A new breed of product that has been cropping up all over the place as of late is branch chained amino acid powders. BCAA’s have been around in sports supplements for quite a while but mostly in capsule or tablet form. The main problem was that the powder tasted horrendous. Now however there are a large number of great tasting powder options.
First though lets talk about BCAA’s and what they do. BCAA’s are 3 essential amino acids. They are called Leucine, Iso-Leucine and Valine. They make up a large portion of skeletal muscle tissue and have been shown in studies to have a number of benefits to athletes and bodybuilders. The main benefit is that they are anti-catabolic. This is a very important and useful aspect especially whilst dieting as you run the risk of catabolism. They also have benefits like increasing protein synthesis post workout if taken around training.
Now for me the idea of powder BCAA’s is far superior to capsules for a number of reasons. Firstly the convenience of them. To mix a couple of scoops of BCAA powder in a bottle of water and drink it during training is far easier than having to pop pills before, after or even during training. 3 scoops of SciTec BCAA Xpress (insert link) for example will give you 15g of pure BCAA’s. To get that in capsule form would mean you had to swallow 30 average BCAA caps. This would be tough even for a seasoned pill swallower. I personally take BCAA’s during workout and having to take this many capsules during training simply isn’t an option. The next reason is cost. To put ingredients into a capsule costs money and that is reflected in the price of the product. If you look at the amount of grams of BCAA’s you get in powder vs capsules you will see that the powder is far cheaper in nearly every case.
I can personally vouch strongly for the effectiveness of BCAA powders on a fat loss diet for the preservation of muscle mass. I personally was sceptical and used them purely as an experiment to determine how well I could retain muscle whilst dieting in a heavy calorie deficit. You can see how I used them and the success i had with them here:
I found them useful for a number of reasons. Firstly they did actually work! I retained nearly 100% of muscle. I know this as i got my body fat percentage tested and monitored my weight. Another benefit was that it really helped to reduce cravings. The millennium sport tec RPG that i used was very sweet and really satisfied my sweet cravings on my diet. I would mix 1 scoop in with 2 litres of water and sip on it throughout the day. I found them to be so useful they are now a staple part of my diet even when mass gaining. I am currently using them mixed in with 50-100g maltodextrin during my workout.
So if you are looking for a very useful, scientifically proven product to aid you with your dieting then look no further than powder BCAA’s. They are very versatile, great tasting and invaluable on a diet due to being anti-catabolic and having no impact calories.
My top 3 choices for BCAA powder are: