BCAA discussion thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flabby View Post
    So trying to take practical advice from this, would you advise a protocol of mixing 5g leucine and 10g of whey as opposed to typical BCAA mixes or straight whey? I'm thinking this could be superior both in terms of effectiveness and budget...
    Quote Originally Posted by Flabby View Post
    No thoughts on my whey plus leucine idea?
    Nah, it just takes me a second to respond to everything. This thread happened to be pushed pretty far down the field of posts and I was just responding to them in order...

    As for whey + leucine as in your example...

    There would still be a number needed to maintain maximal anabolism (in other words maintenance of a positive nitrogen balance)...

    Whey protein is approximately 12% leucine; therefore, about 27g of whey protein (NOT 10g) would need to be consumed to reach the threshold for maximal anabolism (i.e. - positive nitrogen balance), whereas a source like chicken, which has a protein content of about 7.5% leucine would require 43g of protein to reach the leucine threshold required for maximal stimulation.

    So the question remains - could you lower the threshhold by increasing the amount of leucine? In a case where you have 10 grams of whey protein, you start with about 1.2g of leucine...adding 5g leucine to this amount leaves you at 6.2 grams of the 15 grams combined aminos or 41.3% (certainly you have overshot my 25% amino pool requirements, BUT there is not additional evidence to suggest this would be of more benefit to 25%, as you likely will still NOT avoid a negative nitrogen balance).

    What can we say from a practical standpoint....

    EXAMPLE: If you are eating 200g protein per day, 50g of your amino pool should be leucine. Could this be achieved by solely ingesting whey...sure - if we assume 20g whey per scoop; then 10 scoops over the course of a 24-hour period would be 200g (and this example assumes no food). Now, if you continue with this example; understand we already said whey is 12% leucine or 24g....far shy of where you could achieve maximal anabolism; so the example falls short. This is a prime example where if you are on a diet kind of like a protein-fast, employing only protein powder, then you would fall very shy of maximal anabolism and likely sacrifice muscle mass. Hopefully, I haven't lost anyone, but I would feel more than happy further elaborating if you have further questions. This is just an example; many of you aren't doing just protein shakes, but if you have an alternate protein amount you would like to achieve (total grams per day) and a total meal; I will calculate how the first person who posts response to this with their diet's protein + leucine calculations would look....




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    so basically try to consume 25% of out overall amino acid intake in leucine?
    Does this top end protein count include other FF aminos like glutamine, DAA, L-tyrosine etc? Like if our OVERALL amino intake is close to 300g (whole food and Amino acids) we should aim for 75g of luecine?

    And should these be taken in 3hr pulses like Layne Nortons research shows? Or should we just aim for a daily or 24hr period average?
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    D thoughts on Layne nortons maximizing protein synthesis...

    Summary

    - Leucine is the key amino acid for stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.

    - 3g of leucine is sufficient to maximise the anabolic response from a meal (A typical bb meal rich in protein will meet this e.g. 6oz chicken breast contains 3g leucine)

    - Increases in plasma leucine trigger mTOR signalling and muscle protein synthesis, however sustained elevations of plasma leucine and mTOR signalling is not sufficient to maintain elevated protein synthesis which indicates a refractory response. So although an initial meal containing 3g leucine may trigger muscle protein synthesis it is unlikely that an additional stimulation can be achieved 3 hours later with a second meal of similar composition to the first, due to the refractory nature of muscle protein synthesis.


    Solution to maximizing muscle protein synthesis over the course of the day:

    - In order to avoid refractoriness and maximize muscle protein synthesis it may be best to consume a meal with larger doses of protein that contain sufficient leucine while allowing 4-6 hours before the next meal in order to allow amino acid levels to fall in between meals in order to re-sensitize the system.

    - Another way to overcome refractoriness is to create a supraphysiological rise in plasma amino acid levels between meals (e.g. BCAA supplementation). A free-form amino acid supplement would likely be rapidly digested (even more so than whey) and elevate plasma amino acid levels above the previous meals plateau, especially when ingested with a carbohydrate source.


