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When to Take BCAA Benefits, Supplements, Pre-Workout 2024

When to Take BCAA Benefits, Supplements, Pre-Workout

When to Take BCAA Benefits, Supplements, Pre-Workout 2024

This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. A doctor or other medical professional is best able to help you find the information and care you need. 

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are often taken before working out. BCAAs are best taken 10–15 minutes before a workout. BCAAs peak in blood levels about 30 minutes after consumption. 

Research shows that taking BCAAs before lifting can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, which is aching muscle pain that can linger for a day or two after lifting. You can also add 5–10 grams of BCAAs to a protein shake to increase the benefits of the drink. 

BCAAs can be taken up to three times a day, depending on the serving size. BCAAs are likely safe when taken by mouth in doses of 12 grams daily for up to two years. However, BCAAs should be used cautiously before or during activities that require motor coordination, such as driving. 

Consider taking BCAAs up to 15 minutes before a workout. Try adding 5 to 10 grams to a protein shake to fuel your body and amplify the benefits of your protein drink. BCAA levels peak about 30 minutes after consumption.

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the general information about Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and their benefits, supplements, and pre-workout usage remains relevant. However, it’s essential to note that information may have evolved, so it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare or fitness professional for the latest advice in 2024.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): BCAAs, which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are essential amino acids that the body does not produce naturally. They play a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis and can be obtained through diet or supplements.

Benefits of BCAAs:

  1. Muscle Protein Synthesis: BCAAs, especially leucine, stimulate muscle protein synthesis, aiding in muscle repair and growth.
  2. Reduced Muscle Soreness: BCAAs may help reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery after intense workouts.
  3. Energy Source: BCAAs can be used as a source of energy during exercise, particularly during prolonged or intense sessions.

BCAA Supplements: BCAA supplements are available in various forms, including powders, capsules, and liquid. They are commonly consumed around the time of workouts to support muscle function and recovery.

When to Take BCAAs:

  1. Pre-Workout: Some individuals take BCAAs before exercise to provide the body with readily available amino acids, potentially reducing muscle protein breakdown during the workout.
  2. Intra-Workout: Consuming BCAAs during a workout may help sustain energy levels and support muscle function.
  3. Post-Workout: BCAAs can be taken after a workout to aid in muscle recovery and protein synthesis.

Pre-Workout Supplements: Pre-workout supplements often contain a combination of ingredients, including BCAAs, caffeine, and other performance-enhancing substances. They are designed to increase energy, focus, and endurance during workouts.


  1. Individual Needs: The optimal timing for BCAA consumption can vary based on individual preferences, workout timing, and dietary habits.
  2. Dietary Sources: BCAAs can also be obtained through food sources such as meat, dairy, and plant-based protein.

Important Notes:

  1. Consultation: Before incorporating any supplements into your routine, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure they align with your health goals and needs.
  2. Current Information: Given the dynamic nature of the supplement and fitness industry, staying informed about the latest research and recommendations is crucial.

In summary, BCAAs can be beneficial for muscle support, and their intake, whether through supplements or food, can be tailored to individual preferences and workout routines. Always consider personal health conditions, dietary habits, and fitness goals when making decisions about supplementation.

When to Take BCAAs

  1. Take between 4-20 g per day (that’s at least three BCAA capsules). …
  2. Make it a habit – studies observe benefits after a week or more of supplementation. …
  3. Use anytime – before, during, and after workouts.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential nutrients including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re found in meat, dairy, and legumes. BCAAs stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown. The “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids.

What is BCAA vs creatine?

For those with low protein intake, BCAAs can provide an affordable, low calorie and easy way to promote muscle protein synthesis. Creatine, on the other hand, can help provide rapid energy and functions more for strength building may be the choice of those of you who are powerlifting for example.

When should you take BCAA?

When Should I Take BCAA Supplements? It’s best to take BCAA supplements before a workout, up to 15 minutes pre-workout or taken during your workout to prevent further fatigue. Broadly speaking, there’s very little to be worried about when it comes to BCAA supplementation.

