Best Time To Take BCAAs – Gain All The Healthy Benefits

Most of us have heard of the term ‘BCAAs’ before. Some of us have seen it featured in social media advertisements, some have heard their workout buddies talk about it, and others might have seen it in their local grocery store. Either way, BCAAs are everywhere. 

As popular as this supplement is, most people have no idea what BCAAs actually are and what they do for the body. In fact, many people don’t understand how and when to take BCAAs properly — which results in many people not getting the most out of their supplement. 

To many, BCAAs are just another workout supplement that comes with a lot of hype but fails to deliver results. In reality, BCAAs are essential nutrients that play an important role in everyday health and performance — both inside and outside the gym. 

While BCAAs are essential amino acids that everyone must consume daily for optimum health and wellness, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone needs a BCAA supplement. In fact, most people consume enough BCAAs through their normal, everyday protein-rich diet. But, if you are going to add this supplement to your diet, there’s a lot to know, including the best time to take BCAAs so you can gain the right benefits.

When Should You Take BCAAs? 

The only time you should take BCAAs is when your body is breaking them down at a higher rate than normal. For most people, this occurs while working out or indulging in some form of physical activity. In this case, it might be too difficult to increase BCAA intake through your diet.

A BCAA supplement provides a quick solution when replenishing the three most important amino acids to your workout — valine, leucine, and isoleucine. They should never replace the BCAAs you normally get from your diet, but rather the BCAAs lost during a workout.

That’s why you’ll see many bodybuilders and workout loyalists taking BCAA before, during, or after a workout. Of course, that leaves us with the million-dollar question that’s on everyone’s mind — should we take BCAAs before a workout, during a workout, or after a workout?

There have been a few studies comparing the use of BCAAs before, during, and after a workout. More research is needed, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence supporting the fact that you’ll receive greater results by taking a BCAA supplement at a certain time of the day.

With that said, many people are taking BCAAs for different reasons. Some want a more energized workout, some want a more pristine recovery period, some want to grow muscle at a higher rate, and others are simply interested in making sure their body gets the right amount each day. 

Check Out Our 9 Top Rated Supplements
Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.
Click Here to check out the list.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons and possible benefits of taking BCAAs either before, during, or after a workout. 

BCAAs Powder

Taking BCAAs Before A Workout

Taking BCAAs before a workout is the most preferred way among bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts — unless you’re fasting. It generally takes 30 minutes for your BCAA levels to spike after taking a supplement, so most people take their BCAA 15-20 before a workout. 

When you take your BCAA as a pre-workout, you’re giving your body the amino acids it needs during a workout. Your body breaks BCAAs down for energy — the more BCAAs you have, the more energy you have and the more intense your workout is. 

In addition to improving your performance, taking BCAAs before a workout can improve your post-workout recovery. Some studies have shown less muscle soreness and lower blood markers of muscle damage after their workout when taking a BCAA supplement beforehand.

BCAAs Before Workout

Taking BCAAs During A Workout

Some people prefer to take BCAAs during a workout. Much like taking it before the workout, it’ll still give you an energy boost during the workout and will improve your post-recovery. The main thing to keep in mind is the 30-minute delay between taking it and your BCAA levels peaking.

If you’re someone who exercises before eating a meal or while fasting, taking a BCAA during a workout can help you fight the fatigue you normally experience. You should note that your body won’t be in a fasted state anymore, but the BCAAs will help you preserve lean muscle. 

There are some people that work out for extended periods of time. In this case, it might be beneficial to take BCAAs before and during a workout. A good example is someone who works out for 3 hours straight. They would benefit from taking BCAAs 20 minutes pre-workout and about halfway through their workout. 

BCAA During Workout

Taking BCAAs After A Workout

Taking BCAAs after a workout isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t come without benefits. They will help improve your recovery and get you ready for your next workout, but you won’t necessarily see an increase in performance — unless you take it before or during, in addition to after. 

If you’re turning to a BCAA supplement after a workout, you’re better off reaching for a healthy meal that’s rich in protein. Not only do you get all 9 essential amino acids, but you also get a heaping of other nutrients that are excellent for the body after a workout. 

With that said, a BCAA supplement could be beneficial for anyone not looking to add calories after a workout. Since some people have very strict diets and eat at certain times throughout the day, taking a supplement to ensure your body gets the necessary nutrients at the right times is important. 

BCAAs After A Workout

Other FAQ’s Regarding BCAAs

Knowing when to take your BCAAs is extremely important, especially if you’re taking them for a specific reason. Of course, you should also have a deep understanding of what BCAAs are, how much you should take, how they work, and what to look for in a quality BCAA supplement. 

