Should I Take BCAAs During Workout?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses if BCAAs can provide any benefits when consumed DURING endurance exercise.

Do Branched Chain Amino Acids Provide Any Benefits When Taken During Endurance Exercise?

Ever wonder if it’s beneficial to take BCAAs during endurance exercise?

  • The branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine are commonly consumed post workout to kick start muscle repair and recovery.
  • But can BCAA intake DURING endurance exercise provide any ergogenic benefits? The research seems to suggest YES!
  • First, BCAAs can blunt fatigue by competing with tryptophan in the brain.
  • Second, the can reduce muscle protein breakdown.
  • Third, the can be used as a source of energy when glucose/glycogen is running low.
  • All these things can lead to improved endurance performance. In fact, a recent study conducted on cyclists demonstrated BCAA intake improved sprint performance by 11% compared to placebo.
  • Take home point? BCAAs can absolutely improve performance when taken during endurance exercise; especially as the duration of the workout or race increases.
  • Ideally, they should be included in your carbohydrate-based sports drink in the amount of 2-3 grams per serving.