Is BCAA a creatine?

BCAA and creatine aren’t the same. The former refers to three essential amino acids — leucine, valine, and isoleucine — called “branched chain” because of their chemical structure. Creatine, on the other hand, is made up of three different amino acids.

Should I take BCAA everyday?

Research has shown supplemental BCAA intake to be safe for healthy adults in doses of 4-20 g per day, with prolonged intake one week or more showing greater benefits than acute (short term) intake. Aim for 2-3g leucine between meals, before, during or after workouts to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

When Should I Take BCAA Supplements?

Before Workout

Studies show that BCAA levels in your blood peak 30 minutes after consumption. With this in mind, to maximize the fatigue-reducing benefits of BCAAs it would make sense to consume them slightly before the start of your workout.

When taken before a long workout, BCAAs can act as an additional energy source to muscles after your store of glucose (the primary source for muscle energy) is depleted.

After Workout

Consuming protein after a workout is important for building muscle and reducing muscle catabolism. BCAAs help with reducing muscle breakdown and reducing the dreaded delayed muscle soreness.

If you’re looking to avoid the feeling of total muscle exhaustion the day after a strenuous workout, it seems consuming BCAAs after your workout can help. BCAA supplements provide easily absorbed protein components and can give your muscles a jumpstart on repair right after a workout before your next nourishing meal rounds out your post-fitness nutrition.  

Can I Mix BCAA With Protein?

While the two can be taken together, there is no point in using them both when an adequate amount of whey protein is ingested.

It pretty much boils down to the fact that an adequate amount of whey protein already contains enough BCAAs to reap the benefits. Among BCAAs, leucine in particular is potent in stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS) due to its role in the mTOR pathway.

As we know from the trials, adding leucine to adequate amounts of protein does nothing more to promote MPS. However, I am not aware of any trials adding BCAAs to an adequate amount of protein, but on the other hand, there is no reason to assume that they add anything in this context.


When Should You Take BCAA Supplements?

BCAAs are effective supplements during and after training. This means that you should be consuming BCAAs during or immediately after your gym workout.

This is because BCAAs are effective in helping to build and repair muscles damaged by strenuous workouts. The effects of BCAAs peak approximately 30 to 60 minutes after consumption.

In turn, you’ll want to drink your BCAAs in this window to maximize muscle recovery and help build muscle. It will help relieve muscle pain after training.

What is HMB Good For?

1.) Protein Absorption

In short, HMB works in two ways: increasing protein synthesis while decreasing protein breakdown. This combined anti-catabolic (anti-breakdown of muscle protein) and anabolic (strengthening muscle protein) impact means you build lean mass more efficiently – so that’s more muscle and strength gains.

As you build muscle and increase strength, you will have greater power and reduced muscle breakdown after exercise through constant HMB supplementation. As your lean mass increases as you build muscle, you will increase your metabolism and be able to improve your workouts.

Studies have shown the effects of HMB supplementation to vary depending on fitness level and type of exercise, so let’s break them down one at a time.

2.) Strength

One study compared the strength performance results of sedentary overweight women before and after six weeks of HMB supplementation.

Although there was weight loss and fat loss during the study in the group that took HMB, the significant impact was the improvement in their strength performance after 6 weeks (without following a strength training routine).

This study found that HMB can increase muscle strength without exercise, even in sedentary overweight people.


Those who are new to intense training like weightlifting seem to benefit the most from HMB. Since a new high-intensity exercise routine increases the likelihood of muscle damage that needs repairing, HMB can have a hugely positive effect.

It is in this population that several studies saw increases in lean body mass and strength, but this is likely to also be due to the combination of a new training routine with supplementation.

3.) Recovery

Those who are trying to increase their strength and work their muscles towards hypertrophy (muscle growth) are probably performing strenuous activities that lead to muscle damage. This type of intense training results in muscle pain and longer recovery periods.

Experienced athletes who follow this type of training can use HMB to reduce pain, damage and shorten recovery by boosting muscle synthesis and slowing breakdown. HMB allows these types of athletes to train more often and see the benefits faster.

