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i'm currently trying a 2 workouts a day, and i want to know if it's usefull to take like 2 times BCAA , pre-workout, post-workout, ... for each workout.

Thank you !

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By "workouts" you mean some kind of hypertrophy or strength training I guess? –  zero-divisor Oct 22 '13 at 17:00
    
@zero-divisor yes i mean bodybuilding training =) –  e1che Oct 24 '13 at 8:14
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3 Answers

Personally, I don't think BCAAs are worth the small, if any, boost in performance. According to examine.com:

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) refers to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

BCAA supplementation, for people with low dietary protein intake, can promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. It can also be used to prevent fatigue in novice athletes.

Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Further research is needed to determine valine’s role in a BCAA supplement. Supplementing BCAAs prevents a serum decline in BCAAs, which occurs during exercise. A serum decline would normally cause a tryptophan influx into the brain, followed by serotonin production, which causes fatigue.

BCAAs are important to ingest on a daily basis, but many protein sources, such as meat and eggs, already provide BCAAS. Supplementation is unnecessary for people with a sufficiently high protein intake (1-1.5g/kg a day or more).

Examine.com BCAA Article

Examine.com does a great job at consolidating a lot of research to give unbiased information related to a specific supplement.

After reading their article on BCAAs it seems that if you have a balanced diet and would consider yourself more than a novice athelete, BCAAs in general, are not effective.

Are they effective for 2-a-day workouts?

I would refer to my answer above. I don't think working out twice a day would increase the effectiveness of BCAAs.

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Additionally, they only consider human studies (excluding rat studies). –  Berin Loritsch Mar 22 at 22:56
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Yes it's useful. Or you could just eat some WHEY protein Isolate after each workout, as the frequency and in turn volume is increasing the BCAAs will help keep you from catabolizing for muscle for energy.

Personally I trained fasted in the mornings, always my better workout, training on a full stomach usually leaves me sluggish and lazy. Personal opinion of course, but i hear a lot of suggestions on eating pre-workout insta-carbs, i just don't think it's all that necessary. As long as at some point before 2nd workout you refill your glycogen in your muscles. You should be fine. Your body doesnt go catabolic in 3 hours, but fill em up, burn em down, fill em up, rest.

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Thanky you for answering and giving your POV. =) –  e1che Oct 24 '13 at 8:15
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Thanks to a great answer by @JordanCarroll you have a very good reason why BCAAs are not that great for the purpose of combating fatigue. However, there are a couple rather cheap supplements with excellent research behind them to help you deal with fatigue.

Creatine

Cells use a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy, which, upon its own exhaustion, gets converted into ADP or AMP. While the protein known as adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) tends to promote AMP to ADP conversions, the form of creatine that acts as the reservoir (creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine) regenerates ADP to ATP so it can be used once again to fuel metabolic processes.

(Examine.com Article)

Typical dose is 5g per day. The author's comments mentioned that this is a very safe and useful compound for any athlete. Also, the most studied and useful variation of creatine is just plain Creatine Monohydrate. Any other variation hasn't had the body of scientific research behind it, and in most cases is not as useful to your body. Creatine monohydrate is very inexpensive, and pretty standard so there is no reason to spend more just because it comes from another company.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a supplement that provides dietary bicarbonate, which can increase serum levels of bicarbonate (normally produced by the kidneys) and subsequently buffer acid production in the body. The main mechanism of action of sodium bicarbonate is in negating the effects of acidosis. It provides benefits both in situations of chronic mild acidosis, commonly seen in metabolic ailments or during aging as kidney function slowly declines, and in exercise-induced acidosis.

In athletes, the standard doses of sodium bicarbonate supplementation (200-300 mg/kg) tend to reliably benefit performance when failure on the exercise is associated with metabolic acidosis, aka “the burn.” Sports where failure occurs due to the cardiorespiratory system or due to force production by the central nervous system (e.g., single sprints or rowing in elite rowers) do not appear to reliably benefit from supplemental bicarbonate.

(Examine.com Article)

The commonly recommended dose is listed above: 200-300 mg / kg. I highly recommend splitting that dose up throughout the day. Yes, sodium bicarbonate is just the scientific name for plain old baking soda. You can get it at your local grocery store. Baking soda is not a pleasant taste, so it might be best to mix some in a shot glass of water and just swallow fast. It washes down well when you grab a glass of fresh water and drink that.

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