What are BCAAs, and how do they help us with our fitness routine? BCAA supplements are the trend nowadays, especially for fitness lovers looking to go further beyond their fitness routines. 

You may have heard of them on TV or from your friends, saying that they’re great and help you become more fit. But unless you have a background in biochemistry, you might want to step back and consider studying more about them. 

This is especially true if you have a medical condition, which is why it’s important to study them first or consult your doctor. That said, what are BCAAs?

What is BCAA?

BCAAs are made up of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. They are called “branched” of their linear atom configurations. That said, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, essential for the body’s overall structure. Amino acids are both categorized as non-essential and essential. 

Those amino acids produced organically within the body are called non-essential, and those that you get from your diet are essential. That’s the overall gist of amino acids in general. So why should we care about BCAAs, and what are the reasons why we should take them?

Decreased Muscle Soreness

Researchers say that BCAAs help us with muscle soreness and accelerate our recovery by decreasing the rate of muscle breakdown and helping muscles boost their repair time. Experts also say that during a study back in 2012, BCAA supplements work more effectively than placebos.

However, it entirely depends on the supplement, which gives studies inconsistent results. Research also suggests that it’s not sure if BCAAs alone can help a person build more muscles and have lasting endurance. There are many more factors to consider in future studies like a person’s diet, muscle structure, workout routine, etc.

Reduced Exercise Fatigue

Since BCAA reduces muscle breakdown, it reduces the fatigue you feel when working out, making you last longer and do more reps. Everyone experiences fatigue at some point in their exercise, and it limits us from doing more. How quickly your muscles heal depends on many factors, from your routine’s intensity and duration, nutrition, physical fitness, etc.

That said, your muscles use amino acids when working out, which causes their numbers to decrease in your blood. When the level of your amino acids declines, tryptophan levels in your brain would increase. 

Tryptophan would be converted to serotonin, which is a chemical believed to contribute to the development of fatigue in your body. That said, when you take BCAAs, you will have more mental focus, which is believed to reduce the fatigue-inducing effects of serotonin.

Muscle Growth

BCAA has also been associated with muscle growth due to one of its components which is leucine. Leucine is thought to be in charge of turning the switch for your body to produce more proteins to repair your muscles after an intense workout. 

That said, some experts believe that the best meal replacement shakes for muscle gain with an increased leucine level would improve your body composition by increasing your muscle mass. However, this information is not credible yet as there have been only several studies done on BCAAs. Although if true, this would be great news for people building their muscle mass.

Benefits People with Liver Disease

By taking BCAA, people with liver disease like cirrhosis might improve their health. It has been estimated that more or less 50% of people with cirrhosis will develop hepatic encephalopathy, which translates to the patient losing a significant percentage of their brain function because the liver cannot remove the toxins from your blood.

While certain sugars and antibiotics are the mainstays when treating hepatic encephalopathy, BCAAs might also benefit people with this disease. However, although BCAA has been proven to have a beneficial effect in terms of symptoms, it does not affect the rate of mortality. 

Also, cirrhosis can be a precursor to cancer, but taking BCAA might protect you from having liver cancer, as some studies suggest.

Immune System Fortification

Intense workout sessions repeated for days several times a week can very well suppress your immune system. It can also cause fatigue and overtraining, especially when you don’t have adequate rest between sessions. However, regularly taking BCAA supplements at least 12 grams daily has been shown to improve your immune response. 

How? Research suggests that immune cells that live in your gut use BCAAs as a fuel improving their regeneration and efficiency against foreign substances and pathogens. And the healthier your immune cells are, the faster your recovery will be between each session.


Although you can take BCAA from your diet, you can also take BCAA supplements if you think you’re not getting enough. But should you take BCAA supplements? It depends. 

If you think you already have your fill in your diet, then you don’t have to take BCAA supplements. But if you want to be more efficient in your workout routines and increase your physical fitness, you better look for the barbend pre workout review if you want to look for pre workouts that will suit your needs.