Everybody loves BCAAs...

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    Everybody loves BCAAs...


    i've been reading up on lots of different methods of dosing BCAAs and am having a hard time deciding on the most optimal way to take them.

    1) one theory advises loading up a gallon jug with anywhere between 10 and 20+ grams of BCAAs to drink throughout the day, between meals...

    2) yet another theory proposes loading up on BCAAs and some extra Leucine relatively - immediately pre workout, while continuing to sip them intra workout.

    3) for the purposes of cutting extra calories, another method suggests subbing equivalent amounts of BCAAs for pre and PWO protein meals.

    4) another theory says, drink them during the night if you wake up.

    which of these theories is the BEST??? but most importantly, why and how does one determine the efficacy of BCAAs and these dosing protocols?

    personally, i have been toying with the idea of having a full meal about 2 hours before my workout, then sipping on a BCAA/ Leucine mix an hr - 45 min before my workout, without extra protein. Then following my workout, I'd combine a modest scoop of whey (~30g) with about 16 oz. white grape juice and another 10 or so grams of BCAAs.

    does this sound reasonable, or no? my logic is this... whey is not specifically an anti-catabolic. the purpose of having a quick pre workout snack is to give the body fuel for the workout while hopefully blunt the adverse effects of cortisol, which will increase during resistance exercise. so, why not replace a small fraction of whey with an equivalent amount of BCAAs? not only will this provide the body an anti-catabolic, but it will also eliminate some added calories from whey...

    ALSO, would it not be better just to buy bulk Essential Amino Acids instead of BCAAs separately, since BCAAs technically won't work optimally without the presence of these other aminos?

    Thanks in advance for replies

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    Put it this way...a steady stream of BCAAs (especially Leucine) will keep you anti-catabolic and slightly anabolic. Anytime this is desirable (pretty much ALL the time) and you are not engaged in meal consumption is a good time.

    During/Post workout and at times of fasting (during the night) are both ideal times. They are cheap enough to experiment with what contributes to your best effects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    Put it this way...a steady stream of BCAAs (especially Leucine) will keep you anti-catabolic and slightly anabolic. Anytime this is desirable (pretty much ALL the time) and you are not engaged in meal consumption is a good time.

    During/Post workout and at times of fasting (during the night) are both ideal times. They are cheap enough to experiment with what contributes to your best effects.
    true. i've considered drinking BCAAs throughout the day, but since I eat every 3 hours I figured my food consumption would be sufficient enough to prevent any significant catabolism during the day. if you were to gear more towards a cutting diet however, then perhaps you could space your meals out an extra hr or so and fill in the gaps with BCAAs...

    i am willing to experiment with different methods. but before I make any purchases, do you think it would be more economical to buy bulk EAAs, which already contain BCAAs, rather than solely bulk BCAAs?
    either that or i was also considering getting bulk EAAs and mixing in a small tub of BCAAs for extra aminos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebab View Post
    true. i've considered drinking BCAAs throughout the day, but since I eat every 3 hours I figured my food consumption would be sufficient enough to prevent any significant catabolism during the day. if you were to gear more towards a cutting diet however, then perhaps you could space your meals out an extra hr or so and fill in the gaps with BCAAs...

    i am willing to experiment with different methods. but before I make any purchases, do you think it would be more economical to buy bulk EAAs, which already contain BCAAs, rather than solely bulk BCAAs?
    either that or i was also considering getting bulk EAAs and mixing in a small tub of BCAAs for extra aminos.
    Either way is economical. I prefer using BCAAs over EAAs.
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    not that this is the best or only way to do it but, i sip on bcaa's durring w.o. and imediatly after with whey,dextrose,and bcaa
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    bcaas are soo cheap esp if you throwin

    bulk taurine
    bulk leucine
    bulk beta alanine

    just make a few bottles with alittle in each and drink that all day long instead of plan water, drink it pre workout, during workout and post workout, drink it while you sleep. its really simple.
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    I take BCAA power pre and during workout, and sometimes if I havn't had a bed time protein shake I'll take some capsules prior to bed. . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    Either way is economical. I prefer using BCAAs over EAAs.
    will BCAAs alone work fine without the presence of other essential aminos?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycste View Post
    bcaas are soo cheap esp if you throwin

    bulk taurine
    bulk leucine
    bulk beta alanine

    just make a few bottles with alittle in each and drink that all day long instead of plan water, drink it pre workout, during workout and post workout, drink it while you sleep. its really simple.
    hmm... i'm really attracted to this idea. i was always planning on adding some extra leucine to the mix. what would be the optimal serving of taurine and beta alanine for this context?
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebab View Post
    hmm... i'm really attracted to this idea. i was always planning on adding some extra leucine to the mix. what would be the optimal serving of taurine and beta alanine for this context?
    lets say u were gonna make 3 drinks


