Did you know that most BCAAs in the market are made from human hair, duck feathers and animal hair!
What! Are you trying to tell me that my pre-workout supplement, the one I chugged this morning before the gym, was derived from hair clippings and feathers?
The answer is most likely, yes.
The use of these materials in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) has been hidden by the supplement industry for a long time. Why have they been keeping it a secret from you all of this time? It’s all about pounds and pennies. Most people view duck feathers, animal skin and human hair as byproducts, and would usually send them straight to the dump. However, some companies in the supplement industry seem to think it’s more important to make some raw materials from them! Hundreds of years ago, healers and doctors discovered that these materials are naturally high in keratin. Keratin, in the simplest form, is a fibrous protein and is responsible for our hair and skin sticking together and not just falling apart. Keratin is essentially pure protein. By using certain acids and solvents, you can easily yield proteins and amino acids from keratin.
Fear not, though. There are a few companies out there that offer a more eco friendly however more costly alternative – fermented vegan BCAAs. These are usually derived mainly from corn. The high demand for BCAAs has caused manufacturers to streamline their process over the last few years, which has made this alternative much more appealing as costs have gone down greatly. In the past, they were about 4 times more expensive than traditional Chinese BCAAs.
So who cares? I love some hair and feathers in my shakes….
Ultimately the choice is yours, but at PharmaFitness, the little things always matter. Besides the fact that the raw materials used to make these free-form amino acids are so much more sustainable than human or animal skin/hair/feathers, the process is also much gentler, because the harsh chemicals used to treat skin-related keratin aren’t used. We also feel that fermented vegan BCAAs, although they do have a slightly more sour taste than regular aminos, for our vegan/vegetarian customers, the choice is clear.
It’s your only body…take care of what you put in it!