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What Do BCAAs Actually Do?

Kyle Grosshanten

A collection of BCAA fitness supplement brands

What do BCAAs actually do?

Today I want to talk about the correlation between a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation and hormones. Do BCAAs create an anabolic environment?

Training causes big-time stress in the form of continuous damage to muscle tissue. The body reacts to this by increasing its production of the muscle-destroying hormone cortisol and reducing its production of testosterone. So could you do something about this by providing the muscles with the amino acids they need most?  As it turns out, research suggests that BCAAs not only stimulate muscle growth but also create an anabolic hormonal environment in the body.  

The thing is, if you get your diet right, you won't have any problems. But this is one of those situations where science has found that additional supplementing, at specific times, can bring some advantages.

Research found that when combined with resistance training, BCAA supplementation increased testosterone and reduced cortisol (the sworn enemy of testosterone) to create a favorable anabolic environment. It means that your testosterone will be higher and you are more protected during exercise with BCANs. Other studies showed that significant elevations in serum sex hormone-binding globulin, a protein which inhibits the function of testosterone, were present in people who didn't take BCAAs during resistance training.

In conclusion, if you train with weights, supplementing with BCAAs will do wonders for your testosterone and free testosterone. You will have higher levels than if you don't supplement and you will have more free testosterone... And you know what that means kids ;)