Whether you’re a competitive athlete, totally new to fitness, or somewhere in between, there’s a good chance you’re taking BCAAs and protein supplements already. If not, you’re probably looking into trying some.
he first thing you need to know is that not all protein and BCAA supplements are created equal, and many ‘health’ products aren’t healthy at all. Since we’re looking to health supplements to support our health and fitness, it’s important to always check the ingredients to avoid artificial flavours, fillers, or any other hidden nasties that can prevent you from reaching your goals.
Once you’ve found the best BCAAs and protein powder, the next thing you need to know is how to use them to get the best support for your healthy lifestyle. If you’re wondering, ‘when should I take BCAAs and protein around working out?’ - you’ve come to the right place! Read on to discover the best time to take BCAAs, as well as the best time to take protein powder.
The best time to take BCAAs
Although active adults and athletes have a wide variety of fitness goals, gaining muscle while losing fat is one that many people have in common. Achieving this goal requires a combination of healthy dietary choices, reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity, and without careful nutritional intervention, muscle loss and decreased performance in the gym are inevitable side effects.
Fortunately, this is where BCAAs can help you reach your fitness goals. When taken alongside a healthy diet and exercise program, BCAAs can help you build or maintain lean muscle by supporting muscle growth, recovery and repair. BCAA supplementation reduces Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) following exercise, which is super helpful if you like to walk the day after doing squats or use your arms after doing pull-ups!
The level of BCAAs in your blood peaks 30 minutes after taking your supplement, so the best time to take BCAAs is up to 15 minutes before exercise if you want to make the most of the natural energy boost. That said, sipping your BCAAs during or just after your workouts will still provide the nutrients that assist with muscle repair and reducing DOMS.
Plant-based BCAAs provide a natural and healthy way to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness while increasing energy production, so these supplements are very beneficial if you're intermittent fasting or in a caloric deficit and need a sustained energy source to fuel your training.
As studies have shown leucine to be the most crucial BCAA for muscle protein synthesis, taking a BCAA with a 2:1:1 ratio (leucine-to-isoleucine-to-valine) is the most effective option for supporting your exercise recovery and helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
You can also take BCAAs outside of your workouts, but the best time to take it depends on your goals. If fat loss is your current goal, consuming BCAAs 30-45 minutes before a meal is a helpful strategy. However, if your current goal is to gain muscle, taking your BCAAs 90 minutes after your breakfast or lunch can be effective, as leucine prolongs muscle protein synthesis after your meals, as well as after workouts.
As with BCAAs, the best time to take protein also depends on your goals
The best time to take protein
Protein powder is one of the most popular supplements worldwide, and it's used to achieve a variety of different goals. Whether you want to lose fat and preserve muscle, increase your muscle mass, maintain your strength as you get older, or simply support your training and recovery, it’s helpful to know the best time to take protein. As with BCAAs, the best time to take protein also depends on your goals.
Protein supplements can be an excellent tool for assisting healthy weight loss, as increasing your protein intake helps raise your metabolism while curbing your appetite. Protein not only reduces levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, but it also increases the hormones that make you feel satiated. This handy effect makes protein powder a convenient and strategic snack between meals.
If your goal is to increase your lean muscle mass, there are many different opinions regarding the best time to take protein. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, however, consuming protein powder within two hours of your workout is ideal for building muscle.
The exception to this rule is for people who train in a fasted state, in which case, the best time to take protein powder is immediately after exercise. Combining your protein with carbohydrates before and after exercise may also improve your performance, speed up your recovery, and reduce muscle soreness in the days that follow.
Sip your BCAAs before or during your workout, then have a post-workout protein smoothie or shake within 2 hours of training
Can I take BCAAs instead of protein?
Tropeaka Tone BCAA+ is much more than a healthy, plant-based BCAA powder. It also contains additional superfoods, electrolytes and deep-sea minerals to support your workouts and recovery. With this in mind, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s worth taking BCAAs instead of protein powder.
The truth is, while Tone BCAA+ focuses on the 3 essential amino acids that play a major role in muscle growth and repair, this is only one part of a complete nutritional picture.
Tropeaka Lean Proteins provide a wide range of both essential and non-essential amino acids, along with a range of other superfoods that offer a nutrient-dense solution to your training needs. Tone BCAA+ is the perfect complement to the Lean Proteins, and you can use them both at different times for best results.
The bottom line: when should I take BCAAs and protein?
While carefully planning when to take your protein and BCAAs can optimise your training and improve your results, those who aren’t competitive athletes still have plenty to gain from regular exercise, adequate recovery, and simply eating enough protein.
Tropeaka’s Tip: Sip your BCAAs before or during your workout, then have a post-workout protein smoothie or shake within 2 hours of training. This is a protein timing solution that will suit most people aiming to build lean muscle, get fitter and stronger, and improve their body composition.