    Reccommendations:

    - Space protein rich meals at least 4 hours apart

    - Consume a free-form amino acid supplement containing approx. 3g leucine (e.g. Serving of BCAA's or xtend) in-between meals


    cant find the exact article anywhere though. but found the above on a diff site...

    how do you feel about this
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    If you're spiking mTor again "supraphysiologically" 2 hours after a meal, wouldn't it simply create a new refractory period after the BCAAs that would blunt protein synthesis in the following meal?

    Also thanks to Dana and no worries of course for not responding sooner! Not like I'm paying you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrag View Post
    so basically try to consume 25% of out overall amino acid intake in leucine?
    YES, AFTER you have satisfied the protein tally that will allow you to maintain POSITIVE NITROGEN BALANCE; this is usually body comp based (range - anywhere from 1.2-2 grams per pound of bodyweight; I know some will challenge the upper-level of that recommendation, but start lower and work your way up until you hit a potential "sweet spot." It does take some work.


    Does this top end protein count include other FF aminos like glutamine, DAA, L-tyrosine etc? Like if our OVERALL amino intake is close to 300g (whole food and Amino acids) we should aim for 75g of luecine?

    Interesting question, but a very valid one - this probably includes both, BUT even if leaving out supplemental specialty aminos like the three you list; it will probably be inconsequential included or not. Free form aminos suffer from a standpoint of bioavailability due to lagging peptide bonds which actually help assimilation (may be more accurate to say complete protein amino pool, but I think that would be splitting hairs and as I said probably is inconsequential).


    And should these be taken in 3hr pulses like Layne Nortons research shows? Or should we just aim for a daily or 24hr period average?
    I don't know what his data is based on for 3 hour pulses; but the body does come complete with a 2.5-3 hour GI transit time. This is imperative to keep in mind when trying to benefit from metabolic manipulation. If working hard to impact body composition; then it would probably behoove you to use 25% leucine at every sitting. If you are eating every 2.5-3 hours, then I guess it would fall in line with general suggestion but there is also data in that domain for positive nitrogen retention...so it makes sense.




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    Quote Originally Posted by ssbackwards View Post
    - Leucine is the key amino acid for stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.
    True; I think this has been my maintained argument throughout this thread.


    - 3g of leucine is sufficient to maximise the anabolic response from a meal (A typical bb meal rich in protein will meet this e.g. 6oz chicken breast contains 3g leucine)
    We differ in thought here; I will say it again...25% tally should be from leucine to maximize MPS. That said, a 6 oz chicken breast (assuming skinless, boneless - there's a big difference here too with those variables - it is VERY inaccurate to suggest all chicken breast is created equal) will yield about 42.5 grams of protein - 25% of the tally would be 10.625grams of leucine (like it, love it, hate it).


    - Increases in plasma leucine trigger mTOR signalling and muscle protein synthesis, however sustained elevations of plasma leucine and mTOR signalling is not sufficient to maintain elevated protein synthesis which indicates a refractory response. So although an initial meal containing 3g leucine may trigger muscle protein synthesis it is unlikely that an additional stimulation can be achieved 3 hours later with a second meal of similar composition to the first, due to the refractory nature of muscle protein synthesis.
    This, to me, has a lot of interplay with GI transit time so for all intensive purposes - we agree here, but maybe for different reasons (unsure).



    Solution to maximizing muscle protein synthesis over the course of the day:

    - In order to avoid refractoriness and maximize muscle protein synthesis it may be best to consume a meal with larger doses of protein that contain sufficient leucine while allowing 4-6 hours before the next meal in order to allow amino acid levels to fall in between meals in order to re-sensitize the system.

    I think 2.5-3 hours sufficient and according to GI transit literature, 4-6 hours may be too long. Layne and I have debated things in the past and I think you'll be happy to know we are still probably on the same page with a lot of things...it's just we have very different backgrounds and our research interests probably best impact our respective recommendations.



    - Another way to overcome refractoriness is to create a supraphysiological rise in plasma amino acid levels between meals (e.g. BCAA supplementation). A free-form amino acid supplement would likely be rapidly digested (even more so than whey) and elevate plasma amino acid levels above the previous meals plateau, especially when ingested with a carbohydrate source.
    I don't think you'll see complete assimilation with the absence of peptide bonds in the case of free form. I think 25% of the amino pool coming from leucine at every sitting spaced 2.5-3 hours will maximize MPS for reasons suggested.



