The quest for a bigger, stronger, faster body has long included the use of supplements to push the boundaries of human potential, and those supplements have taken many forms. The most commonly used fitness supplement today is a protein powder, a concentrated form of protein meant to increase muscle growth and aid recovery after a strenuous workout. More and more, though, these ubiquitous protein supplements are being eclipsed by a new type of product called BCAAs. What are these supplements, and how much BCAAs should you take? Keep reading as the amino acid drink mix experts at aminoVITAL shed some light on the topic.
What is a BCAA?
We’ve all heard the terms “protein” and “amino acid,” and many of us recognize that the two things are related. In fact, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, though they are not confined to a single food or form. These compounds are typically obtained when you eat protein-rich foods; the protein chains are broken down in your body into their amino acid components, which are then reconstituted into anything from muscle fibers to neurotransmitters, depending on what type they are and what your body needs.
The acronym “BCAA” refers to a specific classification of amino acid – the branched-chain amino acid. The three different BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they earned their name because their chemical structures have branches sticking out to the side, a unique shape among amino acids. Each BCAA is an example of an “essential” amino acid, meaning that the body can’t create them on its own and must obtain them through foods or supplements.
Until now, those looking to boost their intake of BCAAs have had to rely on traditional protein supplements to get more amino acids, but this process is much less efficient than the more modern alternatives. Today, amino acids are available in a supplement all their own, saving your body the time and energy it would take to break down whole proteins and ensuring the faster delivery of those compounds to the parts of the body that need them.
How Much BCAA Should You Take Per Day?
As with any supplement, knowing how much of a BCAA mixture you should take is an important part of adding it to your diet. This amount can be measured and expressed in several ways, including as a ratio of milligrams to take per pound of bodyweight or simply a number (in grams) telling you a flat amount to consume daily. Figuring out how many grams of BCAAs per day a person should take will depend on a number of factors, however.
One of the chief things to consider when nailing down the dosage of your BCAA supplement is what goal you want to strive for. Those looking to increase their gains after lifting weights may require slightly more BCAAs to fuel that growth comparted to a runner whose main purpose is to speed up their recovery. In addition, gender is believed to play a role in determining a person’s BCAA dosage, with men taking slightly more than women.
Also, keep in mind that your body can get some portion of the necessary amino acids from the foods you eat. If you already have a diet that is high in protein, you may not need to rely on amino acid supplementation to the same degree as someone whose diet is light on protein.
Those caveats aside, a good rule of thumb for the proper BCAA dosage is at least 12 grams per day for a man and 9 per day for a woman – again, however, remember that this is a baseline figure and may not apply to everyone. Another guideline that can help both men and women is to aim for around 65 mg of BCAAs per pound of body weight. For those who are especially active, going as high as 18-20 grams of BCAAs per day may be beneficial, though most people will not see much improvement compared to the baseline amounts mentioned above.
Effects of BCAAs on Athletes
Though this product may seem like part of a new craze, athletes all over the world have experienced the power of amino acids firsthand. Ajinomoto, the maker of amino acids for aminoVITAL products, has supplied serious athletes with amino acids for more than 20 years; now you, too, can see these gains for yourself.
Each BCAA has its own support mechanism for your physical activity: leucine, for instance, can provide a big boost in muscle gains over time, while isoleucine provides extended energy and shorter recovery times after exercise. Valine serves a number of purposes, including regulating the immune system, preserving muscle integrity, and helping glucose reach the muscles that need it. For everything from pre-workout energy boosters to post-workout recovery shakes, check out Amino Vital products today.
Amino Acid-Based Fitness Supplement Available from aminoVITAL
By providing a light, practical product that is low in calories, aminoVITAL products can boost the intensity of your workouts without sabotaging your dietary goals. Our amino acid supplements don’t have to be broken down in the digestive system, so they can be put to use by your body right away. See for yourself how fast and effective our amino acids can be by trying out an Amino Vital product today. To learn more about our supplements and how they can help you reach your health and fitness objectives, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673.