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I've recently began revamping my supplementation.
As of now, I'm only taking protein and creatin (although admittedly, I didn't really adhere to the recommended rationing / week plans of creatin).

I go to gym relatively often (5-6 times a week), so I got to know some people, who do body-building seriously. One of which was a qualified personal trainer and when I asked him about what should I add to my supplementation, he said:

  • Protein
  • Creatin
  • Multi-vitamin
  • Omega3

As to somewhat of my personal surprise, as I did my own personal research into supplementation, the BCAA was missing in his list. When I confronted him about it, he said, that for a non-competing builder, the BCAA supplementation is completely unnecessary.

Which leads me to my question: Should I be taking BCAA?

  • If yes, what are the pros and cons?
  • If not, and the trainer was right, why shouldn't I be taking?

As a bonus question, if you have any suggestion as to what to add or remove in my supplementation list, I'd be more than happy to know

3

I believe you can get all the mentioned nutrients with food.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) include leucine, isoleucine and valine, all of which can be found in common protein foods (meat, milk, beans...). The effects and possible disadvantages of taking BCAAs as supplements are described in another answer.

The protein in protein supplements is more or less the same as natural protein in foods. Protein supplements often contain lactose, which can contribute to stinky gas.

There is insufficient evidence to claim that omega-3 supplements or even oily fish, which naturally contain omega-3 fatty acids, are protective against heart or other diseases (Cochrane, 2018). The effect of omega-3 on the muscle function is also not convincing (PubMed, 2018).

Multivitamin supplements have no overall benefits for the majority of population (PubMed, 2012). One could argue that your vitamin and mineral needs increase with calories spent. That's true, but your micronutrients intake automatically increases with increased food intake.

Creatine may help you increase muscle strength (PubMed, 2015) but I'm not sure if there is sufficient evidence about this (PubMed, 2012). Creatine also causes water retention and thus water weight (PubMed, 2003).

2

Here's the truth and my view on BCAA's.

Unless you don’t get enough BCAAs through your diet or you work out on an empty stomach, supplementing with the amino acids won’t help you achieve your goals faster or easier.

Instead, if you already have your diet in check, the only thing that BCAA supplementation achieves is separating you from your hard-earned money.

So, instead of ordering another shiny tube of BCAAs, focus on getting enough protein instead. Do this by consuming at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. (source)

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