Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the fuel your muscles need for amazing workouts.

Any pre-workout that doesn’t contain BCAAs is incomplete. Plain and simple.

Some will say you don’t need BCAAs before you train, and they’re wrong. When you understand how the body and muscles utilize BCAAs at different times during the day, particularly around exercise, you’ll see why BCAAs need to be in your pre-workout for the best possible training sessions… and results.

What are BCAAs?

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the three most critical amino acids for building muscle, but they do far more than that. They also boost energy levels, delay muscle fatigue, and even aid fat loss.

The BCAAs include the three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. From a chemical structure standpoint, each of these amino acids has a forked outcropping that looks a lot like a branch; that's where they get their name from.

How BCAAs Work in the Body

The reason BCAAs are so beneficial lies in how the body handles them. When you ingest amino acids, they usually first travel to the liver, which can break them down to use as fuel if necessary rather than for building and repairing muscle. BCAAs tend to be spared by the liver and get sent directly to the muscles.

Unlike other amino acids, muscles can either use BCAAs directly for fuel or to build and repair themselves. When taken before or during workouts, BCAAs act as a fuel source to promote intense, productive training sessions. This is precisely why you want to take BCAAs before hitting the gym, and why they should be in your pre-workout.

Do you also want your muscles to use BCAAs to build and repair themselves? Of course. That’s why BCAAs are also in Post JYM – because building and repairing is how the three amino acids will be used after a workout.

Rocket Fuel For Your Workouts

As I just mentioned, BCAAs are used for fuel by muscles during workouts. The more intense and the longer the workout, the more BCAAs that will be used. So, you can see how taking a dose of BCAAs before workouts can give you more energy to help you train with more intensity from start to finish. But acting as a direct energy source for the muscles is not the only way BCAAs boost your workout intensity.

BCAAs also work via the brain to delay fatigue. During exercise, a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan, known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), signals the brain that the body is fatigued. This leads to a reduction in muscle strength and endurance. The amino acid tryptophan is responsible for producing 5-HT in the brain, which the BCAAs, namely valine, compete with for entry into the brain. Research has discovered that taking BCAAs before workouts lowers the amount of tryptophan that gets into the brain and therefore the levels of 5-HT and fatigue.

This is yet another reason why BCAAs should be in your pre-workout: to delay fatigue and further enhance your training intensity, strength, and endurance.

How to Take BCAAs Before Workouts

I recommend taking 6 grams of BCAAs – in the optimal 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine to valine – before every workout. You can do this in one of two ways: with a stand-alone BCAA product, or as part of your pre-workout.

In my JYM product line, I offer both options. There are 6 grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio in JYM BCAAs (stand-alone) as well as in all Pre JYM products (Pre JYM, Pre JYM X, and Stim-Free Pre JYM). Getting BCAAs from a pre-workout makes the most sense since there are several other ingredients you’ll want to take before workouts, including creatine, beta-alanine, and betaine. All versions of Pre JYM include these ingredients, making it a true all-in-one pre-workout.

JYM BCAAs is best reserved for taking at other times during the day, like between meals or first thing in the morning, to maximize protein synthesis and muscle building.

In whatever form you decide to take your BCAAs, more power to you – literally. You’ll have more energy, explosiveness, and endurance during every workout!


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