We were just talking about this on my other board.
1 gram of BCAA doesn't equate to 1 gram of whole protein for you daily quota.
It's actually much better than that. They are the exact aminos that you need from whole protein for your purposes. Meaning that taking in 50 or so grams of BCAAs a day will in effect allow you to require less whole protein.
I'll post up my post from MMI.
Since there is a lot of positive personal accounts of BCAAs around here lately, I thought I'd dredge up a few articles to support their use along with EAAs.
First, here's a small excerpt from an article, basically stating that BCAA use prior/during exercise will impede muscle breakdown.
Here's one by Mario Pasquale.. one point I noticed is that an earlier study showed that WHOLE proteins (such as whey) prior to exercise lowered IGF-1, serum testosterone levels, and raised insulin... bad news for trainees who take whole protein prior opposed to BCAAs.
Here's one that illustrates the growth potential of EAAs, but limiting the amount of certain aminos in the combination (namely Methionine).
additionally, here's a breakdown of BCAAs in general, followed by one for EAAs.
By Zach Long
Most fitness enthusiasts know that an adequate amount of protein is needed whether one wants to gain muscle mass or lose body fat without drastically decreasing lean body weight. Proteins are made of chains of bonded amino acids that help our bodies grow and repair muscles. Amino acids are divided into two categories: essential amino acids (EAA) and nonessential amino acids (NEAA). The difference between EAA and NEAA is that the human body does not produce enough EAA to meet the body?s requirements and consequently, EAA must be consumed in your diet. The body does produce sufficient amounts of NEAA to meet its demands.
Only six amino acids are directly used by muscles during exercise. These amino acids are alanine, glutamine, aspartate, isoleucine, leucine, and valine. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are known as branch chain amino acids (BCAA) and serve a much more important role in energy and muscle growth than any of the other amino acids.
After participating in resistance exercises such as weight training, muscle protein synthesis increases and the rate of protein degradation rises. The effect of this is a negative protein balance resulting in a catabolic state. The body requires BCAA because of the negative protein balance; therefore, muscle tissues are broken down to provide the needed BCAA. These catabolic conditions lead to the breaking down of amino acids within the muscle tissue. Amino acids have profound effects on muscular growth and when amino acids levels are lowered, growth suffers. External consumption of BCAA allows the need for BCAA during exercise to be met without having to break down amino acids within muscle tissue. The body will remain in a catabolic state with a negative protein balance until amino acids are ingested. Consuming amino acids will result in a positive protein balance enabling the body to be in an anabolic state. Ensuring that the body is in an anabolic state through correct diet and supplementation along with a proper lifting program will lead to muscular hypertrophy. Tipton et al found that ??ingestion of amino acids is an effective method of maximizing the anabolic effect of exercise.?
When being digested, BCAA bypass the liver and are promptly absorbed by the circulatory system, allowing BCAA to be quickly used for protein production. Protein synthesis has been shown to increase 200% when EAA were available following weight lifting. Several studies have reported that amino acid supplementation leads to greater gains of lean muscle mass. Crowe et al found that ?upper body power, time to exhaustion and perceived exertion were significantly improved after 6-week dietary leucine supplementation compared to a placebo.?
Many studies have proven that Leucine is the best amino acid. Leucine is directly involved in stimulating protein synthesis and without it protein production is weakened. Leucine levels must be increased for significant increases for protein synthesis to occur. Muscle protein production is increased by as much as 10 times when leucine is added to a protein rich meal. BCAA supplements containing 30-35% leucine have been shown to decrease protein degradation, increase mental and physical performance, and lessen depletion of muscle glycogen levels. Leucine also provides muscles more ATP than the same weight of glucose. While it is important to look for products with relatively large amounts of leucine, supplementation with leucine alone causes BCAA imbalances. Therefore, supplements should contain high levels of leucine as well as isoleucine and valine.
To meet the body?s requirements for amino acids, high amounts of EAA and BCAA are necessary. Faster absorbing proteins are more effective at delivering BCAA to the muscles, therefore, casein, egg proteins, and other slow digesting proteins are not encouraged for meeting BCAA needs. Hydrolyzed whey protein is the fastest digesting protein and is the best for consuming BCAA. Other options for BCAA are the direct supplementation of amino acids through products such as Prolab?s BCAA Plus, NxCare?s Aminovol, and Universal?s BCAA Stack, just to name a few.
