The Best BCAA Supplements 2018: How They Work and Where to Buy

Discover all of the information you need to know about BCAA supplements

Want to help your body to bounce back quicker after workouts so you can get even more effort in next time without feeling worse for wear? This is where Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) really come into their own. Think of them as your secret weapon for getting more from your workouts.

Where to buy the Best BCAA Supplements for 2018

Amcal

As an online pharmacy, Amcal sell some vitamins and supplements. For BCAAs, this currently extends to Musashi Muscle Recovery supplements.

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Chemist Warehouse

As an online pharmacy, Chemist Warehouse sell a range of supplements. For BCAAs, this includes brands such as Musashi, VitalStrength, INC and Pure Warrior.

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iHerb

iHerb pride themselves on selling a lot of the same health products as natural health stores and natural pharmacies but without the price tag. Amongst the supplements they sell, you’ll find a range of BCAAs. Some of the brands they sell include MusclePharm, EvLution, Scivation, Optimum Nutrition, MRM, MET-Rx and California Gold Nutrition.

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MyChemist

Online pharmacy MyChemist are Australia’s #1 online pharmacy. They sell a few BCAA supplements, including Musashi, INC, Pure Warrior and VitalStrength.

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Vitamin King

A leading supplier of nutritional products based in NSW, Vitamin King sells a range of supplements. For BCAAs, some of the brands they sell include Dymatize Nutrition, Balance, Pro Supps, Scitec Nutrition, Mutant, Platinum Labs Essentials, BSc, Optimum Nutrition, ATP Science.

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My Protein

As the #1 online sports nutrition brand in the world, MyProtein sell a range of BCAA capsules and powders.

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Benefits of BCAAs

BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine and valine: a group of three essential amino acids.

BCAAs are one of the things that your body relies on for energy when you exercise. Your body will break down tissue when you’re consuming fewer calories and during exercise, it will also break down muscle protein for energy. Supplementing with BCAAs prevents this.

There are other benefits too, especially for your muscles. BCAAs can encourage more muscle protein to be created. This can help to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscles also tend to be less sore and you’re less likely to be affected by fatigue during your workouts.

Leucine is also thought to affect appetite and can make you feel fuller. It’s often the case that people find it easier to avoid giving into cravings when they’re supplementing with BCAAs, which is another reason why they can help to reduce body fat.

One advantage of BCAAs is the fact that they can get nutrients to your muscles more quickly even compared to proteins that are quickly digestion.

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Side effects of BCAAs

As with any supplement, it’s best not to take more than the recommended dosage as this is when side effects can become a problem.

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When to take BCAAs

BCAAs can be really beneficial for fairly intense exercise, especially strength and interval training that will break down more muscle tissue.

Timing is everything so you’ll want to take BCAAs before, during or after a workout.

  • Taking them before a workout helps your body to meet the need for extra energy without having to break down lots of muscle protein.
  • If they’re taken during a workout, they’ll help to fuel your body and provide a source of energy.
  • Taking them after a workout helps with muscle recovery and stops your muscles being as sore.

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BCAAs for women

If you’ve introduced strength training to your fitness regime to help you to build more lean muscle and bring body fat down to a minimum, BCAAs can help you to do this more effectively. More women than ever are recognising the benefits of strength training for sculpting their body shape and are looking to BCAAs for improving their gains.

BCAAs aren’t recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding as there isn’t enough known about the safety side of things. To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid taking them.

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BCAAs for vegans

If you eat vegan sources of protein such as tofu and pea protein, you may be getting a good amount of BCAAs through your diet. However, you may not be getting all that much leucine, which can be a problem for your muscles.

You may therefore want to think about supplementing with BCAAs. Some BCA supplements are suitable for vegans so it’s worth shopping around to find ones that you can take.

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Do amino acids make you gain weight?

BCAAs are often associated with bodybuilders, which is one reason why there can be concerns around weight gain. In reality, BCAAs are actually a great way to reduce body fat while also maintaining lean muscle mass. More specifically, they can help you to lose body fat and not muscle.

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Clare Cribbin

Clare works as the assistant publisher in the shopping team here at finder.com.au. She is interested in anything health and fitness related, whether it be the latest trending health drink, a new kind of workout class or hunting down a gym membership bargain.

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