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BCAA Basics – Endurance, Growth, Recovery

January 16th, 2019

What are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are present in varying amounts and combinations in all sources of protein including chicken, whey, nuts and to a lesser degree vegetables.

Certain sources are ‘complete’ proteins and that means that they contain all of the amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own, so they need to be taken in through the diet. These essential amino acids are fundamental to life and healthy functioning. Sources such as meat and dairy are all complete sources of protein so are ideal for muscle building and maintenance. Incomplete sources include nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables, so if you are vegetarian or vegan you need to eat a wide variety of foods to get the full spectrum of amino acids.

What is included in BCAA’s?

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) include leucine, isoleucine and valine and are three of the essential amino acids which simply have branched chains in their chemical structure, hence the name.



–          Fundamental for muscle growth and repair

–          Responsible for triggering muscle protein synthesis (the driver of the process for muscle growth when consuming protein)

Isoleucine & Valine

–          Play a central role in glucose uptake into the cells, which is vital during exercise.

–          During training, blood levels of the branched chain amino acids decline and this sets off a chain reaction, leading to fatigue so it is important to have an adequate supply of these BCAAs available to keep the blood levels topped up.



Best Times To Take BCAAs

  1. Pre Workout

Taking your amino acid supplements 30-60 minutes before working out is one of the best options.

This is because the AAs will enter your bloodstream just in time to be utilised for fuel, preventing muscle breakdown. These benefits will continue into and even after your workout.

  1. Intra-Workout Amino Acids

Taking amino acids during your workout is another good option, and an excellent way to ensure you are hydrating adequately. Some believe taking BCAAs during their workout prevents them from ‘hitting the wall’, while others say that if your hydration is right from the start, and you take your amino acids before exercise – this wall may never occur.

Are there Benefits of Taking Amino Acids Between Meals?

A lot of ‘fitness gurus’ recommend that you take amino acid supplements between meals to prevent muscle wasting.

Unless you are exogenously hormonally enhanced you cannot afford to be constantly taking in food. It messes with your hormonal balance, every time you eat – you spike your insulin.

Every time insulin goes up, growth hormone goes down – the opposite of what we need to build muscle.  If you must take BCAAs during the day, take them with your meals if your meals are lacking natural protein.

This will give you the benefits those awesome BCAAs contain and within your natural insulin meal spike. Between meals you allow your insulin to sink, growth hormone to rise, and fat metabolizing hormones to kick-in.

What Type of BCAAs Supplements You Should Take

What is the best, most effective type of amino acid supplements to take? That answer is easy for us! Scorpion Supplements BCAA powers are the most ‘premium’ source of BCAAs that you can get.

In summary

  1. Taking amino acid supplements pre or intra workout is best.
  2. Don’t take them between meals, instead take them with or take protein instead with meals.
  3. The best type of amino acids for athletes are BCAA supplements as voted by us.


Ultimately, branched chain amino acids are absolutely essential to muscle growth and repair and Scorpion Supplement BCAA is an easy way to get more of them in your diet especially if protein is low particularly around training. All six flavours of scorpion BCAA are absolutely on point.