BCAA pre workout drinks is a new trend in sports drinks category

Nowadays, sports drinks category is becoming more interesting for beverage entrepreneurs and SMEs. There is a big opportunity for innovation. For the last 2 years we see an increasing interest of BCAA pre workout drinks (branched-chain amino acid) as the most interesting segment in sports drinks category. Obviously this is not without a reason.

BCAA inclusion may be useful for gaining mass; these amino acids are especially helpful for maintaining muscle mass while on a calorie-deficit diet.

It’s rooted that branched-chain amino acids (particularly leucine) vitalize protein synthesis. BCAAs also increase fusion of the cellular system responsible for carrying out the process of protein synthesis. What is more BCAA also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis. BCAAs also function as a benefit by reducing the rate of protein breakdown. Furthermore BCAA are helping to improve workout intensity. BCAAs compete with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin. During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can decrease fatigue—that means a less intensive training for you.

Unfortunately from the beverage development point there is a negative issue – BCAA creates a very specific aftertaste, good news that it can be partly covered by using sucralose as a sweetener and various berry flavors. Also, sucralose is used as a sweetener in order to have as small amount kcal.

Other ingredients that frequently you can find in such sports drinks: L-carnitine, green tea with EGCG or B group vitamins.

To sum up, BCAA is a premium ingredient which will add value for your product and is a good way to create point of difference.

Author - dipl. eng. Ieva Jurevičienė

Ieva currently Head of NPD for MyDrink Beverages. Her work encompasses innovation, new product development, recipe optimization and consulting.