I get a lot of questions about BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and Pre-Workout so today I'ma break it down!
What are BCAAs?
Branch Chain Amino Acids - The building blocks of muscle!
Right now we are going to focus on the first one, Leucine.
"Based on the current literature, Leucine can act as an ergogenic aid for resistance training athletes based on its ability to modulate insulin signaling and initiate translation of protein synthesis. Both of these factors contribute to greater skeletal muscle hypertrophy and strength."
Let's use simple words here...
BCAAs help with recovery and energy during workouts. When you use your muscles, your muscles need fuel and you deplete yourself of amino acids - therefore your body may break down its own muscle mass to fuel itself. So, BCAAs essentially help support muscle recovery and growth.
BCAAs help your body absorb protein - and that's what you want! You don't want your body to breakdown protein because the more lean muscle mass you have, the better! Higher metabolism, energy, etc.
So basically BCAAs are an aid to help your body use protein better AND it has other benefits such as increased energy. You don't HAVE to only drink BCAAs when you're working out. You can add them to your regular diet because no matter what, you want your body to have a healthy protein status.
My favorite kinda of BCCA is Aminocore - you can learn more about the brand HERE.
Pre-workout is a stimulant. It helps you workout longer, have more energy, and focus. There are various pre-workouts that contain different ingredients. Different brands = different ingredients so do you research.
Creatine is one ingredient you may not want because it does cause bloating. But there are benefits to creatine such as increased strength.
The main focus on pre-workout is focus (see what I did there). When you have greater concentration you simply have a better workout and do better work.
It is NOT essential to take pre-workout. You can have amazing workouts without it. I used to think that I didn't need pre-workout - that it was like a drug (LOL). But ever since I started taking it, my lifting sessions have become better. No I'm not exactly superwoman in the gym, but I do notice more concentration and I sweat A LOT more!
I hope this gave you a better understanding of what BCAAs and Pre-Workout are and do. I really encourage anyone to take BCAAs - all you have to do is mix it with water. It's a great way to get hydrated while increasing protein synthesis to the body which EVERYONE can benefit from!