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BCAA & Glutamine


Benefits of combining the Two Supplements

When following a strict routine, comprised of a calorie-deficit diet and an intense workout, your body ideally needs to maintain high energy levels. However, if you’re burning calories, your body might find itself in a catabolic state looking for an extra energy source. When craving energy, your body turns to muscle tissue as form of energy, breaking down muscle for fuel, resulting in a loss of muscle mass.

Here, we look at two of the most common supplements, BCAA and Glutamine, to evaluate how they can be used as a workout aid.

Benefits of BCAA

Branched-chain amino acids combine three of the essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine, which our body can’t produce. We usually get BCAAs from foods such as meat and milk.You can also take supplements to provide your body with more essential amino acids. The supplements can be taken as capsules or a powder – the BCAA powder is often mixed with a sports drink, cordial or water and is consumed as a liquid before, during and after a workout. Protein is made up of amino acids and 3 of the essential amino acids that make up proteins are are leucine, isoleucine and valine.

What is the difference between BCAA and Glutamine?

BCAAs are essential amino acids that your body has to seek externally from food or supplements such as BCAAs and protein sources in your diet, whereas glutamine is a non-essential acid that is naturally produced in the body and most commonly found in muscles. Whilst glutamine and BCAAs have several benefits to support your workout, glutamine also has several benefits around the body.

Can they be taken together?

The simple answer is yes.

When supplementing BCAAs, it’s common for them be taken up to 3 times a day depending on the serving size and concentration (so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions) generally before, during and after workouts and before bed and/or first thing on a morning. It is difficult to provide an exact dosage that is suitable for everyone; research suggests 0.03-0.05g/kg body weight per hour or 2-4g per hour during exercise and post workout.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not exceed the recommended daily dose with glutamine, it is usually taken in 5 gram doses up to three times throughout the day; generally, first thing on a morning, post-workout and right before bed on an evening. However, when taking both supplements together you want to aim for the right balance.

The main thing to consider when supplementing both is timing. Your body experiences the most amount of physical stress during a workout, so pre-workout and/or intra-workout supplements are recommended. An example of a combined dosage would be: 3 grams of BCAA and 5 grams of glutamine.