Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. For people with low dietary-protein intake, BCAA supplementation can promote muscle protein synthesis, aid in recovery and help increase muscle growth over time.
BCAA supplements can be used daily to help provide the amino acids our bodies need and which may be missing from our diet. They are important for many people! The fact that most BCAA supplements are consumed daily means that knowing what’s in them is very important.
Did you know, for example, that many amino acid supplements are made from human hair, feathers, pig skin/hair and GMO corn? They can also be loaded with artifical flavors, colors and fillers.
The use of these materials in supplements has been hidden from consumers by supplement companies for a long time. It really just comes down to dollars and cents. Most companies do what will save them money and this usually means sacrificing the quality of the product which in turn impacts on the health of the consumer. Finding quality BCAA supplements is very important.
The main source in a BCAA supplement is keratin. Yes, this is the same keratin found in hair follicles. BCAAs are most often extracted from keratin with the help of solvents. Let’s take a look at these ingredients:
- Human hair – Human hair is allowed to be marketed as a vegetarian/vegan source of BCAAs since it doesn’t come from a dead animal. It’s cheaper to use making it a go-to for companies wanting to save on cost.
- Duck feathers – Most companies try their best to keep the natural source of keratin a secret, but people on the inside of the supplement industry feel that the majority of products use duck, chicken and other bird feathers.
- Pig skin and hair – Not as widely used as human hair and feathers but both are a rich source of keratin.
- GMO corn – Corn is one of the most widely genetically modified crops and is one of the most popular sources of BCAA supplements.
So, when it comes to choosing a BCAA supplement you should do your due diligence and research the vendor company. To be sure the supplement is not sourced from animal products or GMO corn, look for a BCAA supplement that is non-GMO and vegan, like those supplied by PROTEA ( proteanutrition.com ). Be sure that you fully trust the company before handing them your hard earned money. You have one body and you should care about what you put in it!