There are many forms of BCAA amino acids in the sports nutrition market. Some people prefer powders, other use liquid solutions. Capsuled and tableted forms are also popular because of their convenience to use (due to similar reason some people choose steroid pills instead of steroid injections). Below we will tell you about what do BCAA pills do and what are their features.
What Do BCAA Pills Do?
BCAA pills are dietary supplements that are used to improve muscle mass growth, enhance fat loss, and increase overall performance in sports. They consist of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. All these amino acids are considered essential, since our body is not able to produce them. They can come to the body only from food or sports nutrition. BCAA amino acids are considered to be a reliable and basic sports supplement for muscle mass gaining. These substances do not need to be digested and are immediately delivered into muscle cells, being not only a building material, but also a source of energy for intensive training.
Features of Tableted and Capsuled BCAA
Tablets are the popular form of BCAA which is available in the sports nutrition market. In fact, it is a compressed protein that has a high content of essential amino acids. One of the advantages of this form of BCAA is its relatively low cost.
Another advantage of this type of BCAA is a prolonged release of the active substance from the tablet. When you take this pharmacological form of supplements in the evening, you have all the chances to avoid pronounced night catabolism, especially if you are on a calorie-restricting diet. However, this may be a drawback if you want to use BCAA before training. To understand how to take BCAA pills, you need to carefully study the instructions to them and the composition of each pill and, based on this, determine the dosage. In this matter, it is better to trust an experienced specialist.
Capsules are a very good pharmacological form of BCAA with excellent bioavailability. They are often released in the enteric coating. They do not increase the acidity of the gastric juice; they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and begin to act 15-30 minutes after ingestion. Accordingly, the optimal time for taking the supplement before training is 30 minutes before its start.
As for how many to take BCAA in capsules, it depends on the amount of active substance (leucine and valine with isoleucine) contained in each capsule. In addition to this, you also need to know your weight, because, the more the athlete weighs, the more capsules or tabs he /she will need to be taken at a time. For example, with a leucine content of 500 mg in one capsule for an athlete weighing 90 kg, a single dose of the supplement will be 6 capsules, since the optimal amount is approximately 36 mg BCAA per 1 kg of weight. Reliable manufacturers, as a rule, indicate these details in instructions (labels).
Also, we should mention another specific form of the supplement. This is chewable BCAA. This form has several advantages, among which are good bioavailability and rapid onset of effect. These chewable tablets are dietary products with a high content of essential amino acids, there are also supplements where glutamine is added to the BCAA content. This option is good, because all the leucine taken will be used for the synthesis of muscle protein, and will not be wasted on the synthesis of glutamine and glucose. This form of BCAA has one more advantage. Against the background of calorie-restricted diet this product will help keep to a diet longer and better, as it gives psychological relief. It turns out that you can eat something sweet, without interfering the process of losing weight.
Possible Side Effects of BCAA
BCAA has much more benefits than potential harmful effects. More precisely, these amino acids have practically no side effects. Very rarely there can be fatigue and loss of coordination. For this reason, BCAA should be used with caution during activities that require high concentration of attention (for example, when driving). It is also unknown whether it is safe to take BCAA during pregnancy and lactation, so for pregnant and lactating women it is better to refrain from using these substances.
We hope, now you understand what BCAA is for what it is needed by athletes. To get the maximum effect from taking the supplement, you need to know when to take it. There are three possible time options: before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout. If you do morning cardio, the best time to take BCAA is before your training (on an empty stomach).
List of Best BCAA Pills on the Market
To date, there are following top BCAA pills (capsules) in the market:
- SAN BCAA PRO Reloaded Tablets;
- ON BCAA 1000 Caps;
- Myprotein BCAA Plus;
- BULK POWDERS BCAA Tabs 1000mg;
- VPLAB BCAA Chewable.
BCAA Chewable is a unique product. So, we will tell you about it in more details. These are chewable tablets with BCAAs in an effective proportion of L-leucine-L-isoleucine-L-valine – 4:1:1 enriched with vitamin B6. The uniqueness and innovativeness of this VPLAB product lies in the fact that during chewing the active components are absorbed under the tongue (the so-called sublingual method). This path is much faster and more effective than digestion through the gastrointestinal tract.
After absorption of BCAA into the bloodstream from the sublingual space, they are included in the energy and protein metabolism, and can even be converted into glucose in the case of energy deficiency. This means that in emergency situations, the body can use BCAAs as energy suppliers if the carbohydrate stores in the liver and muscles are completely depleted. BCAAs are integral parts of the musculature, and also participate in the production of glutamine during periods of high metabolic activity. In addition, they are involved in the process of secretion of enzymes and hormones.
BCAA Chewable is enriched with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in high dosage. This vitamin is actively consumed during training sessions, takes part in protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It improves the functioning of the human nervous system and helps regulate hormonal secretion. Additional intake of pyridoxine contributes to increased performance and endurance of an athlete.
General Recommendations on How to Take BCAA Pills
Opinions of experts on a single dose of BCAA are different. Many specialists recommend taking 4 to 12 grams of BCAAs (read the label to know the amount of BCAA in grams in your pills). But in people with different weights, different duration of training, and different types of exercises, the need for essential amino acids is also different. For this reason, the average recommended one-time dosage is 5 grams of BCAA. It is suitable for an athlete weighing 70-80 kilograms (154-176 pounds), which trains about 30 minutes (not counting warm-up and cooldown).
How often to take and how many to take? If you weigh no more than 80 pounds (176 pounds), while intensely doing workout not longer than half an hour, then take BCAA in 5 g dosage first before training, and then immediately after it. If the duration of the training process is more than 30 minutes, you may take another 5 grams of amino acids during your workout. If your weight exceeds 80 kilos, it is desirable to add one gram of BCAA for every two to three kilograms. For example, for a 100-kg (220-lb) athlete, the dosage of amino acids should be 12-15 grams.
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