Thoughts on bcaa



Just curious to know what are the best brands and when the best time to take them before,during , or after a ride and are they beneficial


I like the Xtend brand, yeah it’s a horrible name but the drinks taste pretty good.

I’m not sure about the timing, I drink them during the day as more a dietary supplement, and I do like the taste of a few of their flavors so it helps me get plenty of water.

Do they work? They haven’t changed my life or anything but I like drinking them and I can’t tell that they’re hurting.


I like to take them during my rides. Not sure how much difference it makes on the bike, but I definitely noticed a difference while lifting weights. I take Revolution Pure BCAA. Tastes is good.


during ride - Gu Roctane energy drink mix

post ride - milk and chicken

edit: I bought Roctane energy for liquid carbs, and only liquid carbs, after developing some digestion issues with Hammer Perpetuem. Although Roctane has BCAAs, it is a “don’t care” and so I reluctantly listed Roctane as “during ride” even though I would happily ride without BCAAs.

That said, I love my post-ride milk and burrito ritual and that is primary source of carb/protein/bcaa.


Looked into some research papers about the subject and I got the idea that supplementing with BCAA doesn’t provide you with any proper benefits.


You are correct, that is what the science says. The marketing on the other hand says they will change your life. So just figure out whether you want peer reviewed blinded trials or, you know, snake oil


What research papers? I’ve often wondered if they really do anything…

I currently use Earth Genius Lemon Tea flavor. I don’t like to ingest fake sugars. Personally I thought the Xtend Kiwi Watermelon flavor tasted horrible, I sent it back. Gnarly Nutritions Berry Lemonade BCAA w/ caffeine tastes pretty good too

A few questions about fasting rides (fasted training)

BCAAs don’t provide extra strength/muscle gain benefits, but there is evidence that shows that it helps prevent DOMS when consumed before a workout, especially if you are running a calorie deficit.

I’ve experimented with them and found the supplement to work well at preventing DOMS when doing hard training blocks.

I like the Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA raspberry lemonade flavor.


The general consensus is that if you are eating poor quality or not enough protein you get less muscle soreness after a workout by adding BCAA supplements, but no strength or recovery benefits.

With a healthy diet even the muscle soreness claims go away because, like with all protein sources, the body can only process so much and you’re going to be getting more than you can process from your food already


Plenty of recent studies purporting that your money would be better spent on a complete protein and/or better yet ensuring adequate dietary intake.

Alan Aragon has covered this recently.


Why not take a full spectrum AA blend? With BCAA you miss on 17 essential AA. I take some when I do a fasted workout.


My understanding of BCCA supplementation is that there aren’t many scientifically valid uses for them but one that may exist is potential muscle sparing capabilities when training fasted.

While there is little evidence for using them for muscle synthesis there is some evidence that leucine can help recovery from training sessions that are completed fasted with the BCCA’s taken prior to the workout which don’t raise insulin levels enough to break the fast.

From what I read though even this is subject to much debate so you pays your money and takes your choice!


Just as an aside, is a pretty useful site for researching all of these various supplements. They do a pretty thorough run down of the research and supposed benefits.


I also use the Revolution mix although I plan to stop using it when the tub runs out.

2019 will be the first time I intend to do some racing at USA Cycling sanctioned events. There’s always a risk using supplements when in any testing pool even if it’s excessive paranoia on my end. I’d rather find a way to get what I need through food.


I have some bcaa, but it should be noted that it has side effects on your reproductive health
You can consult: