Trying to build muscle can be expensive, so here at TLA we’re here to help let you know which supplements to avoid.
There's a ton of supplements out there and most are ineffective. Many of even the top supplements advertised in stores have absolutely no scientific research proving to ever be effective in human trials.
In today’s TLA blog we're going to talk about a supplement that almost everyone in the gym takes and they honestly probably only take it because everyone else takes it and because it is a huge marketing scheme! While this supplement does in fact actually work there is a reason why it's a waste of money when buying it as a supplement in itself.
This might hurt some people’s feelings but the supplement that I'm referring to is called Branched Chain Amino Acid or BCAA.
BCAA supplements are essential amino acids that consist of leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken with the goal of boosting muscle growth and enhancing exercise performance.
The thing is: BCAAs are not a complete protein. BCAAS only have 3 amino acids, whereas most dietary proteins have 17 or more. When lifting weights, you need at least twice as much protein to recover and to achieve optimal results, In fact, if you take too many BCAAs and not enough whole proteins, you could be hurting your health instead of increasing it.
There’s a simple fix to this and I bet you’re already drinking them: protein shakes. Protein shakes like whey protein already have everything you need in them. Whey protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids, including those three (leucine, isoleucine and valine).
Most people don't know this, but high-quality protein not only contains these 3 but it's also more anabolic as well. Not only can you get BCAA's from whey, but you can also obtain them through your diet (ex: chicken, beans, nuts). According to the NSCA one scoop of a typical 100% whey protein powder contains about 26 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of BCAA.
So there’s no reason to take both protein shakes and BCAAs and if you are you’re essentially throwing away money. And if you’re trying to decide between one or the other, studies show that protein shakes win out by a landslide.
Author: Patrick Reckner- Certified Personal Trainer/ Sports Performance Specialist