T Nation

Are BCAAs a Stimulant?


I have a question as a first user of BCAA's.

I bought capsules from GNC called GNC Pro Performance 1000. I took them about 15 min before weight training. After weight training I didn't take any but rather took my protein drink.

I found I had a hard time getting to sleep that night.... Would or could this be from the BCAA's?


No. BCAA's are even in your protein shake.


How soon after your training did you try to go to sleep? Depending on what I do, it can be hard to fall asleep if I train at night.


Sleep can be disrupted by intense stress to the CNS which can happen in a couple of different ways.

1) If you are new to lifting any training session can be a traumatic event to your nervous system.

2) If you are not new to lifting but had a truly intense workout like Heavy squats, dead lifts, or presses.

Personally if I have a heavy pulling session I don't sleep well that night.


OK thanks everyone. I am going to give the BCAA's another shot. Thanks!!


Look at the ingredients closely. One of the pill form aminos GNC makes has some caffeine in it, I can't remember which particular product it was.


I don't see anything on the bottle unless its put as something else on the L-form amino chain and 2 Hydroxlysine and Hydroxyproline.

Just to help maybe it's a GNC Pro Performance Amino 1000 capsule bottle.


I find I get a bit of an energy boost after taking 10g of BCAAs bit nothing that would effect me hours later.


BCAAs have a slight stimulant effect on me, but only when I'm carb depleted. It's very subtle but I find it gives a slight boost of energy and helps me to focus on tasks.

I often take pure BCAAs right before bed, they seem to help me sleep and can often give very lucid dreams.

As mentioned, some BCAA formulations contain caffeine, or copious amounts of B-vitamins - both which can affect sleep, but neither of which seem to be in the formulation you're taking.

Don't know what to tell you - I guess everyone responds differently to things


I have heard that glutamine may cause sleep issues.