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Branched-Chain Amino Acids - How Much Should I Take and When?

Updated on February 24, 2014

<< Part 5 - Side Effects and Cons <<

Now that you know about all of the benefits of branched-chain amino acids, and the possible side effects, let's take a look at the proper dosages.

I'm sure that some of you are anxious to start using BCAA supplements, so you need to know how much to take and when the best time would be to take them.

So, let's start out by going over how much you need to take.

How Much BCAAs Should You Take?

The estimated recommended daily requirement for branched-chain amino acids is around 31 to 65 milligrams per pound of bodyweight, each day. This is the recommendation for TOTAL intake, not just from BCAAs supplements. Remember that you'll be getting some branched-chain amino acids from the food you eat, and this is the amount that an average body is going to be looking for, in order to get by, day in and day out.

So, if you weigh 100 pounds, then you should aim to get at least 3.1 grams (3,100 milligrams) to 6.5 grams (6,500 milligrams) of branched-chain amino acids each day.

You also need to be aware that this isn’t a 33%, three-way split for each BCAA; the recommended ratio is that you get 50% leucine, 28% valine and 22% isoleucine. That's the ratio you want to aim to get, so keep that in mind if you're buying each amino acid separately, but you can avoid that hassle and get BCAAs supplements that are already mixed at the recommended ratio.

But how much of your BCAA supplement should you take?

Even though you'll be getting these amino acids from your diet, you may want to supplement with them to help boost your exercise performance. So, if you supplement with pure BCAAs, then you can be sure that you're getting the dosage you want, when you want it. And your best option is going to be buying branched-chain amino acids in powder form; that way you can get them in bulk, for cheap!

And I would recommend that you mix 5 to 15 grams of your BCAAs supplement in a drink, to help boost your performance; this should be plenty for a daily dosage.

When is The Best Time to Supplement with BCAAs?

Now, you might be wondering when you should drink the supplemental drink I just mentioned…

So, the best time for you to consume this beverage is during your workout. This is an ideal time because your body is going to be looking for branched-chain amino acids.

They’re the foundational elements for building muscle and, when you supplement with them in the pure form, your body doesn’t have to break them down. This will allow you to recover faster than if you had consumed protein, or food.

Now, like the magician I am, I'm going to read your mind and guess that you're wondering where you can get some branched-chain amino acid supplements.

And since I'm not one to leave you hanging, I'm going to tell you about 3 of the top rated branched-chain amino acid supplements. This should help get you started in the right direction.

>> Continue Reading Part 7 - Top 3 Supplements & Conclusion >>

© 2010 Ben Guinter

When Do You Take Your BCAA Supplements?

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    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's kind of iffy, Danny... 1. Because I myself have never used colloidal amino acid supplements before, and I'm not even sure if they work as well as powdered BCAAs. And if you're talking about colloidal silver then I'd stay away from that stuff; it's got a bad rap!

      And 2. Because a lot of doctors, when dealing with patients with kidney problems will tell them to stay away from BCAAs, since there might be interference.

      Your best bet would be to talk to your doctor about it and see if they are OK with it and ask them about both colloidal amino acids AND powdered BCAAs. They will know best, given your condition and what you aim to do with the amino acids, whether or not you should take them.

    • profile image

      Danny 6 years ago

      Is it safe and or beneficial to take Colloidal Amino Acid dietary supplements when suffering from Polycystic Kidney desease. I have 10 egfr kidney function??

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Hey IPN Patient,

      You do seem to be in the right range for your BCAA, but maybe you should try taking one of those doses during your workout so that your body has the BCAA readily available.

      Creatine and BCAA can help you in similar ways but just remember that they are two different things. I'm really not sure why they urged you to drop down to 4.2 grams of creatine in a day whenever you really want 5-10 grams a day.

      I don't think it'd be unsafe for you to take 7 or 8 of your creatine capsules, but I'm not a doctor... I'm not sure if their suggestions had anything to do with your condition or not.

    • profile image

      IPN Patient 7 years ago

      I am a victim of Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy and am wheelchair bound. I exercise at the YMCA twice a week and at home(Cardio & Muscular). I currently weigh 242 lbs and take 6 creatine at night and 4-2200 mg. BCAA at breakfast and another 4-200 mg BCAA either after my YMCA exercise or after my evening meal. I'm 79 years old and moving my wheelchair around is an all day exercise in itself.

      I used to take 12 Creatine per day, but my MDs were always urging me to go back to 6-700 Mg Capsules. However, I now wonder if Puritan Prides (Vit. & Sup.)online company's 4-2200 Mg BCAA before exercise and 4 after exercise may be too little or too much since they don't give me the strength that the 12 Creatine did.

      My e-mail is

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Glad to see you're still reading Hello, hello,

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      A well researched and written hub. Thank you for your good advice.

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks Sandyspider!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice write up on supplements.