BCAA is a triad of essential amino acids (L-leucine, L-valine, and L-isoleucine). Wondering why they’re called essential? This is because our bodies cannot produce them naturally, in contrast to vitamin D, for example.
Instead, we have to ensure the nine essential amino acids are part of a balanced diet. Many people struggle to get sufficient amounts, athletes in particular. That’s when BCAA supplements shine. As one element of a dedicated sports nutrition plan, BCAA products provide amino acids in free form, which means instant absorption and rapid entry into the bloodstream.
Great news for vegans and vegetarians: suitable BCAAs supplements are available for you.
BCAA Powder – What Is It?
The powder form of the supplement is used to make drinkable supps. Like the liquid form, it’s absorbed quickly. There are two varieties of powdered BCAAs:
- Flavored BCAAs in flavors to match your tastes including apple, pear, banana, vanilla, mixed fruits, orange, kiwi, mango, citrus, passionfruit, and berries.
- Unflavored BCAAs
There is one major caveat here. Those who adhere to a strictly natural diet may eschew the flavored options with auxiliary components in favor of pure BCAA powder. The taste and odor are very specific, and not pleasant. Characterized by a pronounced bitterness, one may wish one had chosen a flavored and sweetened variety!
That said, according to reviews we’ve seen, some athletes use the unflavored form.
One important point about taking BCAA in powder: People say that when preparing a drink from powdered BCAA, a film should form on the surface of the liquid.
But modern powder supplements dissolve well in liquids. Incomplete dissolution indicates compromised raw material quality. It may also indicate that your powder contains creatine in addition to BCAA. Be attentive while reading the label on the pack or box. If you bought pure powder without flavoring agents, you can also dilute it with juice or put it in a shake or smoothie to negate the bitter taste.
An Introduction to BCAA Powder Benefits
Many scientific studies bear witness to the fact that BCAA use before training help sports people improve protein synthesis, reduce muscle catabolism, prevent damage to muscle fibers, and soften expected soreness after workouts. Sounds impressive, right?
We should note it that the above doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in strength or muscle mass. If your goal is just this, and you already satisfy your need for protein with conventional foods, you probably don’t require additional BCAA.
But don’t rush to toss your shaker in the trash, these substances may not cause muscle hypertrophy on their own, but taking 6 to 10 grams of these amino acid before training will help you cope with weights in the gym (which activates muscle growth) and aid in the swift restoration of strength between sets.
In addition, BCAA is processed during your workout and supplies a direct energy source. Lowered amino levels in the blood lead to an increase in the concentration serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in the brain. According to scientists, this sparks the manifestation of fatigue during exercise. This statement is especially true for endurance sporting activities.
If you add 1 to 2 scoops of BCAA to your training drink, it’s especially useful for those on a low-carb diet or if you’re inclined to exercise on an empty stomach. Amino acids help reduce fatigue and encourage the body to use stored fat deposits during exercise, in cases of glycogen deficiency.
In general, BCAAs have no side effects, but in rare cases, some negative reactions may occur.
Natural BCAA Powder — A List of Benefits
- BCAA helps bolster muscle tissues. BCAA amino acids are one of the basic building blocks for muscles.
- Natural BCAA powder minimizes catabolism. During heavy exercises, muscle tissue begins to break down and protein synthesis by the body increases. BCAA helps to prevent these processes.
- BCAA strengthens muscle growth. Amino acid leucine, contained in the product, activates the mTOR signaling pathway and the body builds muscle more intensively. That is why all BCAA supplements contain increased amounts of leucine.
- BCAA improves stamina. When the body faces acute energy shortages (glycogen stores are depleted) BCAA cedes an energy source. As a result, you’re granted the opportunity to exercise longer and more intensively. Key BCAA powder benefits.
- BCAA increases the effectiveness of workouts. Amino acids accelerate recovery, the day after your workout you’ll feel less worn.
Deluxe, first-rate BCAAs aren’t cheap but they confer a lot of benefits.
What Is the Best Time to Take BCAA Powder?
Curious about when to take powdered sports supplements with BCAA? There are several options:
- Mornings – to prevent catabolism, for example, if you exercise on an empty stomach
- Before training – to replenish amino acid reserves and train as efficiently as possible
- During your workout – to increase productivity and prevent catabolic processes
- After training – to quicken recovery and provide the muscles with building materials.
The best time to take BCAA powder is before, during and after workouts! But you can take additional BCAA throughout the day if preferred. This allows you to maximize the synthesis of muscle proteins. The optimal dosage is about 3 grams of amino acids per dose, if your weight is up to 70 kg. And about 5g if your weight is 75 kilograms or more. If you take the supplement 3 times a day, the total BCAA amount should be equal to 9 to 15g, respectively.
Best BCAA Powder – Some Examples
In the sports nutrition market, there is superabundant BCAAs in powder form to pick from. It’s outside the reach of this article to describe them all. However, we provide descriptions of two, top natural (organic) BCAAs below, both are crowd pleasers.
USPlabs Modern BCAA+
USPlabs specialists included an increased dosage of leucine in the supplement since this amino acid has the most powerful anabolic properties. The leucine/isoleucine/valine ratio in the product is 8:1:1. Making it one of the eminent BCAA powders on for sale.
One serving of Modern BCAA+ contains a tremendous potency of amino acids with branched chains — 15 grams per serving. The supplement is enriched with additional ingredients such as alanine. It has more beneficial effects than conventional BCAA supplements.
Thanks to its rich component composition this product is one of our firm favs. Here’s what’s inside:
- Leucine, valine, isoleucine. They activate the processes of muscle growth, work as building materials, and promote fatty deposit burn off.
- Glycine. The use of this amino acid before, during, or after exercise is pivotal if you are training on an empty stomach. Muscles release a plethora of glycine under such conditions, which can cause a catabolic state.
- L-alanine. It ameliorates immunity, helps to supply muscle tissues with energy, and increases performance.
- Taurine. It’s a common amino acid in the body. According to recent studies, a decrease in the amount of taurine in muscles can lead to a deterioration in their performance.
- Lysine. It is an essential amino acid, which speeds up recovery and promotes muscle growth after training.
How to take this supplement? Its manufacturer recommends mixing one serving (two scoops) in 20 fluid ounces of water and shake for 30 seconds.
The supplement should be taken during workouts.
Scitec Nutrition BCAA Xpress
BCAA Xpress contains a classical ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine: 2:1:1. The increased amount of leucine is because this amino acid is the preeminent one for activating muscle growth. Since the product is available in powder, it’s absorbed faster than tablets or capsules. In addition, you can sip the cocktail in the intra-workout period.
BCAA is a building material for new tissues. Scientists say that these substances account for roughly 35 percent of all essential amino acids in the musculature. Their importance in muscle mass gaining and recovery cannot be overestimated.
If you decide to buy BCAA Xpress, you get the following salubrious effects:
- Primary muscle growth
- Augmented recovery times post training
- Increase brute force and powerfulness
Wondering how to take BCAA Xpress? The manufacturer recommends adding half a scoop (7 grams) to 12 fl oz of water, or other liquid, then shaking. The supplement may be used before, during, or after your workout.
Want to thrust your fitness goals into overdrive and aggrandize your muscle building plans? BCAA might prove an exemplary way to do this. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel on your training path, stick to proven methods like BCAA.
We recommend BCAA to runners, bodybuilders, cross fit fanatics, netballers, Zumba addicts, powerlifters, rugby players, hurlers, polo nuts and just about anyone who engages in sports!
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