For starters, BCAAs are essential amino acids that the body uses to build proteins, as well as help enzymes and other molecules function properly. There are three different amino acids that make up the BCAA group — valine, leucine, and isoleucine. 

Also known as branched-chain amino acids, they’re ‘essential’ because the body can’t produce them on its own. Instead, your body relies on you to consume enough valine, isoleucine, and leucine through your diet each day. Of course, that’s where BCAA supplements come into play.

How Much BCAAs Should I Take? 

The amount of BCAAs you need to supplement with each day largely depends on your diet and how much protein you consume on a daily basis. The body requires anywhere between 15-65mg of BCAA per pound of bodyweight — this equates to around 9-12g of BCAA per day.

Most people receive all the BCAAs they need from their diet, while other people lead more active lifestyles and require a boost from BCAA supplements. Most foods rich in protein will contain BCAAs, including meat, fish, beans, milk, cheese, eggs, quinoa, and nuts. 

If you’re going after a supplement, you should ensure it follows a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. That’s because leucine is the most important amino acid of the three and the body requires more of it for protein synthesis. Most BCAA supplements contain anywhere from 4-20g of BCAAs.

BCAA Benefits

BCAAs play a number of roles in the body, most of which come in handy during or after a workout. All in all, there are four major benefits of taking BCAAs — muscle growth, muscle recovery, increased energy, and improved fat loss. 

Let’s take a closer look at each benefit:

  • Muscle Growth – BCAAs help improve protein synthesis and also bypass the liver for direct access to the muscles (unlike most amino acids). The most important leucine for muscle growth is leucine, which activates mTOR in the body.
  • Muscle Recovery – BCAAs are anti-catabolic, which means they help reduce muscle breakdown, reduce muscle soreness, and reduce recovery time. Of course, this means you’re ready to go for your next exercise. 
  • Increased Energy – during a workout, the body breaks BCAAs down and uses them as an energy source. In addition to that, BCAAs help reduce fatigue by limiting the amount of serotonin in the brain. The main BCAA here is valine. 
  • Weight & Fat Loss – BCAAs help you feel full throughout the day to avoid overeating. More specifically, isoleucine helps activate PPARs that increase fat-burning and inhibit the fat storage process. 

There’s a reason many bodybuilders and exercise loyalists turn to these three specific amino acids when getting the most out of their workout. They help with every facet and every stage of your workout, making it the best pre- and post-workout supplement. 

What Should You Look For In A Quality BCAA Supplement?

The first thing you should look for in a BCAA supplement is the dosage of each individual amino acid. This is important because you need to confirm you’re receiving enough of each amino acid (depends on diet), as well as receiving the proper 2:1:1 ratio. 

The second thing you should look for is the quality of ingredients. You want to confirm that the supplement is manufactured in a clean facility that doesn’t use any fillers, additives, or harmful ingredients. If you’re vegan or have allergies, you should also take note of that. 

The third thing is price — which is an important factor of every purchase you make. Many supplements have the perfect formula, but are way too expensive. Other ones are extremely affordable, but either not effective or harmful to the body. Finding a balance is important. 

Finally, you must take into account any other ingredients you want included in the formula. BCAAs are stacked with a wide range of workout supplements, including pre-workouts, protein shakes, fat-burners, and much more. Of course, you can also find BCAAs alone in their own formula.

Are BCAAs Safe?

The good news when taking BCAAs as a supplement is they are widely tolerated in just about everyone. You likely won’t experience any side effects with a daily BCAA intake of 15-35 grams, but you should always pair that up with a sufficient amount of exercise — especially with higher doses. 

Anyone with ALS should avoid BCAA supplementation and anyone with maple syrup urine disease should limit their daily intake because their body can’t break it down properly. 

It should be noted that high dosages can lead to nausea, headaches, increased insulin resistance, and unregulated blood sugar levels. You should always follow the directions and guidelines on the back of the supplement and remember, don’t let it replace your diet!

BCAA Supplements You Can Trust

There are so many different BCAA supplements on the market today and finding the right one for you can be an extremely difficult process. You want to make sure you get a quality supplement, but also that it’s affordable — since you’ll want to take it long-term. 

To help you navigate your options, we’re going to detail three of our favorite BCAA supplements available today — including Transparent Labs BCAA + Glutamine, Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA Caps, and BCAA’s by 1st Phorm.  Let’s take a closer look!

