Have you ever wondered, “Can I Mix BCAA With Black Coffee?”
I’m sure you’re used to mixing BCAA with water, juice, milk, or some electrolyte-based drink.
However, I guess it also depends on when you usually take BCAA.
So, if you’re considering mixing BCAA with black coffee, this would indicate that you may want to try this as a pre-workout.
With that being said, you’re unsure whether the two ingredients actually “mix” and what impact this may have on you.
Allow me to reveal all.
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Can I Mix BCAA With Black Coffee?
It’s perfectly fine to mix BCAA with black coffee. In fact, this could actually be the ideal pre-workout. You’ll get a good hit of caffeine, as well the fuel your body needs to maintain or build muscle mass. Admittedly, this is likely to completely change the taste of your coffee, even if you used an unflavoured BCAA. There are coffee-flavoured or caffeine-enhanced amino acid products, although these typically only contain a fraction of BCAAs you require. So, mixing black coffee and BCAA seems like the optimal solution.
1. The Ideal Pre-Workout
I’m not entirely sure why you would worry about mixing BCAA with black coffee.
I guess it may have something to do with various other supplements that don’t react so well.
Firstly, whey protein will typically denature when heated or added to a hot drink.
However, this isn’t anywhere near as bad as it initially sounds.
It simply means that the molecular structure of whey protein changes, but no protein is lost during the heating process.
Then again, it has been said that taking creatine and caffeine at the same time may partially negate the effects of creatine.
However, many pre-workout supplements contain both caffeine and creatine.
So, does this mean that it’s a complete waste of creatine?
Or is there no truth in this theory?
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But, back to the point, BCAA and black coffee.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing BCAA with black coffee.
In fact, this could be the ideal pre-workout drink.
Obviously, the effects of caffeine are well-known.
There are those who swear by a cup of Joe before they hit the gym.
You get that buzz and caffeine boost just as you’re about to hit the weights.
Whereas, BCAAs are known to preserve or build muscle, improve recovery by reducing fatigue post-workout, and they will also enhance sports performance.
So, in my mind, they sound like the perfect combination.
It would actually be better for you to mix a natural, unflavoured BCAA with black coffee, rather than swallow down a pre-workout supplement full of additives and sweeteners.
Plus, you just know that the BCAA and coffee combination is going to give you additional boost the second you walk into the gym.
It’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.
2. Beware of the Taste
I guess the main issue of mixing BCAA with black coffee is going to be the taste.
Obviously, there are various flavoured BCAA supplements, although I wouldn’t recommend mixing these with coffee.
With that being said, watermelon, cola, or blue raspberry may actually be a better option than a standard, unflavoured variety.
Basically, BCAAs have an extremely bitter taste profile.
Plus leucine, which is considered to be the most effective of the 3 BCAAs in terms of muscle protein synthesis, happens to be the most bitter.
This is generally why a BCAA that has a higher concentration of leucine can typically be extremely unpalatable.
But, then again, it’s more about what it can do for you, as opposed to the taste.
With that being said, if you’re a coffee lover then you may be in for a bit of a shock once you add BCAAs to your drink of choice.
In fact, you’re probably going to hate the taste of your coffee.
And realistically, this would be the only reason that I would not recommend mixing the two.
But, if you’re taking BCAAs for the taste then it’s highly likely that a flavoured variety will contain artificial sweeteners.
Personally, I would mix a naked BCAA with water and swallow that down and then enjoy my cup of coffee before heading off to the gym.
However, the choice on whether to mix or not is completely down to you.
3. Is it Better Than Caffeine BCAA Products?
Someone was bound to come up with an ingenious idea to have caffeine-infused or coffee-flavoured BCAAs.
In fact, this should tell you that it’s fine to mix BCAA and black coffee.
With that being said, I personally don’t believe that purchasing a pre-made coffee/BCAA supplement is better than the real thing.
Okay, the one advantage is that it is a flavored supplement, so it’s unlikely to taste quite as bad as mixing BCAAs with regular coffee.
However, many of these pre-made supplements will typically only have a fraction of the BCAAs you require.
Okay, I admit I can’t talk for every single coffee-flavoured BCAA supplement on the marketplace.
But, in the main they typically contain somewhere between 2-4g of BCAA.
Now, depending on your size and the intensity of your workouts, this could well be less than half of what you should be taking.
For me, being able to scoop and pour in the right amount of BCAAs is the better option.
BCAAs Explained in 60 Seconds
4. Timing is Everything
If you’re looking to mix BCAAs with black coffee as a pre-workout then it’s important to get the timing right.
And luckily they are both fairly similar in terms of reaching their peak effectiveness.
Firstly, if you’re taking BCAAs pre-workout then they’ll take around 30 minutes to get into the bloodstream.
You’ll typically want to take at least 6g of BCAAs and once they kick in they will help to keep fatigue at bay while you work out.
As for black coffee, you’re probably looking at around 45 minutes after consumption for it to really kick in.
Just a quick note on coffee as a pre-workout – It is estimated that between 2-6mg per kg of body weight is the ideal amount of caffeine.
So, as an example, an 80kg person would be looking at between 160-480mg of caffeine.
Firstly, I will say that consuming 480mg of caffeine in one hit is probably not a good idea.
In fact, it’s higher than the 400mg daily recommendation.
Anyway, a standard shot of espresso in most chain-based coffee shops will contain 75-95mg of caffeine.
However, there will be 2, 3, or 4 shots in other coffee drinks, depending on the size that you choose.
In other words, if you’re mixing your BCAAs with a chain-coffee drink then opt for the small or medium.
Whereas, if you are drinking coffee at home, then potentially look at two cups of standard coffee.
And enjoy your beverage (BCAA and black coffee) 30-45 minutes before you hit the gym.
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5. When is the Best Time to Take BCAA?
Staying on the subject of timing, I just want to discuss the best time to be taking BCAAs.
So far, when discussing mixing BCAA with black coffee I have solely focused on this as a pre-workout.
But, is this really the ideal time for BCAAs?
Realistically, you can take BCAAs pre, intra, or post workout.
In fact, as long as you stay within the recommended dosage you can take BCAAs up to three times a day.
Most people tend to opt for pre-workout as this can provide you with the additional energy and stamina you’ll need to see you through your session.
With that being said, there are those who would advocate intra, or during, your workout.
This way you can help to prevent muscle breakdown during your workout.
And of course, some people will swear by taking BCAAs post-workout in order to aid recovery.
Technically, there is no “best time”, as BCAAs have benefits at all three stages of a workout (before, during, or after).
So, I would recommend that you try all three and see what works best for you.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with drinking coffee at these three separate stages either.
BCAA Benefits & When to Take Them
So, as you can see, you can indeed mix BCAA with black coffee.
In fact, this is a great pre-workout that should help to power you through your training session.
Admittedly, due to the bitterness of naked BCAA, it will affect the taste of your coffee.
However, there is still no problem with mixing the two together.
You can also take BCAAs during or after a workout.
So, it makes sense to try BCAAs at all three separate stages to see what works best for you.
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Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.