Nutrition Video Series: Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

A few weeks ago I started a nutrition video series across my social media called "Fueling Fridays". Every Friday, I cover a new topic in the field of nutrition in 1 minute or less - so in 60 seconds you'll know what it is, what it does, and where to find it in food! Squeezing in all I want to say into 60-second videos is pretty challenging for me, so I also include some key points with each video. I will now be sharing each of these videos right here on my blog! This week, I covered Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).

  • There are three branched-chain amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, and valine.
  • BCAAs are unique from other amino acids in that they can be oxidized in the muscle for fuel.
  • They can help prevent muscle breakdown DURING exercise, and are beneficial AFTER exercise by stimulating muscle building and promoting recovery.
  • May also be beneficial for athletes during recovery from injury - could limit muscle wasting/atrophy associated with immobilization/decreased training.
  • Food sources: You don't necessarily need to go out and purchase a BCAA supplement. You can find BCAAs naturally in foods such as dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, or you could combine plant-based sources such as soybeans, lentils, almonds, cashews, or chickpeas.

Watch the full video below!