What is BCAA Drink : How Does It Help

This article provides all the information related to BCAA Drink and supplements.

Whether you go to a small gym or a bigger one, whether it is situated in the core or at the outskirts of the city, whether it is a five-star fully developed fitness center or just a building enough to accommodate you and some machines; you will always come across people who take BCAA pre-workout.

You find it overwhelming when you don’t have a friend or a trainer who can tell you about what bcaa is all about.

A BCAA is a unique group of essential amino acids that differs from other amino acids in that they can be chemically modified by hydrolysis to form branched-chain aminobutyric acid (BCAB).  BCAA, BCAB and other branched-chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  During digestion, branched-chain amino acids are hydrolyzed to form 3-carbon fragments known as acetyl-CoA.  This process is known as the keto-enol tautomerase (KET) reaction.

What are BCAA Drinks?

BCAA Definition

BCAA’s full form is Branched Chain Amino Acids. These are the building blocks of proteins and muscles.

Our body needs 20 amino acids to work properly and carry out the various processes in an efficient manner. Out of these 20 amino acids, 9 are known as essential amino acids.

What are Essential Amino Acids?

Essential amino acids are the amino acids very much required by the human body for its proper functioning. But these are referred to as essential because these are not prepared naturally in the body.

So, we need to obtain these 9 essential amino acids from the diet we consume on a daily basis or if we can’t eat the foods that contain essential amino acids, we can go for their supplements.

(Branched-chain amino acids)BCAAs constitute a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The branched molecular structure is the vital factor that distinguishes BCAAs from other essential amino acids.

The science behind BCAAs is that when you work out, your muscle cells break and wear out, then BCAA work as the replenisher recovering your muscle fibers giving your muscles the adequate nutrients to grow fast with desired results and proper conditioning.

What are BCAA Drink and Supplements used for?

BCAA supplements are the workout supplements primarily helping in protein synthesis(muscle building).

These are used to increase your sports performance as it offsets fatigue during intensive exercise and hence, improving upon the endurance and strength levels.

Branched-chain amino acids together constitute about 35-40% of all the total essential amino acids in our body and out of these, 14-18% of bcaas are present in the muscles.

BCAAs also help in maintaining the muscles when not working out; they serve as the storehouse of energy for emergency periods when you are on a low-calorie diet.

What do BCAA Drink do?

What do BCAAs do is the next question that comes in our mind.

Bcaa helps in building muscles and improving energy levels. It also assists us in decreasing muscle soreness after workouts and helps to reduce wastage of muscle strength.

Isoleucine and valine components of branched-chain amino acids are very efficient at raising more energy and keeping a check on our blood sugar levels.

While leucine having the largest capacity for building muscle proteins that gets torn while intensive exercising.

BCAA Drink and Supplements Benefits

We have 20 different amino acids that are responsible for building up a thousand different proteins in our human body.

So now, we already know about the three essential amino acids namely, isoleucine, valine, and leucine.

If you take bcaa in the right amounts consistently, you can experience great health benefits listed below.

Popular benefits of BCAA supplements are:


1. BCAA Drink Boosts Muscle Growth

BCAAs boost muscle growth essentially, while BCAA is generally consumed as a pre-workout, studies suggest that those who consumed whey protein having 5.6gram BCAA after their workout experienced better muscle growth as compared to those who solely consumed BCAA.

The prime reason for this observation is that whey protein contains not only just branched-chain amino acids but all the essential amino acids required for muscle growth and hence, shows better results.

2. BCAA Drink Reduces Muscle Soreness

If you are a gym-goer, no matter whether a beginner or a professional, you generally feel soreness whenever you go with a new workout routine, that’s primarily due to wear and tear of muscle protein during exercise or decreasing levels of creatine kinase.

BCAAs enhance the time required for muscle recovery which aids in reducing the length along with the severity of the soreness experienced by you after workouts.

3. BCAA Drink Lowers Exercise Fatigue

Researchers say that  BCAAs help in improving our focu while we exercise, so we are able to feel each and every muscle we are targeting. Although it doesn’t increase strength, but BCAA supplements do increase the enjoyment reducing the fatigue after doing our workouts.

4. BCAA Drink Restrains Muscle Wastage

BCAAs restrain or stop muscle wastage as they increase the protein synthesis capacity. More protein breaking down than synthesizing in the body is the main cause of muscle wastage. This is counterbalanced productively by BCAAs so muscle wastage can be cut down by taking BCAA supplements.

5. BCAA Drink Aids Liver Diseases

Liver diseases such as liver cancer can be protected by using BCAA supplements, studies suggest.

Even some scientific authorities do recommend BCAA drinks to resist further complications for the people suffering from liver cirrhosis(liver disease).

BCAA Dosage: When to take BCAA Drink and Supplements?

If you are serious about your health, if you want some additional benefits in your life, if you want to give your body the look it deserves, then bcaa drink and supplements are made for you.

When you have made your mind that you will be taking BCAAs, then its dosage is very personal and varies from person to person.

If we go on the facts and reports by the World Health Organisation, they suggest taking 144 mg of bcaa per kg of your body weight every day.

Then, according to this study, the daily requirement of a healthy woman is to consume at least 9 grams of BCAA, whereas it is 12 grams of BCAA every day in the case of men.

Best time to take BCAA Drink and supplements

BCAA supplements are generally consumed in two forms-

  • Tablets or capsules
  • BCAA powder.

