Pre-Workout vs. BCAAs: Why You Should Be Taking Both
Pre-workout and BCAAs are two of the most common supplements used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. But there are some misunderstandings about how exactly these two supplements work, especially in conjunction with one another.
Do you really need to take both pre-workout and BCAAs to achieve maximum results in the gym? And if so, how do you use them together most effectively?
What is Pre-Workout?
As the name implies, pre-workout is a supplement that should be taken before you hit the gym, to boost your athletic performance and help you power through your workouts without feeling fatigued. Pre-workouts usually contain a combination of energizing ingredients like caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, and l-arginine.
The best time to take your pre-workout is roughly 30 minutes before you begin exercising. There are a variety of pre-workouts on the market to choose from, but it’s best to opt for a natural pre workout that doesn’t contain fillers, thickeners, or artificial sweeteners and colors.
Of course, that doesn’t mean your pre-workout needs to be bland; there are a number of flavored pre workouts to choose from, in addition to unflavored varieties.
What are BCAAs?
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. The term “essential” means that your body doesn’t produce these aminos on its own; you MUST get them through whole foods or supplements.
BCAA powder helps fuel your skeletal muscles, minimize protein breakdown, reduce fatigue, and enhance your body’s fat-burning processes during exercise. They also play an important role in the post-workout recovery process. That means that the best time to take them is while you’re actually at the gym, during your workout.
Many BCAAs are unflavored, but if you’d prefer a flavorful drink to sip during your workout there are options, like fruity watermelon BCAAs.
How to Take Pre-Workout & BCAAs Together
The best way to use both pre-workout and BCAAs to improve your athletic performance and build more muscle is by taking pre-workout before your gym session, and sipping BCAAs towards the middle-to-end of your workout.
By using this method, you’ll reap the energizing benefits of your pre-workout (which will help you work out longer, harder, and more efficiently) as well as the muscle-building, fatigue-banishing benefits of BCAAs when it matters most.