    id say 2-5g taurine for maybe a pick me up, and its other benefits along with 2-3g BA, and 1-2 scoops bcaas and 1 scoop leucine

    im no expect

    and creatine mono + citrulline malate ftw for 1-2 drinks
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycste View Post
    lets say u were gonna make 3 drinks


    id say 2-5g taurine for maybe a pick me up, and its other benefits along with 2-3g BA, and 1-2 scoops bcaas and 1 scoop leucine

    im no expect

    and creatine mono + citrulline malate ftw for 1-2 drinks
    are taurine and beta alanine meant to work synergistically with BCAAs to any extent? what would be the net benefits of mixing taurine and beta alanine with BCAAs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebab View Post
    are taurine and beta alanine meant to work synergistically with BCAAs to any extent? what would be the net benefits of mixing taurine and beta alanine with BCAAs?
    Taurine and BA are great, inexpensive ergogenic aids, especially while cutting. I do not think that there is a direct synergy between them, but they make a great stack.
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    Sorry, I don't like BCAA, EAA forever!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Taurine and BA are great, inexpensive ergogenic aids, especially while cutting. I do not think that there is a direct synergy between them, but they make a great stack.
    hey rodja. yeah i didn't think there was any direct synergy either, but i do like the idea of using these for more of a cutting scheme. to me, an effective plan for a cutter might be to cut out a couple meals and eat every 4 or so hours, as opposed to every 3, and replace those lost meals with BCAA enriched shakes.

    anybody have any experience with something similar to this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelix View Post
    Sorry, I don't like BCAA, EAA forever!
    haha y not?
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    What would be the ideal dosing per day for BCAAs (As far as milligram wise)?

    Also, is there any absorption difference between powder/lliquid vs. caps? I'm a cap head!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingMeso View Post
    What would be the ideal dosing per day for BCAAs (As far as milligram wise)?

    Also, is there any absorption difference between powder/lliquid vs. caps? I'm a cap head!
    1000 mg = 1 g. so figure, if you're looking to drink 20 grams a day you'll want 20,000 mg. there is no ideal dosing protocol really, it's kinda just pick and choose. trial and error. i'd say anywhere from 20+ grams daily would be a good place to start. but i'm not an expert myself haha
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    has anyone experimented with substituting BCAAs for protein calories and seen any measurable results? i've been toying with the idea of going for more of a ketogenic type of diet plan and replacing some of the proteins for BCAAs. or if not ketogenic, definitely very low-modest carb with each meal for insulin management. does this sound like a smart idea, or would i ultimately be better off drinking a BCAA mix throughout the day? i'm still confused on the most economical way to take these.
    initially, the idea of replacing protein to cut cals sounded great but then i realized that BCAAs themselves contain calories, so what would really be my net results if any if i'm just replacing the cals in protein with the cals in BCAAs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebab View Post
    haha y not?
    Because I believe that other amino get depleted which (after many attempts at using BCAA) make me depressed and kill my libido.

    I'm sensitive to dietary changes at the best of times though, EAA work good for me.

    If I could get away with BCAA I would love to save the money.
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    I am cutting at the moment and take Scivation's Extend three times a day. Usually preworkout, post workout, and right before bed. Sometimes I will take them directly upon waking up as well. I feel they have helped preserve muscle on my cut.

    Anyone want to chime in on if they are necessary while bulking though???
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCasino View Post
    I am cutting at the moment and take Scivation's Extend three times a day. Usually preworkout, post workout, and right before bed. Sometimes I will take them directly upon waking up as well. I feel they have helped preserve muscle on my cut.

    Anyone want to chime in on if they are necessary while bulking though???

    While bulking you can consume them in between meals and shakes for anti catabolic effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCasino View Post
    I am cutting at the moment and take Scivation's Extend three times a day. Usually preworkout, post workout, and right before bed. Sometimes I will take them directly upon waking up as well. I feel they have helped preserve muscle on my cut.

    Anyone want to chime in on if they are necessary while bulking though???
    i don't really see as much of a need for BCAAs while on a bulk. your body will never really be in a catabolic state while on a good bulk because the majority of your aminos and nutrients will be coming straight from all the protein and food you eat.

    it's a little different on a cut, however. when cutting, you technically want a caloric deficit and will eat less of different nutrients, including protein (depending on the diet too). this is when BCAAs come in handy. since they're a natural anti-catabolic they'll help keep you in a pro-anabolic state during the day, between meals, during your workout and at night if you wake up. they themselves have calories so you wouldn't be able to substitute them for foods necessarily without still netting any calories, but they are a great natural asset for any bodybuilder's arsenal i'd say.

