All you need to know about BCAA (Branched-chain amino acid)


Are you invested in a HIIT session or a Tabata work out? Or maybe you have come across the term BCAA and are wondering what it is all about. BCAA or Branch Chain Amino Acids are not the latest fad, but something that you need especially if you do weights, or high intensity work outs. These are crucial because they help tissue repair and muscle building. There are many vital amino acids our body cannot produce on its own, and BCAA is one of them. You get them only through food or other supplements.

What are BCAAs?

Our body has thousands of types of proteins. One of the building block of these proteins are amino acids. There are types of amino acids too – a few of them your body produces itself, while the others you have to help your body get them, through food or supplements, explains an expert offering Personalized Fitness Coaching Online.

BCAA or Branch Chain Amino Acids are vital ones that your body needs but cannot synthesis on its own. They make a whopping 35% of your body’s muscle protein and are known by the names leucine, isoleucine and valine.

And what do these BCAA boys do? They are the fuel-men of your body. When you work out, burn calories while doing some work, these are the proteins that help preserve your glycogen stores and prevent breakdown. They encourage cell growth and build muscle, and repair wear and tear too.

How do BCAAs help?

Help muscle growth:

BCAAs are known to conserve glycogen during your workout session, thereby preserving muscle mass. It also helps in recovery after a workout session, and stimulates new muscle cell growth. Ever wondered why your dietitian or nutritionist recommends a high protein meal especially when you are doing weights or HIIT sessions?

Help build endurance and energy:

BCAAs also help build your endurance, which keeps you going during a workout session. They work like a booster shot by blocking tryptophan that is a signal sent to your brain to send out fatigue signals. SO it helps you feel energetic as well, giving your body that extra push to keep going and finish that session. When the exhaustion in your muscles are delayed, you can keep going for longer periods of time. Notice how you do better on day 12 compared to day 1 of exercise? It is the BCAA doing its job.

Accelerates fat burning:

Leucine is proven to reduce excess fat. When the muscle is protected, especially lean muscle, the body automatically burns fat which is the next available energy source. So you are essentially pushing your body to shed its fat reserves.

Helps regulate blood pressure and glucose

BCAAs help maintain blood sugar levels by utilising sugar as a source of energy during workouts. SO there is no excess sugar in your blood stream – meaning diabetes control – check, high blood pressure – check, heart health – check!

How can you help your body get BCAA?

By giving your body BCAAs through food or supplements, you are aiding the whole process of fat burning, muscle building an anti-ageing too.

Some sources of BCAAs are:

Vegetarian & Plant based:

Soya beans, lentils, legumes, chick peas, dairy products such as cottage cheese and cheese, yoghurt, brown rice, nuts like almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts.


Lean meats like chicken, turkey, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, eggs and caviar are all easy and great sources of BCAAs


Apart from natural sources of BCAAs, a variety of supplements are also available in the market. However you must take care to choose the right one.  They come in pill and powder form, and are popular among sportsmen and fitness enthusiasts because it helps in quicker recovery and leaves them feeling energetic.

Natural sources vs supplements:


At Trina Roy we are committed to, and always insist upon signing up for sustainable diet plans online which is the right combination of workout and exercise, along with a balanced diet regime.

A daily requirement of BCAA is about 5-10 grams which can be easily got from natural sources and your food. Women need about 3-5 grams, while men need about 8-10 grams. If you are under constant HIIT or a rigorous activity you may push this intake to 12-15 grams.

There is no evidence to support that supplements of BCAA are better than natural sources. Always remember that a sustainable transformation is a disciplined slow process. Look at your food chart and plan, and meet your daily protein requirement. If you still need to take supplements, consult your nutritionist and understand the label behind the supplement to check if you are ok with all that goes into the pill.

To conclude…

BCAAs are vital building blocks of your body. However make sure that you take supplements only if you are engaged in a super high intensity activity. Supplements for people with a sedentary lifestyle is not recommended. This is an informational/educational post to help understand better, and should not be treated as nutritional advice. Please reach out to Trina Roy for more details on transformation programs online and sustainable weight loss programs.