    Reccommendations:

    - Space protein rich meals at least 4 hours apart
    I say 2.5-3 hours (will it make or break your physique; probably not...BUT if we're talking truly maximize effectiveness; I will give you the challenge to try it my way for 1-3 months...see if the impact is not much larger than what you've been seeing...if it has made little difference, what have you lost really if you are in bodybuilding for the long haul?).


    - Consume a free-form amino acid supplement containing approx. 3g leucine (e.g. Serving of BCAA's or xtend) in-between meals
    This may make Scivation proud, but I am a stickler with clients over the last decade and a half on 25% of the total amino pool, ONLY once positive nitrogen balance has been accounted for. Obviously based on the GI transit literature there is no room nor need for an "in-between" phase of supplementation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flabby View Post
    If you're spiking mTor again "supraphysiologically" 2 hours after a meal, wouldn't it simply create a new refractory period after the BCAAs that would blunt protein synthesis in the following meal?
    I don't know - this is not my theory.

    Also thanks to Dana and no worries of course for not responding sooner! Not like I'm paying you...
    Yeah, don't remind me.


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    thanx dana,

    thos werent my summary points, just a summary i found online. thought it would be good to summarize rather then post the whole article.


    i eat large meals typically containing 85-150g protein per meal. so i eat 2x a day, protein and fats only, body composition is the best its ever been.

    fasting 12-16 hrs between dinner and breakfast, and fasting 7-8 hours between breakfast and dinner.

    so if i did 5-10g leucine half way between breakfast and dinner you think im hindering gains or becoming catabolic (although i think studies show catabolic nature occurs after 36 hrs im pretty sure)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssbackwards View Post
    thanx dana,

    thos werent my summary points, just a summary i found online. thought it would be good to summarize rather then post the whole article.


    i eat large meals typically containing 85-150g protein per meal. so i eat 2x a day, protein and fats only, body composition is the best its ever been.

    fasting 12-16 hrs between dinner and breakfast, and fasting 7-8 hours between breakfast and dinner.

    so if i did 5-10g leucine half way between breakfast and dinner you think im hindering gains or becoming catabolic (although i think studies show catabolic nature occurs after 36 hrs im pretty sure)
    Well, if you're training intensely as I presume you are to be posting on this message board ("intensity" is a discussion in and of itself and defined very different from what you might imagine; but it may be beyond the scope of this post and/or thread...but it IS a component we are not discussing at length unfortunately), your nitrogen balance can drop after only 2.5-3 hours without protein (GI transit time). Shortly after that you'll go from a anabolic state to a catabolic state, wasting muscle through many mechanisms, one of which is gluconeogenesis.
    We'll turn completely away from the metabolic literature now and keying in on the endocrine one; now we're moving into large shifts in glycemic variation. Going for long periods without food can make you more insulin sensitive. That means that the calories you ingest are more likely to be converted to fat as a long term energy reserve than anything else. This is how the body responds to periods of time without nourishment via macronutrients. Everyone is different here and everyone has different eating habits, but our body's are extremely adaptive in many senses, so we "get used to" our regular caloric intake.

    Couple this dietary demand with periods of inactivity and you may negate said insulin sensitivity. 48 hours without acitivity will render some level of insulin resistance. Now...let's say you take the weekend off (not atypical for a bodybuilder bodypart regimen or even a "Big 3" style regimen or even 5 x 5 or volume training ... we could go on and on, but I am sure you get the picture). You've single-handedly wiped out some of the said effect on insulin sensitivity and shifted your body toward fat storage.

    When that regularity is disrupted the body may see this as a time of hardship, a time when food isn't as available before. This is one way our body isn't adaptive and most experts think this is a response instilled in us from the time we were hunter/gatherers. Well, I won't give "hunter/gatherer" associations because I feel its too simplistic, but it is something people can relate to.

    So the short answer is you're really not doing significant harm by missing a few meals on the rare occasion or even weeks on end, but don't let this become a habit or it will eventually lead to failure by complete overhaul of your metabolic make-up; making your response to metabolic alteration difficult the next time.