    on a bulk they're mostly just extra calories unless you sip on them during your workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebab View Post
    i don't really see as much of a need for BCAAs while on a bulk. your body will never really be in a catabolic state while on a good bulk because the majority of your aminos and nutrients will be coming straight from all the protein and food you eat.

    it's a little different on a cut, however. when cutting, you technically want a caloric deficit and will eat less of different nutrients, including protein (depending on the diet too). this is when BCAAs come in handy. since they're a natural anti-catabolic they'll help keep you in a pro-anabolic state during the day, between meals, during your workout and at night if you wake up. they themselves have calories so you wouldn't be able to substitute them for foods necessarily without still netting any calories, but they are a great natural asset for any bodybuilder's arsenal i'd say.

    on a bulk they're mostly just extra calories unless you sip on them during your workout.
    I think EAA or BCAA is good while bulking in many situations, such as working out, long drives and in between meals if you are at work... or some other place where you can't eat.

    Good emergency aminos in case your dinner plans fall through!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelix View Post
    I think EAA or BCAA is good while bulking in many situations, such as working out, long drives and in between meals if you are at work... or some other place where you can't eat.

    Good emergency aminos in case your dinner plans fall through!
    yeah that's true. i still think that your diet should be a good indicator of whether or not BCAAs are needed on a daily basis, however. as i said, if you're on a bulk that requires you to eat wholesome food sources constantly for weight gain, most of your nutrients and aminos will be derived from those foods, respectively. but if you're on a cut and are limiting your intake of certain foods, BCAA if not EAAs are good supplements to get you those vital aminos.

    not to refute your point of course. they are extremely handy in many scenarios. haha guess we should all be keeping an emergency first aid kit of BCAAs and supps in our cars.
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    What do the Bulk BCAA's from nutra taste like mixed in water?
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwards View Post
    What do the Bulk BCAA's from nutra taste like mixed in water?
    Have you ever tasted used q-tips dipped in dog feces? Yeah, not QUITE that bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsade View Post
    Have you ever tasted used q-tips dipped in dog feces? Yeah, not QUITE that bad.
    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

    when I mix bulk leucine i mix it with like 3 servings of crystal light raspberry
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    haha ya mix them in crystal light and they're fine bro
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    How long per serving of BCAA would prevent catabolism for?
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    As far as BCAA's for a bulk. I had just got on the BCAA train last fall just before my bulk. I was doing 2 scoops Scivation Xtend before my workout with some added glutamine, creatine mono and Taurine. Then 4 scoops during my workout.

    Now I was on M1T which was fine for weeks 1-2 but after that I could only get down 3~4meals a day and I kept adding weight the last 2 weeks. Now I dont know how much you can atrribute to BCAA supplementaiton but I feel it helped in recovery. Then during P.C.T. I kept adding weight also, about 3lbs of lean muscle. My recovery was pretty awsome.

    I will use this same type of schema for this winter's bulk also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoMbSta View Post
    How long per serving of BCAA would prevent catabolism for?
    BCAAs don't exactly have any specified longevity, per se. at least that i know of. obviously, i'd assume that the more you drink at any given time the longer they'd stay active within your system. it depends on the serving size.

    found this article off another bodybuilding forum. i thought it was an interesting read, especially the last few lines...

    *originally posted by In-Human on oldschoolbodybuilding.com*
    The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are considered essential amino acids because human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet.

    BCAAs are needed for the maintenance of muscle tissue and appear to preserve muscle stores of glycogen (a storage form of carbohydrate that can be converted into energy).1 BCAAs also help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise.2

    Some research has shown that BCAA supplementation (typically 10-20 grams per day) does not result in meaningful changes in body composition,3 nor does it improve exercise performance4 5 6 7 8 or enhance the effects of physical training.9 10 However, BCAA supplementation may be useful in special situations, such as preventing muscle loss at high altitudes11 and prolonging endurance performance in the heat.12 Studies by one group of researchers suggest that BCAA supplementation may also improve exercise-induced declines in some aspects of mental functioning.13 14 15

    BCAAs can active glutamate dehydrogenase—an enzyme that is deficient in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. In one double-blind trial, 26 grams per day of BCAA supplements helped those with ALS maintain muscle strength.16 However, a larger study was ended early when people using BCAAs not only failed to improve, but experienced higher death rates than the placebo group.17 Other studies have shown no benefit of BCAA supplementation for ALS or other neuromuscular diseases,18 19 though a small group of people suffering from diseases of the nervous system collectively called spinocerebellar degeneration did improve when given BCAAs in a preliminary study.20

    One study investigating the advantages of BCAA supplementation for people with diabetes undergoing an intense exercise program found no additional benefit of BCAAs on reducing abdominal fat or improving glucose metabolism.21

    Patients with liver diseases that lead to coma—called hepatic encephalopathy—have low concentrations of BCAAs and excess levels of certain other amino acids. Preliminary research suggested that people with this condition might be helped by BCAAs. Double-blind studies have produced somewhat inconsistent results,22 23 24 but a reanalysis of these studies found an overall benefit for the symptoms of encephalopathy.25 Therapeutic effects of BCAAs have also been shown in children with liver failure26 and adults with cirrhosis of the liver.27 Any treatment of people with liver failure requires the direction of a physician.

