Why and When to Take BCAA for Maximum Benefits
You got questions, we got answers.
When should you take BCAAs...everyday!
When is the best time to take BCAAs...before or during a workout.
Why take BCAAs...
- Shorten Recovery Time
- Prevent Loss Muscle MAss
- Boost Protein Synthesis
- Support Muscles
If you're feeling overly fatigued and sore after a round of training, need more energy to support your training, and want to improve your recovery, you'll find the answers you're looking for in branched chain amino acids.
Naturally found in both animal and plant sources, BCAAs are critical in supporting muscles and promoting muscle protein synthesis, increasing energy and metabolism, and supporting muscles during the recovery phase.
BCAAs are also known to prevent the loss of muscles mass, improve muscle growth, decrease recovery time, increase time to fatigue, improve high-intensity exercise, and aid in weight loss.
The main questions we'll be diving into today are, "when is the best time to take BCAAs?" and "why should I take BCAAs?".
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of BCAA supplements.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE BCAA SUPPLEMENTS
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential.
This means that your body does not produce them. You can only get them through protein-rich foods or dietary supplements.
BCAAs, frequently supplemented by athletes for muscle growth, energy, and enhanced performance, stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, a group of three essential amino acids;
Branched-Chain amino acids are the building blocks of muscles that are used to make proteins and play a critical role in the proper functioning of the human body.
Because BCAAs are considered essential, the human body is unable to produce them and they must be consumed through food sources as well as proper supplementation.
Your body needs 20 different amino acids in order to grow and function appropriately. Of these 20 amino acids, nine are considered to be essential, with the most crucial three being;
- Critical for protein synthesis and metabolic functions.
- Prevents the breakdown of muscle protein.
- Contributes to the repair and growth of muscle and bone tissue.
- Stimulates immune functions.
- Aids muscle metabolism.
- Supplements immune function, hemoglobin production, and energy regulation.
- Stimulates muscle growth and tissue repair.
- Supplements energy production.
You can find BCAA supplements in various forms, such as powders, capsules, and ready-to-drink formulas.
These supplements are best taken when you want to achieve the following:
- Build muscle mass
- Promote muscle recovery
- Increase energy levels during exercise
- Reduce muscle loss
- Increase fat burning and weight loss
AMINO ACIDS FOR MUSCLE BUILDING AND PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
BCAA is made up of 3 amino acids: Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine.
Leucine takes the lion’s share in the ratio at 2:1:1 in ATH’s BCAAs.
The BCAAs play vital roles when it comes to muscle growth. When taken in adequate amounts, they increase muscle mass and body weight.
Leucine reduces protein breakdown and stimulates muscle protein synthesis. Valine gives energy to the body. Isoleucine has a range of functions which include regulating protein metabolism and immunity.
If you are just starting out, you can take one serving of ATH BCAAs. This serving contains 2 to 3 grams of leucine. This is enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
It is best to take a serving daily, even on days when you only want to engage in light exercise.
BCAA SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLE RECOVERY
Like the majority of us, you have probably experienced frightful post workout soreness. Such muscle soreness can last up to 3 days. This can mess with your workout routine and fitness goals.
Natural Plant-Based Cotton Candy BCAA
When you take BCAAs before exercising, you cut DOMS period. This refers to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This promotes muscle recovery and muscle building. It helps reduce muscle soreness and muscle damage.
Women can take 10 grams and men can take 15 grams of BCAA supplements. Take this about 15 minutes before a workout for best results.
If you forget to take it before a workout session, don’t worry. You can still take it during your workout. When taken during a workout, BCAA supplements help prevent further fatigue.
BCAA SUPPLEMENTS FOR SUSTAINED ENERGY
It is common for one to experience fatigue during workouts. This occurs when glucose, an energy production hub, runs low. The resulting rise in serotonin levels hinders endurance exercise. This suppresses tryptophan levels.
BCAAs helps you to push through your training with energy and zeal.
Protein plays a critical role in guaranteeing energy when you are running low on carbs. Valine is the branched amino acid that boosts energy levels in the body. Especially when engaged in strenuous activity.
Take 6 to 10 grams of BCAAs about 15 minutes prior to a workout or strenuous activity. There will be times when you feel particularly lethargic but still want to work out. On such days, take 10 grams about 30 minutes prior to a workout.
It takes about 30 minutes for the BCAAs to peak in the body. Therefore, this is the ideal window to help you start off the session with high energy levels.
"Pre-workout substitute. I've been using this as a pre-workout in my am gym time and don't experience any of the negative side effects that other powders can have. Gives enough energy and great customer service."
Elizabeth P. | Customer Review
BCAAS FOR REDUCING MUSCLE LOSS
During exercise, there is constant muscle protein breakdown and synthesis. When the muscle repair surpasses the muscle breakdown, growth occurs. The inverse is also true.
Muscle loss can be hard for fitness enthusiasts. Especially if they are trying to stay lean and toned while eating in a caloric deficit.
