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BCAAs - Pre or Post Workout?

So I typically drink my BCAAs about an hour before my workout, but the last week or so for whatever reason I’ve ended up drinking them post-workout.

I’ve mostly read that they should be taken pre-workout to help sustain performance. However, I’ve also read that taking BCAAs after working out stops muscle breakdown and begins the repair process.

Is this kind of like the creatine debate where you can make an argument for either case, or is there actually a best time to take them?


I think they’ve fallen out of vogue altogether in favor of a complete amino acid profile (EAAs or whole protein)

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Well then! Hah. Read a couple of articles to understand why and it seems to make sense. Although none of them explicitly said which one is better… Then again they all wanted to sell me them both by the end of the article. … Shocking!

Thanks for the heads up, @TrainForPain!

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So little of this stuff matters


you can take creatine whenever you want !

i always drink my EAA peri workout.

( intra * )

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The important thing is that there are Aminos in your blood stream during the workout and after the workout.

So if you’ve already had two or three feedings with protein before your workout you may not need the BCAAs at all.

If you’re doing some kind of fasting or you missed lunch it might be useful to down the BCAAs right before lifting.

If you’re stranded somewhere and your post workout meal is going to be whatever BS you can scrounge up it might be good to take your BCAAs post workout to improve that whack meal.


Taking them at all or when they’re taken?

Thanks for all of the responses!

Both. Nutrition timing and specifics. I’m pretty much eating as wrong as possible and still seeing some awesome results. Compliance and consistency is key.

This can’t be true ?! The supplement industry will be torn asunder !

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Compliance to what? I agree, consistency is more important that anything… And eating enough.

Your plan.

I like reading through old muscle mags and seeing all the supplement ads for products that were going to “change the game” that you can’t even find on store shelves anymore.

They said that Joe Weider had 5 different supplements that were all the same powder with 5 different labels: the only difference was what you mixed it with. The weight gainer was mixed with cream, the fat burner was mixed with water, the post workout recovery was mixed with skim milk, etc.

You sell someone some good gym gear, they buy it once, and never again, and then you go bankrupt. Glenn Pendlay (RIP) demonstrated that.

All that said, there’s still some good stuff out there, but it’s all very basic. I like Finibars for endurance events.


That is hilarious and I can absolutely believe it.

I would always eat pre workout, so no point of BCAAs or anything pre workout, right?

Even tho i believe that if your diet is sufficient with protein, no bcaa, eaa or protein powders are needed, for the last month i am taking bcaa/eaa/glutamine/creatine and some pump product with arginine and citruline along with some energy drink thar has lots of sugar in it - INTRA workout, but only because Milos Sarcev advocates that.
He also advocates insulin pre workout, which i am also doing. If i wouldnt be taking insulin i wouldnt be drinking anything intra-workout as i am sure as hell it doesnt do anything unless you started the training session fasted, which is a dumb idea on its own if you want to build muscle.
300 grams of chicken with some potatoe or rice is plenty BCAA for your workout.

I’ve recognized that I’m quite sensitive as to when I eat before I workout. If I eat too soon I’m lethargic and feel sick. If I don’t eat soon enough I’m weak and drained.

My typical routine that I’ve seen works best for me is:
8am (or before) - 8oz greek yogurt
9am - Whey protein shake with a cup of oatmeal
1130 - large chicken breast, 2 rice cakes
1pm - workout

Do you ever consume dietary fat?

Yes, typically somewhere between 60-75g per day. Red meat, I use milk in my shakes rather than water, creamer in my coffee, butter, etc…

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I miss the old days… Ultimate Orange was legit ! Mega Mass 2000. Champion Heavyweight Gainer 900 was delicious. I was stationed in SoCal in the late 90’s. Worked at Max Muscle for a while. Remember Cybergenics ? Peach MetRx. Used to get Designer Protein by the pallet load for free.