Need something to turbocharge your workout but not sure if it should be a shot of coffee or a scoop of BCAAs? We get the low-down from Barry’s trainer Harry Sellers. Here’s everything you need to know about Coffee vs BCAAs…
Coffee vs BCAAs
What are the benefits of coffee before a workout?
Coffee when consumed before exercise can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source as opposed to glycogen. Also, the high amounts of caffeine in black coffee will increase your metabolism which makes you burn more calories throughout the day. Other benefits include:
– Increases performance
– Accelerates fat loss
– Improves focus
– Helps decrease muscle pain
– Keeps you healthy
What’s the best time to have coffee?
You might feel your buzz starting within seconds of your first sip but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fully worked its way into your system. If you’re looking to hit the gym when your caffeine boost is at its most powerful, you’re going to want to down a cup of joe roughly 45 minutes before working out.
What are BCAAs?
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance. They may also help with weight loss and reduce fatigue after exercise.
What are the benefits of BCAAs before a workout?
Branch chain amino acid supplements can be used as fuel to improve performance when taken before exercise. This effect is in addition to their anabolism, and metabolism appears to occur directly in the muscle. However, I have heard from other experienced trainers and bodybuilders in my time in the fitness industry that actually the ideal time to take branched-chain amino acids is during workouts by adding 5-10 grams to your shake regimen, both pre-workout or post-workout, to fuel your body and repair your muscles.
BCAA powder or pills?
Personally I have found that the powder doesn’t taste too good and if you are going to take it then mix it with some kind of berry squash concentrate. However, recently I have found it easier to just take pills but it doesn’t make too much difference how exactly you consume them with regards to performance, it’s just personal preference.
What’s your recommendation?
It depends on what your goals are. If you want to enjoy amazing boosted workouts, then a quality pre-workout supplement should be your choice. Learn how to find the right BCAA supplements without tons of additives and chemicals to be healthy and get the best nutrition in your body.On the other hand, if you feel that you’re already hitting your goals in the gym and you want to instead preserve and build more muscle, then BCAA could be a simple answer for you.
Our recommendation would be to combine both together. That way you’re getting the benefits of a pre-workout to help keep you energised and focused while training, but also knowing that you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to maintain and build more muscle. Some pre-workouts even use BCAAs as an ingredient. This is a good solution for people looking for both options.
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Can I drink coffee and BCAAs together before a workout?
Yes, you can. However, it’s important to monitor your caffeine intake and not exceed recommended limits.
How much coffee should I drink before a workout?
It’s recommended to consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to about 4 cups of coffee. Start with a smaller amount and see how your body reacts.
Are there any side effects of consuming BCAAs before a workout?
BCAAs are generally safe when consumed in recommended doses. However, some people may experience digestive issues or allergic reactions.
Can I replace my pre-workout supplement with coffee or BCAAs?
It depends on the ingredients in your pre-workout supplement and your personal goals. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your supplement routine.
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.