Optimum Nutrition BCAA powder is designed to help reduce muscle break down and improve gains in size and strength. It contains a 5g of protein per serving (leucine, isoleucine and valine, the three branch chain amino acids). The three BCAA’s are essential amino acids and cannot be made by the body so it is essential that some form of protein containing the BCAAs is taken around your training.
However, much of the research that supports taking BCAAs in large quantities compares BCAA supplementation to taking NOTHING at all. Therefore it is hardly surprising that this kind of research makes BCAAs seem incredibly effective at helping recovery and gains from resistance training, when it is compared to taking nothing at all. More valid research comparing the effects of either whey protein vs BCAAs or whey protein alone vs whey protein and additional BCAAs has not provided convincing evidence that the addition of BCAAs has any benefit when compared to taking whey protein alone.
In individuals who lack good protein sources in their diet (i.e. sources that contain a full profile of amino acids), such as vegetarians and vegans, further supplementation of essential amino acids (including the BCAAs) should result in better recovery and gains from resistance training. It is worth considering that a typical 30g serving of whey protein will contain around 25% BCAAs, the majority of which will be leucine, therefore a typical whey protein shake will contain at least 7g of BCAAs, while this supplement only provides 5g per serving.
- Provides a total of 5g of the three essential branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine), which are all important in stimulating protein synthesis after training. For comparison, a typical whey protein shake will contain ~7g of BCAAs.
- Research suggests that taking additional BCAA’s is unnecessary if you are already taking a whey protein supplement around your workout.
- BCAA supplementation is most beneficial to those who are not taking any whey protein around their workouts and those who lack good sources of protein in their diet (e.g. vegetarians).
Who’s it for
Optimum Nutrition BCAA Powder may be suitable for those taking part in regular resistance training and are not already taking any whey protein supplementation pre and/or post workout. BCAA Powder may be ideal for those lacking good sources of protein in their diet.
How to use
Take 1 teaspoon (~5g) mixed with water immediately post workout.
per serving (5g):
Calories – 20kcal, Protein – 5g
L-Leucine: 2.5g L-Isoleucine: 1.25g L-Valine: 1.25g. Other Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Lecithin.