If you want to know what BCAAs are, why they’re so popular, and whether or not they can benefit your health, fitness, or body composition, then you want to listen to this episode.

In this episode, I interview the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer of Examine.com Kurtis Frank on the truth about branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

For years now, BCAAs have been a staple supplement in the bodybuilding scene. If you’ve ever seen a muscleboy or girl in the gym lugging around a gallon jug of fluorescent liquid, chances are it’s water and BCAAs.

BCAAs are extremely popular because they supposedly help us build muscle faster when we’re bulking and retain muscle better when we’re cutting. A number of studies are often cited to support such claims too, and if you take the research at face value, it all seems to add up.

The problem is when you roll up your sleeves and take a closer look at the research and weight of the evidence on the whole, a very different picture emerges.

As you’ll discover in this podcast, BCAAs really don’t have much to offer beyond making your water more tasty, unless you’re an athlete—in that case, there is one legitimate use for BCAAs that might be relevant to you.


5:50 – What are BCAAs? Why are people using them?

9:32 – Why are they so popular?

14:26 – What does “branched” mean? How do BCAAs reduce fatigue?

18:10 – When do BCAAs work?

21:46 – Why do some people feel less hunger when they supplement with BCAAs?

24:20 – Can BCAAs stunt muscle gain?

27:48 – Anything else we should touch on?

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