs have been shown to decrease this muscle damage and help you get back to the gym sooner rather than later.
- Improved immunity. Believe it or not, research shows that BCAAs may be helpful to support the immune system. This is because they’re essential for lymphocytes. And without BCAAs, the lymphocytes can’t synthesize proteins and divide in response to harmful pathogens. This, in turn, makes you much more susceptible to illness.
- Increased energy. As you work out, the level of amino acids in your blood naturally decreases, causing the sleepy chemical tryptophan to increase. By supplementing BCAAs before and during exercise, you can help to keep your amino acid levels balanced to prevent fatigue while improving mental focus.
A Final Word
So, how much BCAA per day is considered healthy?
Your daily BCAA dosage should be somewhere between 5 and 20 grams depending on your unique fitness goals.
That being said, and regardless of your regimen, it’s of the utmost importance to always follow the manufacturer’s suggested daily dose. However, if you do accidentally take too much, there’s really no need to panic as the effects are generally pretty mild.
Here at BioHealth, we’re big on quality. That’s why we only use premium, grass-fed whey in our protein. Dedicated to pioneering healthy, pasture-fed, and whole food-derived products by removing artificial ingredients, we take great pride in creating some of the cleanest — and, dare we say, best tasting — supplements on the planet.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a phenomenal tasting meal replacement to keep you on track with your fitness goals or simply searching for a top-notch vegan protein powder to help you hit your daily macros, you can count on us to provide you with clean ingredients in every product — every time.
Ready to experience the BioHealth difference? Check us out today and see just how good your nutrition can be tomorrow.