Both highly trained athletes and everyday fitness enthusiasts often supplement with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Some evidence shows that they may help build muscle, reduce workout fatigue and decrease muscle soreness after exercise.
People often wonder how best to time BCAA supplements around their exercise regimen to reap the desired health benefits.
This article takes a closer look at BCAA supplements, as well as how and when to take them.
You can buy either BCAA capsules or powders that you mix into water or other liquids.
The supplements typically supply twice as much leucine than isoleucine or valine, which is sometimes referred to as a 2:1:1 ratio. This is because leucine may be especially good at stimulating protein synthesis and suppressing the breakdown of muscle protein .
All three BCAAare directly taken up by your muscles rather than first being metabolized by your liver. As a result, BCAAs may have a faster effect.
However, scientists are still researching whether BCAA supplements offer a measurable advantage for physically active people compared to whole protein powders and whole food protein sources that contain BCAAs .