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Can I take whey protein and BCAA together?

Yes, you can take whey protein and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) together. Whey protein is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for muscle repair and growth, including a high concentration of BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs, on their own, are often supplemented to boost muscle protein synthesis, reduce muscle soreness, and enhance recovery during and after exercise (1).

Combining whey protein with additional BCAAs can be particularly beneficial if you are engaging in intense training sessions or when you are looking to maximize muscle protein synthesis and recovery. Whey protein provides a substantial amount of BCAAs in itself; however, the additional BCAAs can help optimize the muscle recovery process, especially the amino acid leucine, which plays a critical role in initiating protein synthesis (2).

It's important to note that while you can take both supplements together, the timing and proportion should be considered based on your dietary intake and exercise regimen. For most individuals, taking whey protein post-workout, along with BCAAs, can enhance the anabolic response of the body to exercise. The typical recommendation is to consume 20-25 grams of whey protein along with an additional 5-10 grams of BCAAs, particularly if your dietary protein intake is low (3).

However, for those who already consume a high-protein diet, supplementing with both whey protein and BCAAs might not yield additional benefits, as the dietary protein might already provide sufficient BCAAs for normal recovery and muscle maintenance processes (4).


  1. Blomstrand, E., Eliasson, J., Karlsson, H. K. R., & Köhnke, R. (2006). Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. Journal of Nutrition, 136(1), 269S-273S.
  2. Churchward-Venne, T. A., Breen, L., Di Donato, D. M., Hector, A. J., Mitchell, C. J., Moore, D. R., ... & Phillips, S. M. (2014). Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 99(2), 276-286.
  3. Kerksick, C. M., Arent, S., Schoenfeld, B. J., Stout, J. R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C. D., ... & Kreider, R. B. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 33.
  4. Wolfe, R. R. (2017). Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 30.
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