BCAA - You probably already saw these four letters many times. From bodybuilder to marathon runner, everyone knows the importance of what lies behind them. They are especially highlighted on the protein cans or bags. You can buy them separately almost everywhere. This refers to the abbreviation BCAA. Many athletes use BCAA as a dietary supplement, although few know what's behind the name. If you do not know what it's all about, you'll be smarter today and find answers to key questions about BCAA.

What is the abbreviation BCAA and why are they so important?

BCAA is an abbreviation for the English term "Branched Chain Amino Acids". Translated into German, the four letters represent three branched-chain amino acids, each of which has different tasks or properties. Their names are:

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  • valine
  • Leucine and
  • isoleucine

Proteins are made up of amino acids. They are the building blocks of so important protein. When consumed, the proteins from your body are broken down into the individual amino acids. This is done usefully before entering the bloodstream, where they are then transported away for further use. Your body uses 20 amino acids, of which it can not produce 9 itself. These essential amino acids must be consumed through your diet. This group also includes the three BCAAs. Why are these so important and why are the BCAAs more important than the other 6 essential amino acids? Valine, leucine and isoleucine are the only amino acids that your liver does not process. Because of this cause, your body uses it directly to supply the muscle tissue. This has positive effects for you for several reasons. Of all your foods, meat - preferably lean - as well as whey proteins have a high percentage of BCAA. If you eat dietary supplements (supplements) that contain BCAAs, this has two major benefits over the natural sources of protein. First, you do not consume extra calories, and second, you do not get any digestive problems. If you replace any meals before or after training with BCAA tablets to keep your amino acid balance going, your blood will stay where you want it to be: in your muscles. Always consider the procedure of your body: first comes the digestion and then everything else. As you digest, you can burn bad fat or build muscle.

What are the advantages and effects of taking BCAA?

1. Protein synthesis is promoted by the BCAA. A gene called mTOR is a kind of switch for protein synthesis. It sits in the muscle cells. If you take BCAAs to you, your body can get the mTOR to start or intensify the production of muscle protein. This switch of the switch essentially goes to the account of Leucin. Now, the question inevitably arises, why you can not only take leucine - without isoleucine and valine - to you. The answer is banal: With the complete BCAAs you are on the safe side. There is a lack of research that has compared the impact of leucine and BCAA revenues. On the other hand, the anabolic effects of BCAA and an isolated leucine intake have been scientifically proven. Only the comparison of the efficacy of both variants has not yet been sufficiently accomplished. For a supplement, make sure to take high-leucine tablets. To be fair, you should know that the activation of the mTOR gene in some studies in an existing cancer is called in connection with the growth of tumor cells. The emphasis is on the existing cancer. You should definitely weigh the pros and cons here. This also applies to all other supplements.

2. Fat loss is aided by the intake of BCAA. Many studies have shown that there is an association between taking BCAA and lower obesity. For example, in a study involving 4,000 people, those with the largest intake of BCAAs were the slimmest. The studies were statistically and scientifically flawless. The connection has been scientifically proven. However, this proved only a correlation. Whether the revenues of the BCAAs are the actual cause of the lower weight was not proven. Nevertheless, this statement is completely sufficient for your purposes and should convince you.

3. With the BCAA can be prevented in a calorie deficit of muscle loss. In bodybuilding, the BCAA have long been used in competition preparing diets. The athletes want to build a fat-free muscle mass, while they minimize the body fat percentage for weeks or months by means of a calorie deficit. If you spend a long time in a calorie deficit and consume more energy than you consume with food, it usually results in muscle loss. Your body gets what it needs by accessing muscle protein and thus reducing muscle mass. Whether this is done through your diet or a major cardio workout is guilty of secondary importance.

4. BCAA prevents age-related muscle breakdown. Not only with training you can counteract the age-related muscle breakdown. You can also achieve this by taking BCAA as it enhances protein synthesis. Especially older people are rather skeptical about supplements. They see something that normally only young people eat. Therefore, it is very important to point out this point as well. After all, some supplements make more sense when eaten by older people. In addition, the body works differently in old age. The mTOR gene responds more slowly to the activation triggered by leucine. Coupled with a slowing metabolic rate, this can quickly lead to obesity. Therefore, it is important for older people to pay attention to a BCAA-rich diet.

5. Further benefits of taking the BCAA Presumably, the BCAA have more positive effects on your body. These include improved brain function, improved mood and stabilization of blood sugar levels. These effects and the effects described above make the BCAAs one of the most valuable sports supplements.


Basically, you should build your diet on natural foods. Some animal and vegetable protein sources provide a greater proportion of BCAAs. In addition, you can and should take protein powder for longer training sessions or in phases of weight loss. You can take them very well just after getting up (sober) and just before a workout. You do not necessarily need the BCAA supplements to break down fat or build muscle. This and the use of natural foods you should always keep in mind. Then the extra intake of the BCAA can help you a lot.

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