when to take BCAA

BCAAs are probably one of the most mysterious yet fiercely popular supplements in the fitness industry. And it’s incredibly important to know when to take BCAAs because BCAAs are an extremely effective health supplement if taken at the recommended time and amount.

The timing of the BCAAs intake greatly affects its effectiveness. There are many people who are aware that there are some effective BCAAs available in the market but don’t really have a clear idea about them. We are going to discuss it a bit thoroughly in this article.

What Do BCAAs Do?


BCAA stands for Branched Chained Amino Acids. Basically, a bunch of amino acids that develop our muscle. The human body will face severe hardship to maintain the important as well as critical tasks of muscle growth, muscle regains and muscle repair without these acids. BCAAs significantly expand the muscle mass and positively impacts on increased muscle performance.

Not just in organic foods, Amino Acids can now be found in artificial tablet and powder-like supplements too. The BCAA supplements contain the branched-chain essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, generally in a 2:1:1 ratio.

Our body does not actually generate these acids though. It comes from food. and it’s not that easy to eat an adequate amount of the right foods that contain lots of amino acids (such as eggs and meat) to fulfill your daily diet – so how can you ensure that you have enough muscles?

Elements of BCAA

BCAAs have consisted of the three necessary amino acids and Each acid contributes differently to your health:


It supports protein synthesis and muscle growth. It is the primary amino acid that ignites the process of mixing amino acids to generate muscle protein.


We know that protein synthesis can help reduce body fat. BCAAs increase the energy uses within the body that results in burning the body fat.


The amino acid tryptophan help producing serotonin which signals to the brain that your body is fatigued. The BCAA valine creates continuous racing with tryptophan to entry into your brain.

Consuming valine before a workout can make the fatigue process slower and decrease the amount of tryptophan in the brain. Hence, BCAAs don’t only improve your body function, but also your mental well-being and happiness. They help you stay attentive and enrich your cognitive capabilities.

Some Noteworthy Advantages Of BCAA Supplement Intake


  • Reduce the catabolism process
  • Breaking down of cells to release amino acids for fueling the body
  • Reduces muscle breakdown and increases protein synthesis
  • Provides extra energy for workouts
  • Reduce fatigue while workouts.
  • Reduce muscle soreness and muscle damage.
  • Give a source of energy during exercise in a longer
  • Support muscle growing after the workouts.
  • Increase stable mental focus.
  • Improved and sustaining muscle
  • Maintaining an anabolic environment
  • Sometimes increasing athletics performance through the stimulation of protein synthesis (an important process in muscle growth and recovery)
  • Increase mental well-being and happiness
  • Help you stay attentive and enrich your cognitive capabilities.
  • Support immunity

Who Should Take BCAAs?

WHO SHOULD TAKE_8If you are an informal exerciser and your targets are mainly specified around regular health and fitness, you may not require to be taking BCAAs. Just make sure you are eating enough organic foods that contain enough protein. If you are trying to burn your fat while maintaining thin muscle mass or training with better performance and competition-focused goals in mind, you should obviously consider adding BCAAs to your supplement regimen to support you recover from your high volume of exercise.

Pills Or Powder? Which One To Take?

PILLS OR POWDER_5Let’s talk about powder first. When taking unflavored BCAAs powder, a group of people reported that the taste isn’t always very good when taken only with water. However, if you take it in your regular shake then the taste won’t be a problem.

You can get a flavored powder too, which comes in hundreds of different flavors, mix it in your drinking water. It can make your regular untasteful water more tasteful throughout your day.

Now, if we talk about the pill, the best part about it is that they are more convenient than pills and easily available, and it is easier to pop a couple of the pills in your mouth pre and post workout. This also terminates the taste issue that comes with the powder.

Moreover, the entire point of taking BCAAs is for the benefit to your muscle growth and/or recovery and the pill dissolves into the body process slower than the powder, certainly, it’s the most negative factor that a pill has. On the other hand, the value for money for powder is so economical, so there is no wonder that powder is the preferred choice by the most users. Also, the powder is much more influential, and it can taste fabulous.

How Can The BCAA Be Used For Bodybuilding?

For people who are highly concerned about building their mental and physical health and fitness goals, BCAA powder is the answer. Although, not all BCAA supplements are created equally. There are ingredients that will just slow down your muscle growth, so the safest BCAA supplements for your body should be free from the following ingredients:

  • Artificial colors
  • Any kind of additives
  • And sweeteners

Why and when to take BCAA supplements has a massive impact on the role they play in bodybuilding. Apart from being effective at muscle development and recovery, BCAAs help in slowing fatigue during your exercise, speed up the fat burning process and help strengthen and achieving sharp mental focus.

Best Time To Take BCAA For High Performance

BEST TIME TO TAKE BCAA_10BCAAs are one of the only supplements that can be taken at almost any time during the day. You can take them right when you wake up, pre-workout, intra-workout, post-workout, during the day while studying or working, or even before bed.

When a high-quality meal isn’t on your plate, a BCAA supplement can help expand the benefits of those amino acids into your muscles.

In other words, you can periodically take less protein intake and can still get the complete muscle-growing benefits of an otherwise high-quality, high protein load. At the very least, you reduce the catabolic (muscle breakdown) effects of high level of protein.

The most crucial time to take BCAA is around workouts, so add 5-10 grams to your pre- and post-workout shakes.

But the suitable time for BCAA intake for you will vary depending upon your health conditions and/or physical fitness, with many versatile advantages if you will take it before, during or after your physical exercise. If you can perfectly understand when to take your BCAA intake, that can be a complete game-changer, so here are a few suggestions for making your daily BCAA diet intake.

