What are BCAA’s and Why You May Need Them.

What are BCAA’s and Why You May Need Them.

Supporting my body with the proper nutrition is something I try really hard to do.  Eating good, clean, nutrient dense foods is great for my body but I’ve noticed that when I’m lifting heavier weights I need a little more support than just the foods I’m eating.  The Hubby does even more than I do as he crossfits several times a week.

I’d been hearing about BCAA’s and the benefits of using them as part of your fitness nutrition.  I was hesitant to add in a supplement as I try to keep things as natural as possible but when I was in Boulder for Blend a few months back, I had the opportunity to learn about Gnarly.  A great company that makes clean, grass-fed protein powder as well as other supplements including BCAA’s.  When they contacted me to see if I’d be interested in trying out their products I immediately knew which one I wanted to try.  The BCAA’s!

Gnarly nutrition strives to create products that are just that, Gnarly!  What makes them Gnarly is that their products are natural, healthy, honest and delicious.  They carry Whey protein powder, Vegan protein powder, and other supplements like the BCAA’s I chose to try out.


Now, let’s get back to why if you’re training you might want to add in this supplement.

BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids.  They are called Branch Chain because they have side chains that branch off.  Most of us know that Amino Acids are essential building blocks that make up protein.   They are essential because our body cannot manufacture them so we must consume them in foods or supplements.

Branch Chain Amino Acids help your body in a few different ways;

~ They support a healthy immune system

~ Improve exercise performance

~ Reduce muscle breakdown

~ Improves recovery time post workout

~ Prevention of lean muscle mass

~ Protect against amino acid deficiencies

If you are training pretty regularly, you might benefit from taking BCAAs.  Gnarly’s Berry Lemonade is great mixed with water and a little goes a long way.  It’s recommended to take 4-8 grams before a workout and 4-8 after a workout.  Taking them before or during will increase performance.  Taking them after with a post work out meal or recovery drink will help speed the replacement of BCAA’s in the muscles, and help prevent overtraining.

While I haven’t been taking them long, I do notice a difference when I drink them during my workout.  I feel as if I have a little more energy and endurance.  The Hubby enjoys drinking them before and after his crossfit WOD’s.  When I’m able to get back into heavy lifting I’ll definitely be adding them in pre and post workout.

I’m glad that I finally found a reputable company to get BCAA’s from.  Definitely check them out if you’re interested!


  • Do you use supplements for your fitness?  
  • Have you tried BCAAs?  Thoughts?  

Disclaimer – Gnarly Nutrition provided me with a container of BCAA supplements in exchange for this post.  I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are my own.  

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  1. I take BCAA’s before my strength training workouts, I have definitely seen improvement. I recently started taking them about 6 months ago and I feel like my endurance (during strength training) has improved and my performance is a little better 🙂