Tested and True – Muscle Enhancers: Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Plus

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Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are necessary for making protein and stimulating muscle production throughout the body. The research on the benefits of BCAAs for muscle enhancement is mixed.  Some human research indicates that BCAAs may help reduce muscle breakdown during exercise while most research has found that BCAAs have no performance-enhancing effects.


Claims and Purported Use

More recent research suggests that BCAA supplementation before and after exercise may help reduce or delay the onset of muscle soreness, improve muscle recovery, and improve immune function after long distance intense exercise. It appears that free BCAAs circulating in the blood prevent protein break down, and that leucine in particular plays the most significant role in stimulating protein synthesis.

The following BCAAs products are tested and true.


MRM BCAA+G Lemonade Flavor

MRM - BCAA+G 1000, Lemonade - 2.2 lb

MET-Rx BCAA 2200

MET-Rx BCAA 2200, 180 Count

Vintage Build – The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder (Creatine, BCAAs & L-Glutamine)

VINTAGE BUILD - The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder - Premium BCAAs, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine (Fresh Berries), 330 Grams, 30 Servings

Selected Potential Side Effects

BCAAs are generally regarded as safe when taken at suggested dosages.

Selected Drug Interactions

There are concerns that BCAAs might interfere with some medications used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and may have an additive effect, which is an effect in which two substances or actions used in combination produce a total effect the same as the sum of the individual effects, to some medications used to address type 2 diabetes.

Suggested Dosage

One to five grams used daily is suggested for muscle recovery and to prevent soreness.  In some cases the doses vary.  For example, 12 grams a day is suggested for cirrhosis of the liver and 4.8 is suggested to improve appetite in people with cancer.

Reference Guide for Tested and True Dietary Supplements

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Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Creatine

Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

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*reference: Consumer Reports Health


About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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