Is The BCAA The Most Underutilised Supplement Out There? 3 : 1 : 1… GO!


Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) aka Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are one of the most underused supplements going. Many people underplay their relevance because apparently they do the same thing as protein…well isn’t that all the more reason to consume them? The thing to remember is that BCAAs and a whey protein for example, work via different mechanisms. Protein is key to muscle recovery and growth after training due to their milk base (in most cases) which can sit heavy if consumed before a workout, whilst BCAAs are designed to be sipped over the course of the day in order to minimise muscle breakdown and increase growth potential, mainly because of Leucine.

Leucine is an incredibly effective essential amino acid in promoting muscle growth, it works with an enzyme known as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) which evidently promotes muscle growth based on several studies. One particular study gave people an mTOR inhibiting drug which seemed to negate (reduce) muscle synthesis after training. This strongly suggests that mTOR is key to muscle growth, which in turn means Leucine is also key to muscle growth.

When selecting a BCAA supplement, look for one that has a minimum of a 3: 1: 1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine for best results.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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