Pre Workout vs BCAA

Should you take a Pre Workout or BCAA before training? Here's everything you need to know about these two supplements

Pre Workout vs BCAA
Should you use a Pre Workout or BCAA? Photo: Adobe Stock

Using a Pre Workout or BCAA before the gym is a very common habit.

Your time spent working out is limited, so it’s only natural that you want to make sure that you’re getting the very most out of your time spent there.

The trouble is, there are so many different types of supplements out there that it can be difficult to pick the right one for your specific needs.

Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work for you. The aim of this post is to thoroughly compare Pre Workout vs BCAA so you can decide which is the better option for you.

So, let’s get cracking and start examining these two different types of supplements.

Why use a Pre Workout?

Pre Workout supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to make sure that you’re feeling at your best during your workouts.

The best Pre Workouts usually contain a blend of natural ingredients to help you achieve peak performance.

They usually include a dose of a stimulant such as caffeine to help boost your energy levels to make sure that you’re performing at your best.

Pre Workout Benefits:

• Raise Energy Levels
• Increase Focus
• Extend Stamina and Power

Some of the ingredients to look for in a quality pre workout supplement include Creatine, to give your muscles more stamina and power, and L-Citrulline, to improve blood flow to keep you energized while training.

Another good ingredient to lookout for is L-Theanine. It’s an amino acid extracted from tea leaves.

It has been shown to complement caffeine and bring about a calm, focused state along with the energy boost from the caffeine.

The main thing to be wary of when it comes to pre workouts is the overuse of stimulants.

Caffeine is a great pre workout ingredient because it can boost your energy levels and stimulate your metabolism, but too much of it can cause side-effects such as energy crashes or the jitters.

We generally sat to look for a pre workout which uses 200mg or less of caffeine per dose. That should be enough to boost your energy levels for the workout without causing any unwanted problems.

Be sure to also check out our full guide to the best pre workout supplements on sale right now, which we’ve just updated.

Supplements

Photo: Adobe Stock

Why use BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)?

BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are essential amino acids which contain a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, which are essential (in other words, they must be consumed).

BCAAs are often referred to as the ‘building blocks’ of muscle, and gym goers often supplement with BCAA to help increase protein synthesis (building more muscle).

They are useful because they can help you build more muscle, but also to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. This is great if you’re looking to increase your muscle mass.

BCAA Benefits:

• Build more muscle
• Reduce muscle breakdown while training

As you can see, BCAA are a somewhat one-dimensional supplement. They will help you to build more, and preserve existing, muscle mass, but they are unlikely to have much of an effect on your actual workout.

BCAA supplement

Photo: Adobe Stock

Pre Workout vs BCAA

So, should you use a Pre Workout or BCAA before your workouts?

It depends on what your goals are. If you want to enjoy amazing workouts with boosted energy levels and stamina, then a quality pre workout supplement should be your choice.

On the other hand, if you feel that you’re already hitting your goals in the gym and you want to instead preserve and build more muscle, then BCAA could be a simple answer for you.

Our recommendation would be to combine both together. That way, you’re getting the benefits of a pre workout to help keep you energized and focused while training, but also knowing that you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to maintain and build more muscle

The bottom line is that Pre Workouts and BCAA are complementary, meaning that they will work perfectly alongside one another to achieve their different purposes.

The Best Pre Workout

Product website: www.4gauge.com

4 gauge

4 Gauge is currently our top recommended pre workout supplement on the market because it contains the selection of the best natural ingredients we found.

It’s made by the specialist supplements company Roar Ambition and has great customer reviews.

We especially like the way 4 Gauge hasn’t gone down the same route as so many other pre workouts and overloading on caffeine.

Each dose contains 150mg of caffeine, which is perfect in our opinion – enough to give you an energy boost without causing any unwanted side effects.

It also uses L-Theanine to keep you calm and focused, and a small dose Creatine to give your muscles extra power.

The top ingredients in 4 Gauge are:

• Caffeine – Raises energy levels during your workouts.
• Rhodiola Rosea – Combats fatigue and boosts energy levels at the same time.
• Coconut Water Powder – Increases hydration to get you performing at your best.
• L-Theanine – Works with Caffeine to bring a calm and relaxed energy boost.
• Creatine – A small dose pre workout helps gives your muscles more power.
• L-Citrulline – Improves blood flow and triggers amazing muscle pumps.

Any drawbacks?

• It’s a premium product, so it’s a little more expensive than some other options. We guess that’s the price (literally) you have to pay for better ingredients. They offer multi-box discounts on the official website at least.

• You can only buy it from the official website, meaning that you won’t find it in stores or on other sites like Amazon.

The bottom line

4 Gauge is the leading pre workout supplement on the market right now in our opinion. And you won’t go too far wrong if you combine it with BCAA to get the full benefits of both supplements.

Anything else to consider?

We always recommend doing your own thorough research before taking a supplement for the first time.

It’s also important to remember that there is no such thing as a “magic” pill or powder when it comes to achieving your fitness goals.

The first thing you should always do is make sure that you’re training hard and eating right.

That being said, if you’ve already got those two things on point, then using quality supplements alongside that such as a Pre Workout can bring about amazing results.

Wrapping things up – Our final thoughts

So there we have it, our full comparison of Pre Workout vs BCAA.

We’ve explained the difference between these two popular supplements to try and help you make an informed choice about which is the best option for you.

If you’re looking to step up your training and experience amazing workouts again and again, we recommend 4 Gauge as a top quality pre workout supplement.

BCAA are more about providing your body with the specific fuel it needs to build and maintain muscle mass.

Combining a pre workout supplement with BCAA is a good way to make sure that you’re training is on point, while also ensuring that you’re giving your body what it needs to build more muscle at the same time.

The Sport Review's product reviews are independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we don't allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are produced through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

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