Many bodybuilders use BCAA’s (Branch chain amino acids) to improve their muscle strength as well as their performance. However, the question is generally when they should be taken for the greatest effect – before, during or after your workout? Before we answer that question, let’s delve into why BCAA’s are important.

Why Use BCAA’s?

BCAA refers to three amino acids in particular: valine, leucine, and Iso-leucine. These three together work to reduce your fatigue (by decreasing the serotonin production in your brain) while helping your body better use all of the other amino acids so that you experience gains in muscle strength and size. 

Additionally, BCAA’s are metabolized not by your liver, like other amino acids, but by your muscle. This sets them apart and makes them more efficient at the job they are intended to do.

So, When Should You Take Them?

Now that you have a better understanding as to the importance of BCAA’s when you’re trying to build muscle, the question remains as to when it is most beneficial to take them – before, during or after your workout? The answer is a combination…and then some.

Because BCAA’s elevate your blood sugar, they provide you the most muscle boosting benefits when taken both before and after a grueling workout. They are also beneficial if you consume them with your meals, giving you lots of opportunities throughout the day to get your BCAA’s in so that they are the most advantageous. 

Just make sure you take them separately from any other amino acids that you are currently taking as the BCAA’s will overpower the others and make them not as effective (not to mention a waste of your hard earned money as they can be rather costly).

If you’re not sure which BCAA brand to purchase, consult with a trusted personal trainer. That way you buy a product that you know will work for you!