Let’s take a look at two popular workout enhancers, BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) specifically Driven AMINO and pre-workout, specifically, Driven’s PreWod. Both play an active role in your workout improving performance, recovery and endurance. Here we will break down the benefits of each and when is the best time to take one, both or possibly neither!
Pre-Workout – PreWOD
Lets first look at PreWod™ and breakdown the active ingredients with simple explanations of their role in enhancing your workout. Pre-Wod™ contains 200mg of caffeine. Also in the stimulant category of the formula is DMAE or dimethylethanolamine, a choline metabolite that, unlike caffeine, increases the release of dopamine (feel good chemical in the brain) without increasing your heart rate. The combination of DMAE and caffeine can give you the energy to push you through the tough parts of your workout or maybe just motivate you to keep driving to the gym instead of making a detour!
PreWod also contains 1500mg of Beta-alanine. It’s purpose is to buffer the build up of acid inside the muscle cells to reduce fatigue and improve performance. You may also notice the “tingly” side effects you feel on your skin within the first 5-10 minutes of taking it. Side note, to truly get the benefits of its acid buffering abilities you will have to reach your bodies peak performance zone. That is extreme fatigue where one more round or one more rep seems impossible, so if you take it WORK HARD and get your moneys worth!
The Betaine Anhydrous increases force production, aka make you stronger. This vitamin derived from choline is often found in sugar beets, thus the name Betaine. The increase in strength is partly due to Betaine’s ability to increase your body’s internal production of creatine. For increased recovery Betaine plays a role in promoting protein syntheses, the action of building new muscle and preventing muscle breakdown. Betaine has also been shown to reduce inflammation at the cellular level.
For added cellular function and antioxidant protection, L-Taurine and good old Vitamin C were added. L-Taurine is a non-essential amino acid found in the body that can decrease in amount during intense exercise. Taurine acts like a neurotransmitter lowering stress in anxiety-producing situations thus increasing exercise performance and boosting feelings of wellness. It is also an antioxidant useful for its ability to abolish free radicals and keep cells alive and healthy. Vitamin-C is also an antioxidant but has performance applications as well. Undergoing extreme bouts of exercise can lower your immune system and leave you vulnerable to illness and soreness. A dose of Vitamin C prior to workout might be the simplest thing you can do to combat this.
While PreWod™ can definitely get you ready and roaring to hit the weights, you might consider how long you want to be roaring after you train. Consider this, if your workout time on a given day 7:00pm and you wouldn’t dare drink a couple cups of coffee at that time because you’re the type of person that would still be staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m., you might want to skip the PreWod or at least back down your dose. Like all stimulants, it can have a diminishing return effect if you take it too often. Consider taking a break for a week every so often and even during regular use take a day or two off. This will help keep your adrenal glands responding the way you want them to, when you need them to. It is designed to be taken once a day, maybe twice on competition day but spread it out. The right amount of stimulants can make you feel great leaving you to think MORE must be better! It’s not.
BCAAs – Amino
Now lets look at BCAA’s, specifically the one’s found in our Drivens AMINO formula. BCAA’s or Branch Chain Amino Acids are 3 of the 9 EAA’s or Essential Amino acids meaning our bodies cannot synthesize them, they have to be consumed or ingested. Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the branched amino acids named for their side chain or “branch like” structures. In this formula they are found in a 2:1:1 ratio (2g Leucine, 1g Isoleucine, 1g Valine). While it’s debated, this ratio has shown the most merit to be the most beneficial combination of BCAA’s. Leucine is the star of the BCAA cast, playing a crucial role in mTOR or protein syntheses. Think of it as the on switch signaling the body to use proteins to build new muscle.
BCAA’s can be taken both before and/or during “intra” workout to reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue.
BCAA’s are found in animal proteins like beef, chicken and fish and in powdered sources like whey. However in these sources the BCAA’s are bound in the chain of amino acids that make up the complete protein. They first have to be digested and absorbed form the small intestine into the blood stream where they can then give their benefits. When you are in immediate need of BCAA’s like during a workout it makes more sense to consume the free form, non-bound amino acids. They can absorb quickly without having to be digested first. During workout BCAA’s both decrease muscle loss and help fight fatigue.
- PreWod contains stimulants that need to be consumed approximately 20 minutes before exercise for best results.
- If working out late in the evening, you need to assess how long those stimulants are going to be working and adjust the dose or not use at all if it’s going to effect your sleep.
- BCAA’s can be taken prior to workout but if your undergoing a long duration training session, especially strength training you may want to use them intra or during your workout.
- Free form BCAA’s (not bound to a complete protein chain) do not have to be digested and enter quickly into the bloodstream.
Both PreWod and AMINO can be beneficial when taken before a workout. Make sure you monitor your timing of ingestion of PreWod . It is important both to make sure you get the most benefit in performance and to make sure you are sleeping. For best results use only 4-5 days a week and don’t forget to go cold turkey on all stimulants for a week or two on occasion. The BCAA’s in AMINO have many muscle building and preserving benefits and can be enjoyed both as a part of your workout or just during your day.
If you’d like to know more about Driven PreWOD or Amino, please visit their website. But, don’t forget, the prices we can offer at BCF are lower than what’s listed online. Talk to your coach if you have questions.