Pre-Workouts vs BCAAs – Which is Better Before Your Workout?

Jeff Baldelli
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What are Pre-Workouts?

So you’re lifting weights and you’re ready to start your workout. But before you do, you pop a pre-workout. It’s just a couple of simple pills and you’re off. What goes on in your body after you take a pre-workout?

Pre-workouts are often packed full of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Now, it’s pretty difficult to pack all the essential amino acids into a tiny tablet so pre-workouts are often packed with things like L-Arginine, Beta Alanine, Creatine, and more. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of these amino acids, they are pretty significant.

L-Arginine is responsible for increasing nitric oxide which might help with the dilation of blood vessels. This is useful for your heart and for your muscles. Nitric oxide helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles by sending a signal to blood vessels to relax and open up.

Creatine is the most widely recognized and widely used supplemental form of amino acid. This is because it helps your muscles retain water. This then increases the growth of muscle fibers. But your muscles also need energy to work, and that’s where BCAAs come in to action.

What are BCAAs?

Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids. They are: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAAs have a few extra properties that are not shared by all amino acids. Firstly, they have a positive effect on protein synthesis. When consumed, the BCAAs are absorbed directly into your muscles.

BCAA studies have also shown that they reduce the rate of protein degradation, increase glycogen synthesis and reduce ammo