Make the Most of Your Workouts with BCAAs

Sports nutrition supplements can be intimidating. With their tough, often masculine-sounding names, many women wonder if they’re OK to take and if they offer any real benefits beyond hardcore, muscle-building goals.  One example might be amino acid supplements. Sound complicated, don’t they?  But amino acids serve many important functions in the body, and taking a supplement can be helpful for anyone, regardless of fitness goals.

Vitacost BCAAs can be added to water, juice or smoothies for an instant amino acid boost. Click here for more information.

Without getting too scientific, amino acids are the compounds that make up protein. There are about 20 different types, eight of which the body can’t make on its own. These are known as essential amino acids, and they must be obtained from food. Protein in food is broken down into amino acids, which are used by the body for various purposes, including building the type of protein needed to build and maintain muscle tissue.

You may have heard of  BCAAs. This stands for branched-chain amino acids. Named for their chemical structure, which looks something like tree limbs, BCAAs include isoleucine, lysine and valine””three of the eight essential amino acids not naturally made by the body. Protein-rich foods such as beef and chicken provide BCAAs, but in order to get the amount we need, we’d have to eat a lot of meat””which isn’t ideal when you have weight-loss goals.

Taking a supplement is an easy way to increase your intake, and it comes with some added benefits. Research shows that BCAAs help maintain optimal performance when exercising, while also promoting muscle recovery after participation in sports activities. They also support muscle tissue from breakdown and help maintain lean muscle mass. In my experience, taking a BCAA supplement is great when following a low-calorie diet, trying to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time.

After workouts, when muscle tissue is broken down and protein synthesis is low, is the best time to take a BCAA supplement. You’ll find them in both capsule and powder forms. I like to add a scoop of Vitacost ARO BCAAs to my post-workout protein shake daily to help support lean muscle tissue and to get antioxidant protection from exercise-induced free radical damage from the added vitamin C.

NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Learn more about Melissa in this recent spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at

About Mrs. Fitness

IFBB figure professional Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Email her at

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6 comments on «Make the Most of Your Workouts with BCAAs»

  1. Dolfo says:

    I know you are very busy with all of your videos and columns but if you could please inform me on this small question it would be appreciated! I saw in one of your other videos that you recommend high intensity exercises mixed with low intensity exercises (intervals) for optimal stout burning in the stomach region. But, I am not really in that terrible of shape, I would just like to tone up my stomach area by reducing the amount of stout and I am pretty comfortable with running 5-7 miles at once

  2. mrs. fitness says:

    Hi Dolfo, I think maybe you meant this message to go to JNL?? I don’t have any videos on the site but JNL does. My recommendation for tightening the stomach region is higher reps on stomach exercises and of course eating a clean diet-diet is the key to seeing your abs:)

  3. Chook says:

    My girlfriend has just started in the gym and her goal is to lose some far and tone up. Would some post work out amino acids with in 20mins of the work out help her see results?

  4. edvast says:

    Its a good for make your body fit and its goods to take and these easily available at online site…

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