In this blog we will talk you through some tips on when to take BCAA supplements, how to take BCAA and how much to take. If you’re not sure what BCAAs are or what they’re used for, check out our introductory post on What are BCAAs before you start reading this post.
BCAAs, or Branched-Chain Amino Acids, are taken by professional athletes, sportspersons and everyday fitness enthusiasts alike, due to the scientific studies suggesting that they can help build muscle, reduce workout fatigue and decrease muscle soreness after exercise. But many want to know precisely when is the best time to take BCAA supplements and how often, so we’ve got a few top tips to help you on your way.
How to take BCAA
BCAA typically come in tablet or powder form, both of which can be added to and dissolved in water to create a workout drink. BCAAs are usually flavoured to make them tasty and enjoyable as sports drinks, which means you can mix them up in your sports bottle and take them to the gym or on a run for combined hydration and supplement boost.
How much BCAA should I take?
Most BCAA supplements will give instructions on how much to take per portion or per day. For example, here at Kinetica, we advise adding one scoop of our BCAA supplement powders to 350 ml of water, which makes up one serving. BCAA tablets will come with daily dosage recommendations, so keep an eye out for these on the packaging as they may vary depending on strength.
When to take BCAA
There is no hard and fast rule on precisely when to take BCAA supplements, and only very few (and generally inconclusive) studies have been carried out to measure this. For example, this study gave male athletes 25 grams of whey protein isolate (containing 5.5 grams of BCAAs) either right before or right after their weight-lifting workouts for ten weeks. The study found no differences in results between both groups, though improvements in body composition and strength were recorded on both sides. Therefore, based on the available evidence, there is no way to definitively say that taking BCAAs before or after a workout is more beneficial.
There are, however, several factors around BCAA consumption which can help to limit muscle damage relating to exercise, according to this study. These include daily dosage, long-term consumption periods, and the frequency of dosage throughout the day.
For BCAAs to be effective in limiting muscle damage, you may need to consume a daily dose of around 200mg per kg of your bodyweight. So, if you weigh 75kg, you would need to consume around 15,000mg (approximately 2 servings of our BCAA Hydro Fuel supplement) of BCAAs per day in order to see the best effects.
You also need to ensure you consume BCAA supplements on a daily basis for a long-term period (10 days or more) to see optimum muscle-protecting benefits. This means you need to take it every day, even if you don’t have a workout planned for that day.
Rather than consuming your daily BCAAs in one large dose, it may be more beneficial to split these into two or more smaller intakes throughout the day. This gives you the opportunity to take your BCAAs both before and after a workout, eliminating the need for choosing one or the other.
The Key Takeaway: The most important aspect to take away from this guide is that your BCAA intake should always be based on your own bodyweight, so as to ensure you don’t take too little or too much.
Now you know when to take BCAA supplements, how to take BCAAs and how much to take, you’re all ready to start shopping. Check out our full range of BCAA supplements here at Kinetica, including three delicious flavours to choose from.