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What are BCAAs?

Posted on March 09 2017

I often get asked what are BCAAs so I thought I would explore it in further detail.
BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) can help promote growth, muscle repair and reduce soreness and discomfort.

Now, they aren’t necessarily needed for every workout, but during intense sessions your muscles tear and then repair and that’s when BCAAs are beneficial.

Your body can't actually produce all BCAAs on its own, so you need to get them from your diet. Your body is able to produce all but 8-10 amino acids which must be obtained through your diet or supplementation. A complete amino acid profile is needed by your body to reach its maximum fitness potential.

Research shows that a 3-5 serving of BCAAs is a good amount for most women and you can get that by consuming roughly 100g of cooked protein from an animal.  

These foods each contain all three types of BCAAs in one serving:

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Lean beef
  • Flank steak
  • Tinned tuna
  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Trout 
  • Eggs (3)
  • Low fat Greek yogurt (1 cup)

 Brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, chickpeas, brazil nuts and almonds also contain sufficient amounts of BCAAs.

What about Supplements?

If you don’t eat much meat or fish, there are various supplements you can take for example whey protein or a BCAA powder you can put in your drinks bottle. BCAAs also come in tablet form if that’s preferred. Liquid supplements can often have a quicker effect as they don’t have to be digested like whole foods—making them a good option if you need a boost.

By Lucie Colt


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