4.) Aerobic Endurance

A study of a small group of elite male rowers compared the impact of HMB on cardiovascular endurance training.

Twelve weeks of HMB supplementation increased athletes’ VO2 max (aerobic endurance) and decreased body fat. The study also indicated that HMB supplementation could also have a positive impact on peak anaerobic potency.

5.) Weight Control

The main benefit of HMB its ability to create a net positive balance of muscle turnover – that’s more muscle building than breakdown. For this reason, taking HMB while also cutting calories for weight loss, can help preserve lean body mass while targeting fat mass. This can be useful for people who are trying to lose weight without losing muscle.

Another promising study focused on the change of HMB levels as we age, showing that there’s a general decline in HMB as we age (correlated with losing muscle). The study also discovered that individuals with higher levels of HMB had greater muscle mass and greater strength than those with lower levels.


Overall, the beneficial effects of HMB appear to be related to the intensity of the training and the level of the athlete following it. The groups that seem to derive the greatest benefit from taking HMB are trained athletes who perform intense and challenging workouts that would otherwise be more damaging to the muscles.

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While there is some evidence of increased strength in groups that are new to resistance training, it may be less effective for casual practitioners or for someone who does not perform very hard workouts. difficult.

What Does HMB Stand For?

HMB stands for Hydroxymethylbutyrate. Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the body breaks down leucine. Leucine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. People use HMB to make medicine. HMB is most commonly used for building muscle or preventing muscle loss.

HMB vs Leucine

Best HMB supplementation tends to be in the range of 1 to 3g per day with the aim of reducing muscle loss over time (anti-catabolic). As HMB is said to be 20 times more potent than leucine for this purpose, it is considered equivalent to 20-60g of leucine supplementation.

For the purpose of muscle protein synthesis, HMB and leucine are fairly equivalent otherwise the latter (leucine) being more potent on a gram basis. HMB is not recommended for inducing muscle protein synthesis because leucine is probably more effective and cheaper.


HMB supplementation before a workout would require the use of an HMB-free acid rather than a calcium salt, and the above dosage range still applies. For this specific purpose, HMB should be taken 30 to 45 minutes before a workout.


BCAA Benefis

Branched-chain amino acids are essential amino acids because the body must outsource these externally within food in our diets, such as meat, fish, and eggs – or by taking BCAA supplements.

Usually supplemented when your body is following a calorie-deficit diet, BCAAs help to support your workouts. Here we look at some of the main benefits:

  • During exercise, your body requires high energy levels – BCAAs are a rapid supplement that is metabolized primarily in skeletal muscle, meaning they skip your liver and directly enter your bloodstream to provide your body with these essential amino acids.
  • BCAAs are the building blocks of protein, your body requires protein for an energy source.
  • Protein synthesis must exceed protein breakdown for muscle growth.


HMB, also known as beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl-butyrate, is a by-product of a portion of the essential amino acid, leucine. It is produced naturally when leucine is present in the body.

Whilst it can be produced in the body, some gym-goers opt to use HMB supplements to support their workout – here we look at some of the reasons why:

  • Supplementing HMB takes away your body’s reliance on leucine for production meaning HMB levels aren’t limited.
  • Leucine levels must be high for HMB to be produced, and your body requires protein for muscles to repair, and for energy.

Can I Take BCAA and Creatine At The Same Time?

You probably already have an idea of the similarities between BCAAs and creatine, but can you mix them up?

The answer is yes. Various studies have shown that there is no adverse effect on your health from mixing the two supplements, and many professional athletes and personal trainers recommend combining them. In fact, many supplements, especially pre-workout supplements, which we’ll get to next, combine BCAAs and creatine.


By taking each as an individual supplement, as opposed to part of a pre-measured blend, you can take control of the ratio (with medical advice) and avoid any other added supplements that typically come in blends such as caffeine and added carbohydrates.

BCAA And Pre-Workout Together

A lot of people like to combine branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) with their pre-workout, but why?

