What's BCAA anyway?

Dr. Sharif Sharifi

You might have noticed that one of our products at AFPI is ‘BCAA Capsules’ and heard us saying that they are GREAT for your work out: boosting energy, performance, and muscle recovery. But what is BCAA? And how can it do all these things?

BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. Amino Acids are organic compounds that form proteins when they combine. They are vital to the body – as well as forming proteins, they’re also used in hormonal and neurotransmitter processes. Amino Acids can be categorised  as “essential” and “non-essential”, with non-essential amino acids being those that the body can produce of its own accord, and essential amino acids being those that we MUST obtain through our diets. (There are also “conditionally essential” amino acids, which might need to be obtained through the diet under particular health circumstances).

There are three branched-chain amino acids – these are leucine, valine, and isoleucine (they are so named because at the molecular level they share what is known as an aliphatic side-chain with a branch – basically, a central carbon atom that is attached to at least three other carbon atoms).  BCAAs are unique to the other amino acids because they can be metabolised in the muscles (the other amino acids are metabolised in the liver). Because of this, BCAAs have been popular among body builders looking to boost muscle growth and enhance performance and energy levels in the gym.

BCAA supplements are traditionally derived from keratin (the fibrous protein that characterises fingernails and hair, among other animal parts). However, AFPI’s BCAA Capsules are extraordinary in that they are completely vegan.  



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