Before a Workout

BCAAs are an excellent supplement to be taken before a workout. BCAAs help in breaking down fat to unleash the energy from your body which can help you get more out of your daily workouts. You may consider taking a BCAAs dose first thing after waking up in the morning as well since your body was in a fasted state while you were sleeping and BCAAs supports in preventing the breaking down of your muscle.

During a Workout

BCAAs can help you during your workout by supplying constant physical and psychological energy. It also slows down fatigue and stress, so you can make the most of your time in the gym.

After a Workout

BCAAs can help with your muscle repair and regain. They’re a compulsory dose with or after a post-workout meal. BCAAs can make the protein synthesis process faster inside your body and help your muscle heal and grow rapidly.

How Much BCAA To Take?

HOW MUCH BCAA TO TAKE_12To get a decent dose of branch chain amino acids that can cause a positive response on the body, you need to consume between 5g and 10g each time. This can necessarily mean swallowing around 10 and 20 tablets.


Many people perform a cardio into the restoration process of their health a few times a week, both in the mornings and evenings. During the cardio, BCAAs can come handy – especially in the case of HIIT cardio routines or steady state cardio.

When going through a tremendous level of cardio, this can often burn your body fat and muscle too. Taking a low-calorie diet and more of cardio will initiate muscle breakdown at a higher rate, which you’d want to avoid.

The 2:1:1 BCAA Ratio

While you can take a single amino acid supplement to get the benefits, by taking a 2:1:1 (leucine-to-isoleucine-to-valine) ratio you get lot more out of your dose.

Additionally, scientists in one study found that 4.2 grams of the BCAA leucine, when mixed to a low-quality and low-protein (10 g) drink, outstandingly increase the anabolic effects of weight training in both younger and older adults.

If you take around 91 mg per pound (200 mg per kg) of your body weight in a day, including on non-exercise days then you will gain muscle-protective advantages of BCAA supplements. It may help you to divide your daily BCAA supplement intake into three or more doses as well.

It is also important to take whole food intake properly before a workout to ensure your body has enough power to get along with the severity that your body about to go through. You may take another 5g-10g of BCAAs before or during your physical exercise and you should feel the benefit through your workout as things start to get intense.

Is BCAA Legal?

BCAAs are considered a highly effective health supplement and absolutely legal to buy. The only issue could be if your gym or sporting organization considers them as an illegal substance. Please note, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the NCAA both allow the use of BCAAs. You better be sure to check with your respective organization if you aren’t sure.

Is BCAA Safe?

BCAAs formulate about 35% of the required amino acids in muscle proteins in the human body and about 40% of the preformed amino acids. While BCAAs and their side effect can reach toxic levels in the human body in very rare cases such as certain metabolic malfunction or disorder, it’s very difficult to achieve a toxic level in a normal and sound person. In fact, BCAAs have been used in the treatment of burn victims as well as liver diseases for quite a few years.

Some Handy Tips You May Keep In Mind


  • Drinking BCAAs throughout your day help promote your muscle development, quickly recover the damaged muscle and reduce muscle pain.
  • No one should take more than 3-5 servings of a BCAA supplement a day.
  • And Each serving should be at least five grams.
  • Taking BCAAs before or after a workout can be equally fruitful in muscle gaining.
  • Blood sugar control during a surgery process is very significant. BCAAs may change blood sugar levels. So, it is recommended not to take BCAAs at all, for least 15 days before any scheduled surgeries.
  • Don’t forget to check out the performance of the supplement before you buy it. Without a high-speed absorption rate, it will break free from your body through waste before the body is able to utilize it. We have already discussed above that, BCAA powder has a higher absorption rate than pills.
  • BCAAs may be useful in decreasing exercise-induced fatigue, but that does not mean that they can improve your exercise performance.

In A Nutshell

NUTSHELL_16One of the most popular uses of BCAAs is to increase muscle growth. But you will have to find out the best possible timing for it to consume. Otherwise, you cannot get the expected result out of it.  Research that directly compares the benefits of taking BCAAs over other protein supplements at one time over another is limited.

BCAAs also successfully been used in hospitals aiming to prevent or slow down muscle loss. And to improve the symptoms of liver disease. However, because most people get a load of BCAAs via their diet. Supplementing with BCAA is unlikely to provide any additional benefits for a regular person.

BCAA intake is excellently effective at your pre-during-post workouts. But you just need to time them precisely to support your muscle as well as bodybuilding. If you can successfully understand when to take BCAA. It can get you the result sometimes beyond your expectations. Getting an adequate dose based on your body fitness is very much important. You may need to keep taking them in long times, including on you

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My name is Michael N. Hackney and I am a registered Pharmacist. I received my bachelor of science in biology from the University of Kentucky and my doctor of pharmacy from Campbell University. I had completed a community pharmacy residency at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Moose Professional Pharmacy in Concord. After working as a pharmacist for almost twenty years, I took a detour on my career path to pursue a role as a blogger, a fitness blogger in exact focusing on the supplements. In my writing, I try to tell my readers about different exercise supplements, their good and bad sides, medical recommendations, risks, dosage, and experts' recommendations. There will be plenty of information shared on losing weight, building muscle, eating healthy, and living a happy, healthy life on my blog. I enjoy blogging and strive to share accurate information about nutrition and health knowledge. My blog is for those who are on the journey of acquiring a healthy life through proper fitness guide. I am happily married and have two children. I live in Queens, NY with my wife.


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