    And, I haven't even scratched the surface of thyroid literature here. Prolonged periods without food can induce representative states of euthyroid sick syndrome (now, more commonly known as non-thyroidal illness)....and while not thyroid-in origin; it does wreak havoc through HPTA modification and subsequent slowing. This is the explanation that centers on people's "starvation" diets (remember - this only means less than 1800 calories for women and 2200 calories for men) rendering them to HAULT progress over time, adopting a new metabolic set point...meaning your body will ultimately become equipped with dealing with less and less calories or a hault in progression is in your future.

    Personally, I am appreciative of progress and if you feel as though you are progressing on said diet, then by all means. At the same time, I have issued diets for over 12,000 clients over the last 11 years in 18 different countries and know that this will be the end result in the greater majority. It is very hard to settle on joint requirements for the masses, but these recommendations come from work with a lot of different bodies and coupled with literature to support it.


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    i eat like this everyday 2300 calories a day. train fasted and have tons of energy (IF keto style) and training for fight coming up in 3 weeks.

    really it only takes 2.5-3 hours o digest a whole food meal comprising of 1200-1400 calories where 47% is protein and 46% is fat? i find that hard to believe.

    my meal just before consisted of 17.5 ounc cooked chicken, 2 scoops protein, 5 ounce goat cheese, 2 table sppon coconut oil and 2 tablespoon almond with flax butter.

    your saying in 2.5- 3 hours its digested and nitrogen balance can drop? i find that kind of hard to imagine.

    plus isnt the thyroid issues directly related to AgRP? where your levels may appear low normal but rT3 is high. easily corrected with the OVERFEEDING which IF type diets implement. Short term fasting has nonsignificant drops in thyroid hormones from what i read, plus perceieved starvation by getting food (ketogenesis diet) vs actual starvation play a part on catabolism.

    also Calcium can regulate the rise of AgRP so supplemental calcium can help with said problem. Thus the BCAAs during that fast is keeping you still anabolic via mTOR and in a sense keeping your body burning fat via increased leptin (without rise in insulin).

    plus when leptin starts to drop lets say 4hrs after a meal (based on study i read, and posted in a nother thread) ghrelin should be on the rise causing GH to rise thus being sort of anti catabolic in nature plus accounting for ketoacids being produced from my specific diet alone.

    along with supplements that block gluconeogenesis to a degree, i see or have seen minimal muscle loss other then stopping heavy training to go into fight training.
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    I now see why you recommend leucine as a supp. So we can add as nessasary to achieve 25% total amino acid pool no? What about around workout times?
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    I would like to give this protocol a try, but would just like to make sure I am on the same page as you Dr. H.

    What you propose is 25% of the total meals protein content be comprised of leucine. So lets hypothetically say I am 200lbs, and shooting for 1.5g pro/lb(300g). I am going to have 4 feedings a day which would be comprised of 75g protein.

    So if I sat down and had 75g protein (25%=18.75g leu) worth of chicken breast(7.5%leu = 5.6g) would I supplement with 13.2g leucine?

    Additionally on a workout day, if I was to consume a 5th feeding peri workout, beginning pre, through the workout and ending immediately post, comprised of carb/protein(hydro cassein, etc) to the tune of 20g additional protein, would the same rules apply here, and free form leu be added to the same 25% of total AA?

    There is NEVER a time where you feel supplemental EAA's are beneficial? Is that due to the recommendation of consuming all your supplemental BCAA(leucine) with meals, this making the other AA's moot?

    Thanks for clarifying. I guess the part that is tripping me up is the reference to the positive nitrogen balance. How are we ensuring that is taking place? Are we assuming that if we have protein set at, again for ex 300g, even if eating 6-7 meals comprised of 42-50g of protein we are in the positive? Or even if some feedings were 25-30g, as long as the totals for the 24hr period were in the realm of 300g, would that be sufficient?
    This may make Scivation proud, but I am a stickler with clients over the last decade and a half on 25% of the total amino pool, ONLY once positive nitrogen balance has been accounted for.
    YES, AFTER you have satisfied the protein tally that will allow you to maintain POSITIVE NITROGEN BALANCE; this is usually body comp based (range - anywhere from 1.2-2 grams per pound of bodyweight;

    Thanks for any insight.
  

  
 

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