BBCAA Supplements are generally available in 2 forms – as either a powder or a capsule.
So the question arises are there any differences or advantages for those taking one form or the other.
The immediate answer appears to be NO. In other words, there is no significant difference in the composition of the BCAA product.
But are there any other reasons why one is preferable to the other?
You Can Better Manage The Dosage With A BCAA Powder
While it may seem obvious this is something that is not always considered when looking at supplements – controlling the dosage rate.
With a powder, it is possible to vary the quantity consumed by carefully measuring it – be it by weight or volume (scoop). Either way, this provides for a quite good change with the dosage rate.
Generally, the dosage is measured in ounces or grams. Often the scoop provided is ‘calibrated’ as well. So even though it dispenses a volume a level scoop will be noted as equal to a certain weight such as 50 milligrams (mg).
But, using a BCAA powder means that there is a certain level of ‘fiddling’ and mixing to get a consumable mixture.
Read also: Amino Acids Improve Endurance Athletes
BCAA Capsules Deliver A More Precise Dosage
Provided your BCAA capsules come from a reputable source the dose that they deliver is much more certain and precise. Details of the content of each capsule will be listed on the label.
The recommended dosage will be listed on the label- for example, 2 capsules twice per day. The label will have each individual ingredient listed with the quantity per capsule together with any non-active ingredients such as vegetable cellulose (for the capsule), rice flour and vegetable stearate.
These measurements are precise and accurate for every capsule so you know exactly how much you are taking.
But, you have no option but to take step inputs for your dosage. The ability to vary the dosage on a sliding scale, as you can with a powder, goes out the door with a capsule. Your dosage will be in steps equal to one capsule contents. Obvious maybe but not so intuitive unless you stop and think about it.
What Is The Recommended BCAA Intake?
Well, that depends on the reason you are taking your BCAA powder or capsule. The most commonly known and everyday use of supplements is among the bodybuilding and athletics communities.
Despite some quite extensive trials and testing dosage rates for sporting users are certainly not clearly established. Recommendations appear to vary widely. So it is reasonable to deduce that more research is needed to get specific requirements.
Despite this variation and perhaps some contraindications in different research projects! There is enough scientific evidence to use BCAA supplements for high-performance athletes.
The range of benefits is quite extensive…
- increasing aerobic and anaerobic capacities
- improvement in a significant number of physiological factors
- better muscle recovery after heavy exercise
- reducing the fall off in short-term performance during overreaching and
- a reduction in fatigue
And there may be gains in both muscle mass and strength when a supplement is used.
Typical dosage rates identified in some research range from 200-300mg up to 2 to 5 grams of each of the three BCAA’s found in standard supplements – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Also, the lowest effective daily dosage is 150mg for each one of the three components.
The recommended dosage from Consumer.lab ranges from 1 to 12 grams which again reflects the lack of specific usage information.
The ratio in most products is typically 2:1:1 for the three components mentioned above. But, some more recent research has indicated that a 4:1:1 ratio for leucine, isoleucine, and valine is better. And it is this 4:1:1 ratio that some modern BCAA supplements now use. As well as this some of them have also developed an improved delivery mechanism.
Finally, as a basic standard, you should take your BCAA with water before and after your exercise or training routine along with any other supplements. There are other more complex and involved supplementation routines which are not covered here.
Lack Of Toxicity Is A Real Plus
An added benefit is the lack of plain toxicity or danger using BCAA supplements. They certainly have a great pedigree.
Some authorities recommend that they are not taken for periods longer than 6 months at a time. Others recommend that you should start with small doses gradually increasing the dose so that your stomach and body gets used to the supplement.
And it is here that the difference between a capsule and a powder can come into its own. Because if you have trouble adjusting to the powder then a capsule might be the ideal remedy if you wish to continue taking this supplement.
Other Uses for BCAA Supplements
BCAA’s do have other medical uses as well which are not generally covered in supplement articles.
For clinically diagnosed people BCAA’s may assist those with liver disease. Also, support recovery in patients who have been subject to severe physical stress, trauma, burns and kidney failure.
And there is some sign that BCAA’s may help surgery patients with their recovery.
If you want to read some general commentary of BCAA supplement WebMD has a useful article in their Vitamins & Supplements section.
Important: This is NOT medical advice. If you have any concerns you should consult your medical practitioner or health professional.
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