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BCAA vs Preworkouts: What is the Difference?

When you work out, you need to leverage every tool at your disposal, particularly if you struggle to build muscle. Therefore, you need supplements that will help you maximize the effectiveness of every workout and pack on pounds of lean mass. 

Today, there are many different supplements on the market. Unfortunately, unless you’re an expert, it’s hard to know how to use all of them. 

A BCAA preworkout stack is a good example. Both of these products are helpful in their own individual way, but it’s not always obvious how they go together. 

In this article, our goal is to explain what each of these supplements is, the differences between them, their benefits, and when to use them.

What are BCAAs and Preworkouts?

BCAA stands for “branched-chain amino acid.” They’re a type of building block for proteins, shown to alter the body’s hormonal environment to promote muscle growth. You can get these aminos, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine, from animal foods. However, BCAA powders and pills have more of them in concentrated form. They help to “top up” your diet and supplement your regime with aminos that powerfully promote anabolism.

Preworkouts, on the other hand, are usually powders that mix into drinks taken before you hit the gym. Some contain BCAAs to fuel your workout, but they also contain other ingredients such as caffeine, citrulline, l-arginine, B vitamins, creatine, green tea extract, and basically anything else that supports your workout. 

Unlike BCAAs, which contain standard ingredients, what you get in a preworkout varies according to the brand. Each has its own ideas about what you need before hitting the gym. 

So is BCAA pre-workout? Kind of. Preworkouts contain BCAAs, but they add extras on top. If you were to compare BCAA vs. preworkout, you’d notice that the latter is more focused on the training phase, while the former has more to do with the recovery phase. 

Benefits of BCAAs

The benefits of BCAAs are considerable. They include:

  • Enhanced muscle growth
  • Reduction in post-exercise muscle soreness
  • Reduced fatigue after exercise
  • Reduction in muscle wasting and improvement in tone
  • Benefits for people with liver diseases, such as cirrhosis

BCAAs supercharge the effectiveness of regular high-protein nutrition. They are usually only available in low quantities in animal products (and some plant foods), but are much more highly concentrated in supplements. 

Benefits of Preworkouts

Preworkouts come with a long list of benefits, too: 

  • More energy during training
  • Longer training sessions
  • Bigger pump and less muscle fatigue during sets
  • Less muscle breakdown during exercise
  • Greater alertness

Preworkouts are an excellent way to get through tough training sessions and stay motivated months into your program. They’re particularly effective when training for competition since they give you the energy that might be lacking in your cutting routine. 

Can I Combine BCAA and Preworkout?

We suggest combining BCAAs with your preworkout. That’s because they both support muscle-building and lean body mass. Preworkouts prepare you for the gym, while BCAAs give your body the specific amino acids it wants to spur muscle production. 

When Should You Take BCAAs and Preworkouts?

You should take preworkouts 30 to 60 minutes before your training sessions. This delay gives all the ingredients they contain the time to get to where they need to be in your body, ready for training. 

When it comes to BCAAs, you have a little more leeway. We’d suggest taking them in the morning when you first wake up and then once more in the evening when you sleep, particularly on workout days. You want to make sure that your body has all the specific proteins it needs to encourage it to build muscle.

Protein-rich foods, such as beef, chicken, whey protein, soy protein, and turkey breast, all contain BCAAs. However, the actual amount is relatively small compared to what a specific supplement would provide. Furthermore, it tends to be more expensive per serving.

How BCAAs and Preworkout Affect Results

Ultimately, both BCAAs and preworkouts affect results in the same way. Each item boosts the rate at which muscle grows and fitness increases. 

However, the supplements work in different ways. Preworkouts mainly focus on boosting energy levels and enhancing your focus during workouts. They also contain creatine, which is a powerful muscle-building stimulator and can lead to a bigger pump in the gym. 

BCAAs, on the other hand, provide your body with the extra nutrition it requires in the recovery phase. In addition, research suggests that BCAAs may reduce muscle breakdown significantly, helping you train more often.

Industry-Leading Supplements at Low Market Prices 

At Black Diamond Supplements, we aim to provide you with a convenient way to save both time and money through a great online shopping experience. We offer a variety of products, from prohormones to preworkouts. View our products today if you are looking for the best supplement for your lifestyle.

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