Because the purpose of consuming amino acids is to provide muscles with BCAA so that muscle tissues aren?t broken down, amino acids should be consumed before exercise. Consuming BCAA before exercise delivers these nutrients better because the heart pumps 20-25 liters of blood per minute while exercising compared to only 5 when at rest. While exercising, over 80% of blood flow is directed to the muscles while only 15-20% of blood flow goes to the muscles while at rest. This change in blood flow patterns occurs because muscles need more blood while exercising and the body adapts to meet this need. By taking amino acids pre-workout, amino acids are delivered more efficiently to your muscles. This pre-workout shake won?t lessen the value of post workout nutrition, but will instead boost its effectiveness.
Consuming amino acids before you exercise provides your muscles with the nutrients it needs to increase protein synthesis, reach an anabolic state, and increase muscular hypertrophy.
Crowe, Melissa. "Effects of Dietary Leucine Supplementation on Exercise Performance."
European Journal of Applied Physiology 97(2006): 664-672.
Charlebois, Derek. "BCAA: More Than Just Amino Acids." Strength & Science Weekly
12. 16 Dec 2006 <http://www.strengthandscience.com/october/article8.htm>.
Charlebois, Derek. "Essential Amino Acids." Strength & Science Online 4. 16 Dec 2006
Mero, A. "Leucine Supplementation and Intensive Training." Sports Medicine 27(1999):
Norton, Layne. "Leucine: The Anabolic Trigger." Strength & Science Weekly 11. 16
Dec 2006 <http://www.strengthandscience.com/october/article2.htm>.
Tipton, Kevin. "Postexercise Net Protein Synthesis in Human Muscle from Orally
Administered Amino Acids." Endocrinology and Metabolism 276(1999): 628-
Essential Amino Acids
Chemical Formulas of Aminos
There is a ton of information on the web, all you need to do is look.
Also, here's something that 5luke2 cited from sandblaster:
andOriginally Posted by Sand Blaster
Simply because of what they do in the body. Without spending all night (I'm going to bed in a minute) here is a quick copy paste that I just grabbed to save time--bottom line, they both do so much from a muscular and metabolic standpoint counting them as whole proteins is fine, AS LONG AS THEY ARE USED IN CONJUNCTION (not neccesarily taken at the same time) with whole protiens.
If you prefer not to count them that way, fine. But based on experience they are much more anabolic than plain "complete" proteins when used in conjuction with an already high protein diet.
BCAA’s are Branched Chain Amino Acids consisting 3 essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are considered essential amino acids because human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet.
They are called BCAA's because they structurally branch off another chain of atoms instead of forming a line. Together they comprise approx. 1/3 of human muscle tissue. The BCAA's consist of 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Studies have shown that BCAA's help to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit its breakdown, so BCAA's have powerful anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on the body.
BCAA's have a very important role in sports nutrition. If the liver's glycogen stores are depleted during exercise, the body manufactures glucose from other substrates, including proteins & amino acids. The exercising muscle releases BCAA's to be broken down to make the amino acid alanine, which is then transported to the liver for conversion to glucose. BCAA's are unique in that they can also be converted and shuttled directly into energy production in muscle itself. It is essential that the athletes’ diet is supplemented with a protein source rich in BCAA's (i.e. whey protein) to reduce muscle breakdown, maintaining exercise performance and intensity and assist muscle recovery and growth. Therefore, unlike other amino acids, BCAA's provide energy directly to the muscle tissue. In fact during prolonged athletic activity, BCAA's serve as a valuable fuel source - providing as much as 15% of the body's total energy needs. If you do not consume enough BCAA's when needed (i.e. during intense physical activity, illness, or dieting) you may breakdown muscle to liberate BCAA's for more urgent demands in other tissues.
In conclusion BCAA’s have been shown to assist with;
• energy production
• decrease exercise-induced protein degradation and/or muscle enzyme release (which is an indicator of muscle damage)
• muscle growth,
• BCAA supplementation during intense training may help minimize protein degradation and thereby lead to greater gains in FFM (fat free mass).
• and recovery fat burning
Glutamine is highly in demand throughout the body. It is used in the gut and immune system extensively to maintain optimal performance. 60% of free-form amino acids floating in skeletal muscles is L-glutamine. L-glutamine plays a very important role in protein metabolism, and it appears to be a very important nutrient for body builders. When supplemented, it may help body builders reduce the amount of muscle deterioration that occurs because other tissues that need glutamine will not rob the glutamine stored in the muscle cells.
Research shows that after intensely working out, glutamine levels in the body are reduced by as much as 50%. Since the body relies on glutamine as cellular fuel for the immune system, scientific studies have shown that glutamine supplementation can minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue and improve protein metabolism. Its effects on replenishing the body after stress or trauma have been shown in Europe where it is commonly given to patients in hospitals.
and a great summation by RollinsClone, can't say it any more simple than this:
Originally Posted by RollinsClone