Take 6-8 grams of ATH BCAAs about 15 minutes prior to a workout to reduce muscle loss. You can also take the supplements during or after your session; it is still effective. The BCAAs will be working on your muscles up to 2 hours post workout.
BCAAS FOR FAT BURNING AND WEIGHT LOSS
BCAAs with Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in the ratio of 2:1:1 have shown positive results in weight loss.
The supplements increase fat burning over the years. Other proteins may help in energy provision. However, Isoleucine is responsible for weight loss by fat burning.
Research suggests that people who take about 15 grams of BCAA supplements on a daily basis are fitter. This, backed by a high protein diet puts them at a 30% lower risk of putting on weight and being obese.
In exercise nutrition, weight lifters who want to build muscle while maintaining their body weight take BCAAs. This is because BCAAs increase muscle building while making the body lean.
For the ultimate results, you can combine your BCAAs with glutamine. This combination is known to accelerate fat loss and ultimately, weight loss. This is effective even in people who don’t necessarily follow a strict low-calorie diet.
THE BEST TIME TO TAKE BCAAS
The short answer:
Studies show that 10-15 grams of BCAA powder 20 minutes prior to or during your workout helps to...
- Promote Muscle Protein Synthesis
- Reduce Muscle Fatigue
- Improve Muscle Recovery
- Increase Energy Levels
The long explanation:
The exact BCAA dosage is dependent on your specific health and athletic goals.
While more research needs to be done to define the optimal dosage for athletes, recent research has found that consuming a daily dose of 10-15 grams of BCAA supplements provides optimal results.
Aim for the following daily dose of BCAA supplements:
- BCAAS FOR WOMEN: Minimum of 10 grams of BCAA per day
- BCAAS FOR MEN: Minimum of 15 grams of BCAA per day.
It is important to note that maintaining your BCAA supplementation over a long period of time -- over 10 days -- needs to continue in order to see any significant benefits.
This means taking BCAAs every day.
THE BEST BCAA RATIO
The best BCAA ratio is the widely-researched 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine.
Leucine plays a critical role in muscle growth and development. It has a stronger effect on muscle protein synthesis and reducing muscle protein breakdown - which is why the amino acid ratio has double the amount of leucine when compared to isoleucine and valine.
Think of Leucine as the main actor who does the heavy lifting and Isoleucine and Valine as the supporting roles.
Leucine boosts muscle protein synthesis and increases muscle growth.
Isoleucine increases energy levels and improves muscle recovery after strenuous training.
Valine promotes muscle growth while repairing muscle tissue fibers and regulating blood sugar levels.
Formulas that have a 1:1:1 ratio of the three amino acids have shown to be less effective due to the decreased amount of Leucine.
MAXIMIZING YOUR BCAAS
Here is the general information: you need about 10 to 20 grams of BCAAs daily. The daily recommended minimum is 10 grams for women and 15 grams for men. The amount you take, however, will depend on your desired results.
Be wary of BCAAs with a lot of preservatives, sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Be sure to confirm that the product you choose is drug-free as well.
Artificial additives are not always beneficial to the body. Additionally, they become too much of a filler to the supplements. This means that each serving has very low quantities of the nutrients that you actually need.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE BCAAS?
BCAAS is short for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the three essential amino acids that makeup BCAAs.
WHAT DO BCAAS DO?
BCAAS are the building blocks of protein and muscle. They promote muscle protein synthesis, increase energy and metabolism, and support muscle recovery.
WHEN TO TAKE BCAAS?
BCAAs should be taken 10-20 minutes prior to or during your workout. Added electrolytes from pink Himalayan salt make ATH BCAAs the perfect intra-workout drink.
HOW MUCH BCAAS SHOULD I TAKE?
Research shows that consuming a daily dose of 10-15 grams of BCAA supplements provides optimal results.
BCAAs for Men: Minimum of 15 grams per day.
BCAAs for Women: Minimum of 10 grams per day.
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD I DRINK BCAAS?
We recommend using BCAA's 1-2 times a day.
It's best consumed prior to or during your training.
CAN I ADD BCAAS TO MY PRE?
YES! BCAAs can be added to your PRE 2.0.
BCCAs provide the amino acids needed to support your muscles and training, while PRE 2.0 will give you 100mg of clean energy.
IS IT OKAY TO TAKE BCAA BEFORE BED?
Since BCAA's have been shown to decrease cortisol levels and increase growth hormone levels, it can be beneficial to take BCAA's before bed.
Both Cortisol and Growth Hormone play important roles during sleep.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BCAAS AND PRE WORKOUT?
BCAAs and PRE workouts are often put into the same category, causing newcomers much confusion about which supplement will best fit their needs.
Remember this: BCAAs are critical to support muscles. PRE workouts support mental clarity, focus, and energy. Here’s a short and sweet breakdown of our BCAA vs PRE.