Why supplement with Intra-workout/BCAA's?

Author: Tyson Matthews   Date Posted:26 July 2017 

We discuss why you should consider supplement with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's), or an intra-workout containing BCAA's and other components to push harder for longer. We also discuss what to look for when choosing a product.

Many of you have no doubt heard someone at the gym say Intra-workout. You have also no doubt heard the term BCAA. What the hell is everyone on about? The answer is "kind of the same thing". BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acid's, referring to the three most important BCAA,: Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine,. Studies have shown these essential amino acids to be key in the muscle building/recovery process, and given that there is no better time to get important nutrients to muscle than when you are working out, they quickly progressed to being included in a multicomponent drink, referred to as Intra-workout. 

Supplementing with these products can give massive benefits:

1. Increased recovery capacity and reduced muscle soreness

2. Increased muscle building capacity

3. Sparing of muscle during fasting periods/cutting

4. Regulation of insulin and response to carbohydrate

5. Reduced fatigue

Intra-workout's vary depending on what they can be used for. Some have thermogenic components to promote fat burning, others carbohydrates to give you energy to keep pushing through (perfect for sport). Many utilise glutamine for recovery, while premium products often contain near clinical doses of Creatine, Beta Alanine and Citrulline to help you push through your workout. Other products contain caffeine and a good energy dreak substitute or pre workout hybrid. What can also be confusing is the ratio stated on the front (eg. `10:1:1 or 2:1:1). This simply refers to the amount of the key BCAA Leucine to the other 2 BCAA's. There is no solid evidence to suggest any ratio is better than the other but it is believed the more Leucine the better for optimal muscle growth. BCAA can come in tablet form, however powder is considered the optimal method of rapid delivery.

When choosing an intra workout, think about what you need to fit your goals as well as to work in with your other supplements. Do you need an Intra-workout that contains citrulline and beta alanine if you are getting good doses from your preworkout. Do you need the extra carbohydrate or do you need just the BCAA's? Answering these questions will have a big bearing on the $$$ you will be up for. Another key point is whether the dose of BCAA is actually sufficient? Men need at least 7g per serve, the bare minimum contained in some of the products. 

Here are my selections based on criteria for products you should look at:

Taste or for Females:  Xtend, EHP Labs Beyond BCAA

Dose of BCAA: Ultimate Nutrition BCAA 12,000

Carbohydrate containing: Scitec Intra Edge, Xtend Perform

Caffeine Containing: Amino Energy/ Amino X Edge

Ultimate Recovery: Gentec P2P

All round products: Rich Piana all Day You May, Core ABC




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