If you are at all involved in the fitness community, you have probably heard something about branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs). You may know they are essential for muscle building and part of any well-rounded supplement regimen. While it is true that they can help with muscle building, some of the hype surrounding taking a BCAA supplement may be just that, hype. So, let’s take a look at BCAAs and why you need them or why you don’t.
What are BCAAs?
All protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that make up the human body. Nine of these are “essential,” meaning that they must come from food. The other 11 the body can make on its own. The BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, fall in the essential category. We must get them from the food we eat.
The BCAAs make up about 40% of the amino acids in your body and up to 18% of the amino acids in your muscles. They also help regulate blood sugar levels.
Benefits of BCAAs
As far as exercise benefits, they can help reduce fatigue, speed up recovery, and help build muscle. Leucine seems to be themost beneficial for increasing strength and muscle mass. They may also help with fat loss by increasing lean tissue mass.
A few small studies have found that BCAAs may help boost performance. A study of canoeists found that BCAAs helped increase rowing stamina by an entire minute before reaching fatigue.
As you can see, BCAAs do have many benefits, but does this mean you need a supplement if you work out?
Should You Take BCAAs?
Based on current research on BCAAs, if you have a balanced diet, you probably don’t need a supplement. There is no evidence that BCAA supplements outperform a diet with adequate protein. The reason is that BCAAs are widely available in most foods that contain protein, even plant-based sources. So, if you eat enough protein and a varied diet you are likely getting enough BCAA to help you build muscle.
Additionally, a 2017 review of the evidence for BCAA use and muscle synthesis came up short. Researchers found no studies on the topic of oral BCAA consumption that evaluated their impact on muscle synthesis, specifically. They were able to locate two studies that used a BCAA infusion, but these studies found that BCAA supplementation decreased muscle synthesis.
All that being said, if you want to take a BCAA supplement, there are no specific negative side effects, except maybe the cost. But, there are better supplement options available that may have the same and perhaps even more positive results.
Whey supplements would be a better (and cheaper) choice as a workout recovery drink. Whey protein, which contains all nine essential amino acids, including BCAAs, has all the same benefits you are probably looking at in a BCAA supplement. Whey has also been found to promote muscle growth, weight loss, and recovery after workouts. If you prefer a vegan option, pea and brown rice supplements have also been found to increase muscle mass, although research is preliminary with these two types.
The bottom line is don’t believe all the hype. The benefits found in BCAA supplements can also be easily seen in a balanced whole food diet for a lot less money.
|Length (inches)||26 7/8||27 1/2||28 1/8||28 3/4||29 3/8|
|Width (inches)||15||16||17||18||19 1/2|
*These are not preshrunk.
|Chest (to fit):||34/36||38/40||42/44||46/48||50/52||54/56||58/60||62/64|
How to Size: Measure circumference of the knee (mid-patella) in a locked position (muscles must be relaxed). If your calves are bigger than your knee measurement, we recommend using the circumference of your calf.
We recommend going down at least one size from your measurement.
|Size||Center of Knee (in)|
|XS||12" - 13.3"|
|S||13.3" - 14.5"|
|M||14.5" - 15.7"|
|L||15.7" - 17"|
|XL||17" - 17.7"|
|2XL||17.7" - 18.5"|
|3XL||18.5" - 19.3"|
|4XL||19.3" - 20"|
For general elbow pain or support we recommend that you measure the circumference of your elbow joint. We recommend going down one size for general elbow support. So if you measure 12”, purchase the 11” Cuff.
For tendonitis pain in the forearm or elbow we recommend that you measure the circumference of your forearm roughly 1" below your elbow joint. We recommend going down two sizes for tight compression. For example, if you measure 10" then purchase the 8" Cuff.
We advise you to measure your arm in a straight locked out position with your muscles relaxed. Measure the circumference of your arm at the centre of your elbow, our chat is in inches.
Select the size that best fits your measurement.
Pelase do not hesitate to email us to ask advice if required at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Size||Center of Elbow (in)|
|S||9.0 - 10.5|
|M||10 - 11.5|
|L||11.5 - 13.5|
|XL||13.0 - 15.0|
|2XL||14.5 - 16.0|
|3XL||15.5 - 17.0|
|4XL||16.5 - 18.0|
Measure circumference of the knee (mid-patella) in a locked position (muscles must be relaxed). Unisex sizes.
|S||11.8 in. - 13.0 in.|
|M||13.0 in. - 14.2 in.|
|L||14.2 in. - 15.7 in.|
|XL||15.7 in. - 17.0 in.|
|XXL||17.0 in. - 18.3 in.|
*If you prefer a tighter fit please order one size smaller than your measurement.
Measuring Up For Your New Belt:
Use a soft measuring tape, measure around your waist approximately 4 inches above where your pant would sit. Please do not suck your stomach in and keep everything relaxed when measuring.
|S||24 in. - 29 in.|
|M||28 in. - 33 in.|
|L||32 in. - 37 in.|
|XL||36 in. - 42 in.|
|XXL||41 in. - 46 in.|