Along with their muscle-building and recovery benefits, research shows that BCAAs can improve performance as well. Taking them before your workout allows your body to use the supplement for fuel and repair during exercise, which helps increase strength and endurance.

For example, a 2005 study found that protein enriched with leucine increased strength gains by 30% over eight weeks. BCAA Benefits

Another Air Force study showed that participants taking a BCAA supplement had increased strength and lean muscle mass compared to those taking a placebo. Finally, the results of a Japanese study showed that BCAA supplementation before strenuous exercise increased endurance.

This research clearly shows that BCAAs play an important role in improving performance. Mix them with your pre-workout or sip them for up to 30 minutes in your workout for the best results.

When to Take BCAA Benefits, Supplements, Pre-Workout 2022

The best way to increase muscle mass is to exercise and eat a good diet. However, we also have at our disposal a series of supplements to burn fat and accelerate the process of muscle gain. Amino acids are one of the most popular, and in the following oneHOWTO article, we will explain why.

If you keep reading, you will discover which is the best amino acid to gain muscle mass; in addition, we will explain all the benefits of these supplements and how to ingest them naturally.

You may also be interested in Taking spirulina to increase muscle mass.



  1. What are essential amino acids
  2. What is the best amino acid to gain muscle mass
  3. Importance of the BCAA supplement to gain muscle mass fast
  4. Benefits of BCAA amino acids
  5. Foods with BCAA amino acids

What are essential amino acids?

Before explaining which are the best amino acids to increase muscle, it is necessary to know what these elements are and their importance in muscle growth. Our body extracts different nutrients from the food we eat, which, depending on their nature, can be classified into different groups. The two main groups are:

  • Micronutrients: such as vitamins, water or minerals.
  • Macronutrients: such as lipids, carbohydrates or proteins.

The second group, which gives us the energy we need, is formed by a union of molecules. However, when they enter our body, they must separate again to pass through the mucosa of our intestine and reach the cells. This process of absorption and digestion of food is when the macronutrients disintegrate into different components.

An example is proteins, a macronutrient complex whose components are amino acids. In total, we find 22 amino acids. However, there are ten that are considered essential, and they are considered this way because they are the ones that the body is unable to generate naturally and must extract from food.

These essential amino acids are vital for our body to function properly and play a decisive role in muscle formation. The essential amino acids are the following :

  • Phenylalanine
  • Isoleucine.
  • Leucine
  • Valine.
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Histidine.
  • Arginine

In the following oneHOWTO article, we explain the best protein for gaining muscle.


What is the best amino acid to gain muscle mass?

The best for building muscle mass are the amino acids BCAA, which is not one but a branch of amino acids. Later we will explain what BCAA amino acids are. Still, first, you should know that it is the most consumed supplement to increase muscle mass globally, especially among bodybuilders and in the world of sports nutrition. Considering that BCAAs are more than 30% of our muscle mass, it is not surprising how important they are for muscle growth and maintenance.

BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, which translated into Spanish means branched-chain amino acids, Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine. These are the supplements to this supplement and a large part of our muscle mass:

  • Leucine: is a stimulant of protein synthesis, therefore, accelerates muscle growth. It is the main amino acid since it is necessary to activate the others correctly.
  • Isoleucine: just like leucine, it also fulfils its role in synthesising proteins. In addition, it increases the absorption of glucose, which is why the amount of available energy increases and, consequently, increases the level of load that the body can support. On a practical level, this entails more resistance, better work and achievement of objectives.
  • Valine: not only does it play a great role in increasing muscle, but it is essential for its repair when we have finished physical exercise. On the other hand, it is related to glucose levels and the functioning of the nervous system. However, for it to function properly, it must be combined with isoleucine and leucine, just as it happens with BCAAs.

Importance of the BCAA supplement to gain muscle mass fast

When we train intensely, our body requires certain nutrients to convert them into energy. When we do resistance or strength routines, the fibres of the muscles are under great stress, so, to give a good response, the body needs to use amino acids and carbohydrates as an energy source.

