BCAA's are one of the better supplements on the weightlifting supplement market today.
They are very versatile and can be used in many different situations.
Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat, OR both — Branched Chain Amino Acids have a purpose.
I'm going to discuss some of the uses of this supplement, how much to use, and when to use. At the very least, you should be taking branched chain amino acids directly after your workout as a part of your post workout supplementation.
I want you to read an excerpt from Wikipedia at this link: Branched Chain Amino Acids on Wikipedia.
Read the section on “Description of Pathway” especially. Update: looks like that information has been removed from Wikipedia. Maybe it will come back so I am leaving the above link.
I mix about 20-30 grams of Branched Chain Amino Acid Powder with 120 grams of waxy maize post workout. I also weigh around 230 pounds, so you should adjust that amount according to your body weight.
For example, a 200 pound person might take 20 grams of powder mixed with 90 grams of waxy maize.
A 150 pound person would mix 15 grams with 60 grams of waxy maize.
These are only examples. Experiment yourself.
If you're extremely over weight and intolerant to carbohydrates, you will need to cut WAY back on the waxy maize and should opt for fruits after your weight training workouts.
Just don't use a huge amount of BCAA powder mixed with your waxy maize. There's no need and larger ratios compared to waxy maize will lead to slower digestion.
You want to keep the ratio of waxy maize starch to BCAA's around 4:1 or 5:1. Adding other supplements to the mix will require an even greater ratio.
BCAA's have their place in some diets. As discussed, I like to use them directly post workout mixed with Waxy Maize Starch. I also like to use them when I'm on a fat loss diet because they help to hold onto muscle mass and contain almost zero calories.
It's like getting large amounts of protein without the calories.
I suggest that people who are really trying to lose weight look into Branched Chain Amino Acids as a part of their supplementation. They can really do the trick to get that fat off of you while holding onto muscle and possibly building more muscle.
Other Uses of BCAA Powder
Holding onto your muscle when dieting is very, very important. Losing muscle that you worked very hard for is something you do not want to do.
Amino Acids Powder will help to hold onto that muscle while you're dropping pounds of body fat. Muscle burns calories, so the more muscle you have the better when trying to lose weight. The more muscle you lose, the harder it will be in the future for you to lose fat and to keep the fat off.
I've also done some further experimenting with Branched Chain Amino Acids:
I've tried drinking them in between meals to help build muscle. I did this experiment for 6 months or so, and then I did the same thing for another 6 months or so without the BCAAs in between meals.
I cut out BCAA's altogether except for post workout.
When I say in between meals, I mean about 30 minutes or so before each meal. You need to ensure you are eating very healthy and not mixing lots of carbs and bad fats together when following this protocol.
I took about 10 grams or so 30 minutes before meals.
The results of my experiment proved to me that they are worth the extra money. They do not cost very much at all if you find them at the right places.
I can get over 300 grams of Branched Chained Amino Acids for around 20 dollars or so. 300 grams should last you quite some time depending on how you are dosing them.
If you do try the experiment adding them before some of your meals, you might want to get more than 300 grams. If you use 50 grams per day, you'll need 1500 grams over a month.
So, this can cost you up to $100 a month. Use them during your muscle building cycles and try them over the last 4 weeks of your cycle if you don't want to spend that much money.
At least give this experiment a try once. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
I definitely wouldn't take BCAA's like this ALL THE TIME! Please re-read that. Your body needs a break from that. Try them in some weight lifting cycles in which you are really focusing on building muscle. Then cut them out.
Summary Of Possible BCAA Uses
Remember, Amino Acids in pure powder form are calorie free or at least very close to calorie free… they are protein in the rawest form.
Use them for post workout with a fast acting carb source. 15 to 30 grams should do the job for anyone immediately post workout.
You can use them during fat loss cycles to decrease calories. Simply replace some of your whey protein shakes with Amino Acid shakes.
You can also try them for muscle building cycles by drinking BCAA shakes in between your daily meals. Experiment with dosages and number of shakes per day.
I did my experiment with about 4-6 shakes with 10-15 grams per shake. This worked out very well for me, and I do it on many of my muscle building cycles.
Get creative. Think logically when using this great supplement.
If you read the wikipedia article, you should know that insulin is increased by a huge percentage when using branched chain amino acids post workout with a carbohydrate source.
So, get them in your first post workout shake with a fast acting carb source. Get the muscle building process started.
The taste of plain or unflavored Branched Chained Amino Acids is not good. You will need to mix them in water along with some type of flavor. I actually like to use the flavored water packets that include vitamins that you can get from your local grocery store.
Mixing them in green tea isn't too bad, but my taste buds are accustomed to that kind of thing by now. The flavor packets and water will work just fine, though.
If you get your waxy maize flavored or use grape juice or something that has some flavor to it, you will not notice the taste of the amino acids too much.
They do not taste that bad! Just drink them down and get over it! You are working on building the body of our dreams. Sometimes you'll have to drink or eat some things that don't taste too great.
I only recommend buying Amino Acids in pure powder form. You don't need anything else mixed in. You will get it cheaper this way, and you'll get all the benefits.
Here's some of the BCCA products available:
Give them a shot. If they work as well as they did for me, you'll be very happy.
Remember, though, everyone is different and it might work better for you or not as good for you. If you don't have the extra money, save it for whole food as whole food is always better than any weight lifting supplement. Remember that. Real food is ALWAYS better than any supplement.
A supplement is exactly that: A SUPPLEMENT.