DO BCAAS GIVE YOU ENERGY?
Time to read 5 min
Time to read 5 min
Getting tired of pre-workout? Starting to wonder if it’s possible to function without caffeine in your system? BCAAs can be that hidden gem. Often overlooked in the fitness industry by uniquely-named pre-workouts (Yes, we’re talking about you, Dragon’s Breath Black), BCAA supplements are a versatile option that can be taken before, during, and after you train to support muscle growth, reduce fatigue and replenish electrolytes.
Branched Chain Amino Acids refer to the chemical structure of three specific amino acids. To understand this, you will first need to understand what amino acids are.
There are 20 different amino acids, which together make up thousands of other proteins within your body. Of those 20, only nine are considered to be essential. They are typically known as EAAs (Van De Walle, G. 2022).
Of those nine essential aminos, a mere three are considered Branched Chain Amino Acids. The three BCAAs are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Commonly found in protein-dense foods like eggs, meat and dairy, BCAAs are unique because of their different chemical structure, hence the ‘branched chain’ title (Stuart, A. 2022).
Proteins are the building blocks of every cell, tissue and organ in your body. Amino acids like BCAAs are essential in that regard, as they are commonly referred to as the building blocks of proteins (Stinson, A. 2019).
BCAAs are responsible for a range of functions that can support your performance and training goals. BCAAs can decrease muscle soreness, reduce fatigue and support muscle growth.
BCAAs play a crucial role in delaying fatigue, reducing the rate that tryptophan (an essential amino acid that can play a role in exercise-related fatigue) is used by your brain (Strong, R. 2021).
Speaking in terms of energy, each of the three BCAAs can play a role.
Isoleucine can boost energy and endurance, along with the healing of injured muscles. It can support blood sugar control and may promote muscle development and lean body mass (University of Rochester Medical Center). Valine is perhaps the most effective BCAA for energy. Essential for mental focus, muscle coordination and calmness. This BCAA can support muscle growth and tissue repair while promoting enhanced energy (Berry, J. 2019).
BCAAs play an essential role in energy production, particularly during training. During exercise, your muscles burn BCAAs for energy, supporting your performance and allowing you to endure arduous sets for longer (Stuart, A. 2022).
BCAAs can be taken before, during, and after training, and there is little evidence to suggest a big difference in whether you take them before or after resistance training. As far as consumption goes, BCAA levels in your blood will typically peak 30 minutes after consuming them (McCulloch, M. 2021).
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t help you choose the best BCAAs to boost your energy. There are a lot of BCAA formulas out there, so we’ve narrowed it down to two:
Optimum Nutrition is a household name, so if you’re looking for a formula that you can trust, this brand can usually deliver. You might be familiar with Amino Energy + Electrolytes cans. Well, if you like them, you’ll love Amino Energy powder.
Designed to help you switch on, Amino Energy could become one of the most essential supplements in your stack. Scientifically designed for long-term energy, this formula can support your training before, during and after a session. Not training? This doesn’t matter. Amino Energy can be taken at any time during the day to direct your focus in the right direction (maybe avoid it before be; this one has caffeine in it).
With a measured dose of caffeine that can hone your focus without the added firepower of a pre-workout, Amino Energy promotes energy, focus and recovery, containing 5g of amino acids per serving without any sugar.
Adding aminos to your daily stack is a no-brainer. If you’re waking up early for work and you need a pick-me-up to stop you from falling asleep on the morning commute, BCAAs can deliver.
Xtend BCAAs is a straightforward formula that delivers BCAAs and hydrating electrolytes to accelerate your recovery and promote muscle protein synthesis. With 7g of BCAAs in the research-proven 2:1:1 ratio, this particular blend contains no carbs, calories or sugar.
If you’re sweating it up outside, working under the hot sun on the job site, or training yourself into exhaustion at the gym, keeping hydrated is essential. As you train, work and perform, you’ll probably perspire. When you’re sweating, your body loses fluid in the form of both water and electrolytes, so if you want to avoid heat stress, dehydration and fatigue, stay hydrated and keep those electrolytes replenished (Baker, L. 2017).
Xtend BCAAs deliver in this aspect, providing a blend of BCAAs that can support your recovery, growth, blood flow, hydration and electrolyte balance. Designed to promote a fast recovery and superior performance, Xtend BCAAs can be taken at any time of the day to support your goals.
Your electrolyte balance can shift depending on the amount of water in your body. Too much can cause overhydration, while not enough water can lead to dehydration. Whether you’re training or working in a physically demanding job, maintaining the right balance of electrolytes is essential (AHRQ). This doesn’t just apply to the Tradies out there; whether you’re working in a humid kitchen, getting in the cardio as a hospitality all-rounder, or constantly moving around as an emergency services worker, a healthy electrolyte balance is essential.
If you’ve read this far and still don’t fully understand electrolytes, tune in. basically, electrolytes are minerals in your body that have an electric charge. They are found in your blood, urine, tissues and other bodily fluids and play an essential role in balancing the amount of water in your body. Additionally, electrolytes help to move nutrients into your cells, remove waste from your cells and ensure that your nerves, muscles, heart and brain are all performing at their highest level (MedicinePlus). Sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium are all electrolytes and can be found in the foods and drinks you consume.
The best way to describe BCAAs is versatile. Whether you need a 5am energy hike on your way to the office or an electrolyte replenisher during a mercilessly sunny day on the construction site, it’s hard to look past the value of BCAAs.
If you’re looking for a formula that best suits your needs, perhaps you prefer the added caffeine before training or prefer the added electrolytes to fuel you through a strenuous day. Whatever your goals, we have what you need across our shelves.
And remember, we’re always here to help! Whether you need help choosing a supplement or need advice on which products may best align with your goals, don’t hesitate to reach out online or visit us in-store, and our friendly team will help you achieve your goals!
Van De Walle, G. 2022, ‘5 Proven Benefits of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), Healthline, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa
Stuart, A. 2022, ‘Branched-Chain Amino Acids’, WebMD, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/branched-chain-amino-acids-uses-risks
Stinson, A. 2019, ‘Health benefits of BCAAs’, Medical News Today, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324605
Strong, R. 2021, ‘5 benefits of BCAAs and how to take these supplements to improve your workout’, Insider Reviews, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.insider.com/guides/health/fitness/bcaa
University of Rochester Medical Center, ‘Isoleucine’, University of Rochester Medical Center, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Isoleucine
Berry, J. 2019, ‘What to know about essential amino acids’, Medical News Today, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324229
McCulloch, M. 2021, ‘When Should You Take BCAAs?’ Healthline, accessed 17 February 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/when-to-take-bcaa
Baker, L. 2017, ‘Sweating Rate and Sweat Sodium Concentration in Athletes: A Review of Methodology and Intra/Interindividual Variability’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 20 February 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371639/
AHRQ. ‘Fluid and Electrolyte Balance’, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, accessed 20 February 2023, https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/health-topics/fluid-and-electrolyte-balance#:~:text=Maintaining%20the%20right%20balance%20of,and%20the%20fluids%20you%20drink.
MedicinePlus. ‘Fluid and Electrolyte Balace’, National Library of Medicine’, accessed 20 February 2023, https://medlineplus.gov/fluidandelectrolytebalance.html