Transparent Labs BCAA + Glutamine

Transparent Labs BCAA + Glutamine

The first supplement on our list is Transparent Labs BCAA + Glutamine. Each serving contains a total of 8,000mg (8 grams) of BCAAs and 5,000mg (5 grams) of L-Glutamine. The BCAAs follow the recommended 2:1:1 ratio, with 4 grams of leucine and 2 grams of valine/isoleucine.

That’s not all this formula contains, though. It also includes 1,000mg (1 gram) of coconut water powder, 1,535mg (1.5 grams) of Vitamin C, and 2 grams of total carbohydrates. Each serving has just 10 calories and you only need one scoop of the powder. 

It’s not that expensive at just $39.00 per 30 servings. Of course, it can get expensive if you’re taking multiple scoops every day, so frequency of use plays a big role here. Either way, it’s a quality BCAA supplement that’s available in Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Orange, Green Apple, Strawberry Lemonade, and Tropical Punch.

GET THE BEST PRICE ON TRANSPARENT LABS BCAA + GLUTAMINE

Clean BCAA 

Clean BCAA 

Clean BCAA is a BCAA supplement from Clean Machine. Clean Machine focuses on producing quality supplements that are healthy for the human body as well as helpful for the environment. Clean BCAA contains 2,000mg L-leucine, 1,000mg L-isoleucine, and 1,000mg L-valine within its formula. In addition to those BCAAs, Clean BCAA also includes a variety of key minerals such as calcium, potassium, chloride, and sodium.

This BCAA powder is available in lemonade or fruit punch flavor, aids in weight loss, benefits fat loss, supports muscle growth and recovery, and does not contain caffeine.

GET THE BEST PRICE ON CLEAN BCAA

BCAA Caps by Optimum Nutrition

BCAA Caps by Optimum Nutrition

The next supplement we’ll display is featured by a very popular supplement company – Optimum Nutrition. I wanted to include this one because it’s a light and basic version of what was discussed above. Not only that, it’s available in capsules for ease-of-use, opposed to powder. 

There are only three ingredients included and they’re the only three you need when taking a BCAA supplement — micronized valine, micronized isoleucine, and micronized leucine. It contains the 2:1:1 ratio we’re looking for, but there’s just 500mg of valine and 250mg of the other two.

They have several pricing options available. You can choose the 30-capsule bottle for just $7.99, their 100-capsule bottle for $16.99, or their 200-capsule bottle for just $29.99. It’s a quality option for someone that doesn’t need high dosages and just needs a little boost throughout the day. 

GET THE BEST PRICE ON OPTIMUM NUTRITION BCAA CAPS

BCAAs by 1st Phorm

BCAAs by 1st Phorm

The final supplement we’re showcasing here is called BCAA’s and it’s offered by 1st Phorm. It’s approximately the same price as Transparent Labs, but comes in a 40-serving tub and costs $42.99 — which means you get a little more bang for your buck. 

The BCAA count is similar, with 1st Phorm including 3,500mg of valine, 2,000mg of leucine, and 2,000mg of isoleucine. It’s not an exact 2:1:1 ratio, but it’s close. Outside of the BCAAs, there’s also Vitamin B3, B6, B12, sodium, potassium, an amino blend, and an electrolyte blend. 

The amino blend contains l-taurine, l-tyrosine, l-glutamine, l-citrulline, and agmatine sulfate. We don’t know the specific dosages of each, but they combine to total 1,723mg. The electrolyte blend totals 440mg and contains potassium citrate, sodium chloride, magnesium bisglycinate chelate, and potassium glycinate complex. 

GET THE BEST PRICE ON 1ST PHORM BCAAS
You May Also Like
Best CoQ10 Supplements – Our Top 5 Picks

Best CoQ10 Supplements – Our Top 5 Picks

CoQ10 supplements have become increasingly popular as people have discovered their energy-boosting properties as well as their ability to fight off chronic diseases. You can find a variety of these supplements in your local grocery store, online, and even at places...

How To Tell If You’re In Ketosis – What You Need To Know

How To Tell If You’re In Ketosis – What You Need To Know

If you are following the ketogenic diet, you should be able to achieve the state of ketosis to get the benefits of your diet, such as weight loss. But what is ketosis? Why is it important? Above all, how would you know if you’re already in the state of ketosis? This...

Best Plant-Based Protein Powder – 3 Highly Recommended Options

Best Plant-Based Protein Powder – 3 Highly Recommended Options

The benefit of protein goes beyond your bodybuilding efforts. It is said that protein is the main building block of life. That being said, getting enough protein is very important if you are to live well, as you can very sick from a severe lack of protein. There are...

