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BCAAs stand for branched-chain amino acids and include the key amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine, needed for superior level body building. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in the body, including hormones, tissue and muscle. Muscle needs a range of specific amino acids for maintenance and growth, and the branched-chain amino acids produce around one third of muscle protein. These can be depleted during intense exercise.
Good protein sources, including protein powders, will always contain BCAAs as part of its inherent amino acid profile. However, you can maximise muscle growth potential by adding extra BCAAs. BCAAs also inhibit the breakdown of lean muscle tissue during workouts. Taking BCAAs before exercise or even intra-workout prevents excessive muscle breakdown. You can also take BCAAs alongside your post-workout protein drink.