If our body does not have enough carbohydrates or amino acids, these will remove from those in the muscles. The consequence will be the loss of muscle and the opposite of everything we were looking for. 

It is important to take BCAA supplements to increase muscle mass because this gives the body the necessary amounts of energy, and the chances of breaking down fibres for energy are much lower.

Considering that many people diet to lose weight while exercising for muscle, it is very easy for the body to run out of energy reserves and lose muscle. In these cases, taking BCAA amino acids can be necessary to protect the muscle. However, if the only thing you are looking for with your exercise is to maintain weight and not muscle too much, you will most likely not need to take these supplements, and a balanced diet will suffice.

In turn, you should not ingest them if you are sedentary. These supplements are specifically mad for people whose day-to-day life involves physical exercise.


Benefits of BCAA amino acids

Taking supplements to gain muscle mass and burn fat quickly can offer you that and provide a series of benefits that can be very useful when it comes to achieving your physical goals. Here we explain what the benefits of BCAA amino acids are:

  • They stimulate the synthesis of proteins.
  • They delay the onset of fatigue.
  • They protect the immune system.
  • They provide energy in strong routines.
  • The degradation after exercise is less.
  • They increase the gain muscle mass.
  • Mental performance is also higher.
  • Accelerates physical recovery
  • Lower serotonin levels 
  • Helps prevent injuries

However, not everyone can take these supplements. In some cases, it may contraindicate; that is why you should always consult the intake of any supplement with a nutritionist or doctor. The cases in which it is contraindicated to take BCAA supplements to gain muscle are:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Lactating women.
  • If you are going to operate after a short time.

Foods with BCAA amino acids

As we have already explained, essential acids are not produced by our body, so we must remove them from our diet. As we have been commenting, in those cases where the person does physical exercise and wants muscleBCAA supplements are a very good option to have adequate levels. However, if you are a passive person, you can only obtain it through good feeding.

Amino acids can be obtained naturally; as they are part of proteins, it is easy to obtain them from consuming certain foods; in these cases, the doses are already optimal for proper functioning. Here we explain which are the foods that contain BCAA amino acids :

  • Lean meats: turkey, chicken, rabbit, and certain cuts of beef and lamb.
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, tuna, sardines or prawns.
  • Legumes: chickpeas or lentils, although it is mainly found in soybeans.
  • Eggs
  • Dairy: milk, yoghurt or fresh cheeses.

If you exercise infrequently and just want to stay toned and not build muscle, the best option is to eat these foods and not opt ​​for sports supplements.

If you want to read more articles similar to Which is the best amino acid to gain muscle mass, we recommend entering our Fitness category.


BCAA Benefits

When should I take BCAA for best results?

Taking BCAAs before or after exercise may be equally effective in providing muscle protection. Also, you may not need to time them precisely to support muscle building. Getting an adequate dose based on your body weight is essential, as well as continuing to take them in the long term, including on nonexercise days.

Should I take BCAA every day? – When to Take BCAA

Research has shown supplemental BCAA intake to be safe for healthy adults in doses of 4-20 g per day, with prolonged intake one week or more showing greater benefits than acute (short term) intake. Aim for 2-3 g leucine between meals, before, during, or after workouts to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

How often should you drink BCAAs?

BCAAs are generally supplemented 2-4 times daily; around the time of your workout is beneficial, but you can also take a BCAA drink before bed on an evening, or first thing on a morning when you wake up to make sure your body has enough essential amino acids.

Do BCAAs make you gain weight?

Excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain, according to new Australian research on mice

Should I take BCAA 30 minutes before workout?

Studies show that BCAA levels in your blood peak 30 minutes after consumption. With this in mind, to maximize the fatigue reducing benefits of BCAAs it would make sense to consume them slightly before the start of your workout.

Are BCAAs good on an empty stomach?

With this type of supplement, however, you don’t have to worry: It’s actually better to take BCAAs without food in your stomach. … When you take a BCAA supplement, you want the amino acids to take effect as quickly as possible, whether you’re taking them before, during, or after your workout.


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