Best Vegan Probiotic – 3 Top Supplement Choices For This Diet

Best Vegan Probiotic – 3 Top Supplement Choices For This Diet

As a vegan, you may have experienced finding a probiotic supplement that seemed to be perfect – it has the probiotic strains that you are looking for, its CFU is just what you need, etc. However, upon further inspection, you suddenly became disappointed because of one...

Best Liver Supplements – 6 Top Picks For Your Health

Best Liver Supplements – 6 Top Picks For Your Health

The liver is one of the most crucial organs of the human body, alongside organs such as the heart and brain. Our liver is our body’s main filtration system, which means, it specializes in converting toxins into waste products, cleansing our blood, and is also one of...

Disclosure: Some of the links in our articles are from our advertisers. Learn more about how we make money.

Contents

Reviews

Latest Fitness Profiles

Scott Eastwood

Scott Eastwood

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramScott EastwoodActor Born: 1986Scott Eastwood is the stage name of Scott Clinton Reeves, the son of actor Clint Eastwood and flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves. Scott Eastwood has 1 full sibling and at least 7 half-siblings. He grew up in...

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramJustin TimberlakeEntertainer Born: 1981Justin Randall Timberlake grew up in Tennessee. He has many musicians in his family and began performing at a young age. When he was 11, he appeared on Star Search as ‘Justin Randall.’ In 1993, he...

Harry Styles

Harry Styles

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramHarry StylesSinger Born: 1994Harry Styles is English. Growing up, he liked to record songs on his karaoke machine and he was lead singer in a high school band. In 2010, Styles’ mother encouraged him to try out for The X Factor. He did...

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramCindy CrawfordModel Born: 1966Born in Illinois, Cindy Crawford got started in modeling as a teenager when she was selected by a local clothing store to participate in a fashion shoot. This led to a decision to try it as a career and she...

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramGabrielle UnionActress Born: 1972Gabrielle Union-Wade was born in Nebraska and her family moved to California when she was 8. In high school, she was a 3-sport athlete: soccer, track and an all-star point guard for her basketball team....

Latest Reviews

Multi-GI 5 Review – How Does This Supplement Stack Up?

Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, declared that "all disease begins in the gut." Today, medical experts would tell you that although not all diseases originate in the digestive tract, the microbiome plays a critical role in...

MUD\WTR Review – Can This Replace Your Coffee?

MUD WTR is a supplement that serves as a healthier alternative to coffee. Coffee is one of America's favorite beverages. More and more people are starting their coffee habits every day. That said, we’ll concur with Shane Heath, founder of MUD\WTR that we’ve never...

Mind Lab Pro Review – How Does This Nootropic Rank?

Mind Lab Pro is a dietary supplement that supports mental health recovery and brain health.  The manufacturer, Performance Lab, claims the ingredients in this product can improve your cognitive function, mental energy, memory, and learning ability, and enhance your...

DoFasting Review – Can This App Help You Meet Your Fitness Goals?

Have you ever wondered whether or not intermittent fasting is right for you? Have you ever tried intermittent fasting but failed to see the results you were hoping for? Are you sick of weight loss programs that don’t work? Don’t panic if you answered Yes to either of...

Related Articles

Best Bodybuilding Supplement Stack – What You Need To Build Muscles

The most important stack for bodybuilding … plates. As in 45’s, quarters, and dimes stacked at the end of a barbell. And plates of healthy protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the correct macronutrient ratio, at the proper frequency, and in the right amount. Unless and...

Best Collagen Protein Powder – The 3 Top Picks Worth Using

If you want to have firmer skin, stronger bones, improved muscle mass, and possibly even a healthier heart, you should consider checking out collagen. Collagen is known for providing plenty of health benefits; most notably, for our skin, but its benefits go beyond our...

Best Non-Stimulant Fat Burners – 4 Top Choices For Your Body Goals

When we talk about fat burners, we mostly think of a weight loss supplement. This is because the main ingredients used by fat burners to aid in burning our fat and losing excess weight are stimulants of varying types. Hence, many people avoid weight loss supplements...

Best MCT Oil Powder – Top 3 Choices Worth Buying

Coconut oil has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades, and for good reason. As years passed, coconut oil has been widely regarded as a superfood because it is rife with healthy natural fats that can help your body in a variety of ways. The secret,...

Are BCAAs Worth It? – How Amino Acids Can Benefit Your Health

Are you aware of the crucial role that protein plays in muscle synthesis? If maximum muscle gains are your goal, then BCAA's, or branched-chain amino acids, should be included in your day to day supplements. These amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein...

Top Rated Supplements
Best Supplements

Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.


Check Out the List

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This