Taking amino acid supplements has long been a favorite way for athletes of every kind to get the sort of nutritional support that leads to stronger muscles and lean physiques, and considering their low calorie counts and powerful benefits, it’s hard to argue with the basis for their popularity. The most popular of these compounds are the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are available today in a variety of forms, including pills, powders, and pre-mixed drinks. If you’ve heard about the benefits of BCAAs but are unfamiliar with them yourself, you might be wondering, “What’s the difference between taking BCAAs as a drink, pill, or powder?” To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® explain.
Choosing Between BCAA Drinks, Pills, and Powders
Picking the right supplement often comes down to personal preference. Questions regarding a person’s unique fitness goals, biology, budget, and routine tend to be the determining factors, which is why companies provide fitness in so many forms and with so many different ingredients.
For the most part, these products come as either a powder (the most common form), a premade drink, or a capsule or pill. Given that the active ingredients in these products are often the same, especially when comparing one BCAA-based supplement to another, is there any difference between them? Below, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each type of BCAA supplement and how they could fit into your stack.
In the U.S., pills exist for everything from helping with headaches to improving sexual performance, so it’s no surprise that BCAAs also come in pill form. As anyone who’s taken a pill can attest, there are certain advantages to this type of product; for one thing, pills are extremely easy to transport, so they’re a cinch to bring to the gym. They also save you from having to measure out a scoop of something, and there’s no need to bring your own bottle of mix to the gym, which means less time and effort required to get your supplements.
There is, however, a trade-off. When taking a BCAA pill, the dosage is already predetermined, so you might not be able to get the exact amount you want. More importantly, pills can mess up the timing of your supplements, because the body must first digest the capsule surrounding the BCAAs before it gets to the ingredients inside. Considering the importance of timing when taking a pre-, mid-, or post-workout supplement, this can be a bit of a dealbreaker for some.
Among almost every type of fitness supplement, powders reign supreme, and for good reason. BCAA powders and similar supplements offer full control over the amount of a supplement that you consume, for one thing, and they carry a number of other benefits that fitness buffs love. For instance, powders take effect much more quickly than pills because they require less digestion, and given that the body’s muscle-strengthening processes are at their peak for a limited time, this speed can make powders the better option by far.
The biggest drawback of powders is that they can be tough to transport and use on the go, not only because of the large containers they tend to come in but also because they have to be mixed with something. It’s for this reason that many gym-goers mix their powders in a bottle at home and simply bring that bottle to the gym.
In many respects, BCAA drinks have the same pros as BCAA powders, since a BCAA drink is basically just a pre-mixed BCAA powder supplement. One big difference is that the consumer has less control over what goes into a BCAA drink; companies can add whatever ingredients they want, whereas a powder-based beverage has only what the user adds themselves.
The biggest issue with premade BCAA drinks is cost. Per serving, the BCAA drinks you can order online or buy at the store are far more expensive than something you mix yourself. Even if you get one of the more expensive powders, you might wind up paying between a dollar and a dollar fifty per serving, whereas BCAA drinks can easily cost two or three times that amount.
Top Benefits of Taking BCAAs as a Drink, Pill, or Powder
Whether you prefer BCAAs in their pill, powder, or ready-made drink form, these supplements have plenty to offer even the most casual fitness fan. The three amino acids in these products – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – have a well-established ability to improve protein synthesis, support the immune system, and enhance exercise performance1 under a wide variety of circumstances.
Leucine, arguably the most powerful of the BCAAs, is especially potent for improving gains after you work out, while isoleucine boasts the ability to promote the movement of glucose to the muscles for use as fuel, improving endurance during exercise. Valine, the last of the three, helps to protect the muscles from excessive damage during intense physical activity. Together, these amino acids can help to ward off fatigue, reduce soreness, and raise energy levels at the gym or on a run, which is why they’re so popular in all their forms.
Try a BCAA Powder Supplement from aminoVITAL® Today
Everyone wants to get the most out of their workouts, which means providing the body with the resources it needs to build new muscle, stay energized, and speed up recovery times. If you’re looking for a fast and effective supplement, try the pre-, post-, and mid-workout amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL®. Visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 to learn more.