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Difference between Pre-Workouts and BCAAs

by Trevor Hiltbrand | Reviewed by Advisory Board

Difference between Pre-Workouts and BCAAs

To through-and-through Transparent Labs fans, this article on the difference between pre workouts and BCAAs will be a bit confusing. Confusing in the sense of – why is this article needed? That’s because to the experienced lifter, the answer is quite simple and well known. But, to the new lifter, the new dieter, or even the athlete – when, how, and why regarding BCAA and pre workout supplements is a mystery. Here we are going to demystify the difference between these two supplements as well as the intricate relationships they can have in a bodybuilding or dieting regimen.

BCAAs and their benefits during workout

Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the most anabolic group of amino acids critical for muscle fuel, recovery, and growth. These amino acids consist of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine; and each can assist your workout needs both independently and synergistically.

When taken before and/or during workout, branch chain amino acids have been found to:

    • Improve endurance during workout
    • Improve strength during workout
    • Improve recovery and reduce soreness after workout
    • Stimulate muscle growth

This works as one large unit in the sense that leucine, isoleucine, and valine are used to build and repair muscle tissue. But, it also works more independently as:

    • Leucine triggers actual muscle synthesis signaling aka muscle growth.
    • Isoleucine can be broken down producing several muscle fueling molecules.
    • Valine reduces exercise induced fatigue by minimizing tryptophan uptake in the brain.

Now those are benefits a lot of people would gladly add to their workouts, and you would be surprised by how many people already do. But the benefits of BCAA supplements are not the only perks you can add to your workout experience. Pre workout supplements can be just as beneficial with an even more customizable design.

How Pre Workouts differ from BCAAs

If a pre workout is a quality goal oriented supplement – it’s going to have BCAAs in it. Based on the benefits that we laid out above, why wouldn’t a supplement intended to improve your workout and physique include them? But a quality pre workout is only getting started there...

While BCAAs are one of the absolute best ways to build muscle, maintain muscle, and increase your metabolism – there are several effective ingredients that can improve the mental and physical experience of working out.

This includes the ethical use of stimulants like and including caffeine which increase energy, focus, motivation and even lessens the sensation of effort. Vitamins and natural compounds that promote better mood, focus, and endurance. As well as a few ‘power molecules’ like betaine and beta-alanine that perfectly compliment BCAAs by increasing strength, endurance, and muscle growth. Now tell me that doesn’t sound great.

Just think about what pre workouts and BCAAs do. In combination, they allow you to feel better about working out, work out more, and get more benefits from working out! This means more muscle growth for those weight training, more fat metabolism for those dieting by supporting the metabolic fire, and a mixture of both for those actively exercising to tone up! But like all good things, some pre workout supplements have been negatively adulterated and designed with the wrong principles in mind.

Take a look in any generic supplement store and you’re going to see it. Better yet, you’ve probably heard of it. Now days there are countless products, claiming to be the best pre-workout supplements that simply are not designed to help your goals. We’re speaking of supplements whose ingredients are based on how they can make your brain feel and not how they can help support your body.

This is achieved through a combination of the overuse of inexpensive stimulants and the absence of quality BCAAs and power molecules that results in a supplement that’s short-term sensational and incredibly profitable for its maker. But does this help you forge the body that you want? No. What it does is drains your adrenal glands, keeps you awake at night increasing stress hormones, and ultimately makes you jump on the next supplement they make in hopes of that one producing better results.

That’s no way for them to treat you; and that’s no way for you to treat your body. Especially when you have a choice. You have the choice to find a supplement that’s completely tailored to your goals. A pre workout that lists the exact amounts of the ingredients that are in it right on the label instead of a confusing mix of ‘proprietary blend’ and ‘hardcore’. You deserve a transparent supplement that puts EVERYTHING on the table first to earn your trust and prove its worth.

    • See how PreSeries Bulk was designed to increase muscle mass, strength, and performance.
    • See how PreSeries Lean’s formulation helps raise metabolism and improve the workout experience for crafting an unmistakably tone and firm body in men & women.
    • See how PreSeries Stim-Free benefits all workout goals without the use of caffeine and stimulants.

With over 25 combined years experience taking pre workout supplements, the dedicated Transparent Labs team could not be any more pleased with the highly effective PreSeries supplement line. Using key data from published clinical trials, the PreSeries line is formulated with the most praised ingredients in their scientifically recommended effective dosages. The outcome is 3 unique and highly specialized goal based pre workouts that deliver the kind of results no other supplement on the market can match. Ready to choose up? View our bulking flagship PreSeries BULK here.

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Trevor Hiltbrand
Trevor Hiltbrand


Trevor Hiltbrand is one of the owners/co-founders of Transparent Labs and head of content creation. He got his start with supplement research back in 2013 when he began researching cognitive enhancement. With the help of the Transparent Labs Expert Panel and Advisory Board, we aim to bring our evidence based nutrition and exercise research to the world.

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