Don’t Wait Until After Exercise: Benefits of Pre and Intra BCAA Administration
The rate of skeletal muscle protein synthesis is regulated by two main anabolic stimuli: food intake and physical activity. The “Window of Opportunity” has been known for years in the bodybuilding world as this magic window to get protein and carbs post-exercise to maximize gains in muscle mass and recuperation. It is generally recommended to consume 20–25 grams of a high-quality protein or a high quality BCAA powder immediately after an exercise session to maximize the muscle protein synthetic response during acute post-exercise recovery. Much of the excitement of the importance of post-exercise protein consumption was based on a study that when lifters delayed protein consumption after exercise, they had blunted gains in muscle mass. It’s no debate that dietary protein ingestion following exercise increases muscle protein synthesis rates, stimulates net muscle protein accretion, and facilitates the skeletal muscle adaptive response to prolonged exercise training. The new studies have reported some interesting research to suggest that pre and intra (during) BCAA administration may be even more beneficial than consuming protein post-exercise. BCAA ingestion before and during exercise may be an effective dietary strategy to enhance the skeletal muscle hypertrophy and recuperation by enhancing the window of primer to exercise.
Pre and Intra BCAA Administration
Protein ingestion before or during exercise allows post-exercise muscle protein synthesis rates to be elevated more rapidly due to the greater amino acid availability to the muscle during the early stages of post-exercise recovery. One of the most interesting studies was conducted by Professor Tipton, who reported that the the ingestion of a mixture of 6 g of essential amino acids and 35 g of sucrose before exercise was more effective for the stimulation of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis than ingesting the same mixture immediately after exercise. The authors hypothesized that the greater stimulation of muscle protein synthesis may be attributed to the combination of increased amino acid levels at a time when blood flow is increased during exercise, thereby offering a greater stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by increasing amino acid delivery to the muscle.
It makes sense that waiting until after you finish exercise to consume protein powder, is similar to putting aloe vera on after you have sun burn. It makes sense to pre-prime the muscle with BCAA’s before and during exercise and finish off with a BCAA drink immediately after exercise.