Branched Chain Amino Acids

Should I mix BCCAs with creatine or other supplements?

There are a lot of supplements out there that provide a mixture of multiple ingredients. Each ingredient and supplement have there reason and purpose.

BCAA's are an anabolic stimulus for the body. Twenty amino acids make up one complete protein. Eleven are nonessential, and nine are essential. The nonessential amino acids are naturally produced in the body. The other nine amino acids you can obtain through meats, such as chicken, steak, beef, fish, eggs, or supplements.

Some supplements have BCAA's, creatine, beta-alanine, or caffeine all in one. Be careful about which supplements you purchase. Always look at the ingredients before you buy any product.

Creatine Monohydrate will help reproduce your ATP system during high-intensity exercise. This supplement is meant for activities that involve short duration, maximum effort exercises.

Creatine Monohydrate would be beneficial for Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and short-duration power exercises. Anything fast and explosive, Creatine Monohydrate will be applicable for a scenario like this. 

Beta-Alanine is an excellent supplement to reducing "the burn feeling" built-up in a muscle during anaerobic or endurance training. 

For example, if you participate in a boot camp, Crossfit class, or any other classes that involve a combination of doing multiple repetitions with a variety of different movements, beta-alanine will help reduce the burn sensation feeling. Depending on the dosage and fitness activities, beta-alanine will help improve your performance by delaying fatigue. 

BCAA's are an anabolic stimulus, and they are meant for being productive by stimulating muscle protein anabolism. Since we are in a catabolic state during exercise, BCAA's, during training, I would not recommend it. 

Overall, I would not recommend taking BCCA's with several other ingredients during your training. 

When are BCAA's efficient for muscle recovery?

High levels of BCAA's can be obtained through a variety of different animal-based proteins or supplements. They have an excellent study for many scientists, and we are about to talk about two conclusions from BCAA studies:

In the first study, there was a group of six healthy adults, three men, and three women. They obtain BCAA's supplementation after they trained, and investigators found that acute ingestion of BCAA's was beneficial for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

In the second study, two groups obtained BCAA supplementation. The first group took BCAA with a pure sugar 30 minutes before training. The second group took BCAA with a simple sugar after training.

In the first group, three hours later, the anabolic response was 158% greater compared to using it after exercise.

In summary, you can drink BCAA's before or after your training activities with any fruits. The pure sugar is for an insulin spike, which will raise your blood glucose levels. This spike will help the food or supplement get into the muscle at a faster rate. 

If BCAA's are obtained daily, you can expect muscle development over a prolonged period. Muscle growth comes with hard work, consistency, specific nutrition plans, and supplementation.


Book Reference

Smith-Ryan, A. E. & Antonio, J. (2013). Sports Nutrition and Performance Enhancing Supplements. Linus Learning.