Their doses depend upon the serving size and concentration. Well, the benefits of drinking bcaa can highly be effective depending upon when you drink your bcaa supplement.

The best time to drink a bcaa supplement is to take bcaa 15 minutes before the workout, whether in the powder form or tablets. BCAA supplements can be taken up to three times in a day, again depending upon the serving size you take. So read the label about the serving size carefully.

Can you take BCAA Drink during workout? 

Consuming BCAAs while working out promotes endurance training that includes long-distance running and cycling.

We can also combine BCAA supplements with other supplements to increase our workout performance and boost protein synthesis to a much greater extent. BCAAs contain three prominent amino acids,i.e., leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are not produced naturally by the body, that’s why athletes seek BCAAs from food supplements.

While working out, bodies consume a high amount of energy which is difficult to cope up with when on a calorie deficit diet. BCAAs are usually 5-10 grams per serving which sportsmen add to their drinks as a pre-workout for their exercises.

Many athletes take bcaa drink post workouts, again to combine bcaa with their protein drinks which provide the body with essential amino acids further promote protein synthesis helping the athletes achieve their best shape and goals.

According to studies, whether you take BCAA drink before a workout or after a workout, the results are quite similar, however, trainers suggest taking bcaa supplements before a workout as it also works as an additional energy source while working out.

How many grams of bcaa per day?

Now, as we have seen that there are very useful benefits of bcaa, the question that arises next is how many grams of bcaa per day should we consume.

All the studies and researches on this matter suggest that a healthy adult should consume 9-12 grams of bcaa every day.

But many professional strength trainers or athletes do consume a high quantity of 20-25 grams of bcaa every day in order to achieve their goals and keep their performance high.

Are BCAAs Safe? 

Yes, of course, BCAAs are safe whether you are a beginner gym-goer or a professional weight lifter. BCAA supplements are even a healthy inclusion in your daily nutrient-rich active lifestyle.

BCAA Drink and Supplement Side Effects

So, here are some of the ambiguous side effects of BCAAs:


1. Hair Loss

It’s the biggest misconception nowadays. Let me tell you very clearly that BCAAs improve the hair condition. As our hairs are mainly composed of proteins and that too with high BCAA proportion, BCAA drink and supplements are a need. So BCAA does not cause hair loss.

2. Acne

There have been researches upon this that suggest high protein intake and the consumption of large amounts of dairy products might cause acne production. BCAAs have leucine as one of its main components which might be responsible for the acne you could be experiencing because of leucine’s ability to stimulate lipid production.

3. Stomach and Gastro Issues

There is no evidence to suggest that BCAA supplements cause stomach and gastro issues, however, some people face gas issues or cramps which they might think is due to BCAAs but that’s primarily due to a high intake of carbohydrates or some other foods that stimulate flatulence.

4. Depression 

Evidence suggests that lower ratios of tryptophan to BCAA have a link with depression symptoms. But no actual study shows that there is any kind of link between taking BCAA supplementation and depression.

5. Kidney and liver 

The people with healthy kidneys can easily take BCAA supplements up to 2.8gm/kg of their body weight. This is a safe ratio that doesn’t affect your kidney’s health in any way. In fact, the people who are suffering from kidney disease especially go for BCAA supplementation which ensures that you are getting an adequate amount of essential amino acids without high protein intake.

Even medical practitioners do recommend bcaa drinks and supplements for people suffering from liver damage; no studies show that BCAA supplementation worsens liver health.

Foods With BCAA: Natural foods containing BCAA

Amino acids are the vital components of any meal. These three amino acids have to be present in adequate amounts for the body to function well enough. While there are many BCAA supplements available in the market to fulfill your needs, the natural food sources that contain BCAAs always stand out from artificially produced amino acids.

The best foods containing BCAAs are:

  • Salmon
  • Poultry
  • Sardines
  • Ground Beef
  • Trout
  • Turkey Breast

If you are vegetarian and not comfortable with meat, other foods high in BCAAs are:

  • Eggs (for the eggetarians)
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Lentils
  • Dairy Products including milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Tofu

So, this was a list of all the natural foods with bcaa in them. But if you somehow find it difficult to eat the foods that contain bcaa; you can always go for their alternatives,i.e., bcaa drink and supplements.

BCAA Drink and Supplements

Branched-chain amino acids(BCAA) also come in the supplements form for the ones who don’t have access to the foods rich in bcaa or some take bcaa supplements just for the additional benefits.

Additional benefits of bcaa foods include:

  • Easy Digestion
  • Cost-Effective
  • Simple Consumption
  • Easy to carry
  • Small quantities are enough
  • Work as a great BCAA pre-workout

Best BCAA Supplements and BCAA Drink

While there are many BCAA supplements out there in the market, it becomes really difficult for one to choose which one is more authentic and will give the desired results.

So, we have compiled the list of best bcaa supplements for you. These bcaa supplements pass the international standards of nutritional requirements set for bcaa supplements:

  1. Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
  2. Scivation Xtend Energy BCAAs
  3. MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 Energy
  4. Dymatize ALL9 Amino
  5. BPI Sports Best BCAA
  6. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Capsules
  7. EVL Nutrition BCAA Energy
  8. Post JYM Active Matrix
  9. BSN Amino X
  10. Cellucor Alpha Amino Performance BCAAs

There are also a number of different BCAA drink supplements to choose from that you can go with.

So if you are a gym freak or a professional athlete, BCAA drinks and supplements are highly recommended; they’ll benefit you immensely in your fitness journey.

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