    People with chronic kidney failure may also benefit from BCAA supplementation. A preliminary study found improved breathing and sleep quality in people given intravenous BCAAs during kidney dialysis.28

    Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disease that causes abnormally high amounts of phenylalanine and its end products to accumulate in the blood, causing damage to the nervous system. A controlled trial demonstrated that regular use of BCAAs by adolescents and young adults with PKU, improved performance on some tests of mental functioning.29 This outcome makes sense because BCAAs may compete with phenylalanine, reducing its toxic effects.

    In tardive dyskinesia, phenylalanine levels have also been reported to be elevated. As a result, one group of researchers gave tardive dyskinesia patients BCAAs (from 150 mg per 2.2 pounds body weight up to 209 mg per 2.2 pounds body weight) after breakfast and one hour before lunch and dinner for two weeks.30 The BCAA mixture included equal parts valine and isoleucine plus 33% more leucine than either of the other two amino acids. Of nine patients so treated, six had at least a 58% decrease in symptoms, and all people in the study had a decrease of at least 38% in symptoms.

    Where are they found?
    Dairy products and red meat contain the greatest amounts of BCAAs, although they are present in all protein-containing foods. Whey protein and egg protein supplements are other sources of BCAAs. BCAA supplements provide the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine...

    Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements are all the rage with endurance athletes these days. One popular idea is that the three BCMs - valine, leucine, and isoleucine - can move through the blood to the brain and decrease the production of serotonin in the brain's interior, thereby lowering mental fatigue (serotonin can create a sense of tiredness - see previous story). A fairly limited amount of scientific research supports this hypothesis.

    However, new studies carried out at the University of Limburg in the Netherlands cast doubt on an ergogenic role for BCMs. At Limburg, 10 subjects cycled until exhaustion at 70-75 per cent of maximal power output while ingesting sugary sports drinks. On one occasion, nothing had been added to the beverage, but during other trials the drink was laced with either a small amount of BCAAs, a large quantity of BCAAs, or a modest amount of 'L-tryptophan,' an amino acid which is used to synthesise serotonin.

    Ingestion of tryptophan boosted blood levels of the chemical by 500 per cent, and consumption of ample amounts of BCAAs quintupled BCM-blood concentrations, but neither supplement had any effect on performance; time to exhaustion averaged about 120 minutes on all four trials. The researchers concluded that supplementation with BCAAs does not improve endurance during exertions lasting about two hours.

    A second study confirmed the idea that BCAAs have little impact on endurance. At the University of Cape Town, eight endurance-trained cyclists pedaled away for four hours in the laboratory at 55% V02max (70 per cent of maximal heart rate) and then tried to cover a 40-kilometre distance as quickly as possible. On separate occasions, the cyclists sipped a 10-per cent carbohydrate sports drink, a 10-per cent drink with BCMs, or a beverage with BCMs alone as they exercised.

    Use of the BCAAs didn't help the athletes at all; time for the 40-K trial averaged about 68 minutes, regardless of whether BCMs were ingested, and perceived exertion (how the effort actually felt) was the same in all three trials. The South African researchers concluded that BCAAs might be slightly helpful but that physical fatigue overrode any possible mental relief provided by the BCAA supplementation.

    However, a final study carried out at the University of Guelph in Canada detected a possibly positive role for BCAAs. At Guelph, subjects completed two trials in which they exercised their quadriceps muscles continuously for 60 minutes. Prior to only one of the trials, the athletes ingested 77 mg of BCAAs per kilogram of body weight (about a five-gram dose for a 154-pound individual).

    As a result of the pre-workout BCAA supplementation, degradation of proteins inside the quadriceps muscles was considerably reduced during exercise. This is a potentially positive effect, since proteins broken down during exercise must be replaced before subsequent workouts so that an athlete can continue training at a high level. In other words, BCM intake before exercise may lead to a lower requirement for muscle repair after a workout - and a quicker recovery from a strenuous exertion.

    In previous studies carried out over the last year or so, BCAA supplementation has been linked with better immune-system functioning and superior preservation of muscle mass in athletes undergoing heavy training. Therefore, although an acute dose of BCAAs probably won't directly boost endurance during a competitive event, it's tempting to speculate that taking in three to five grams of BCAAs before and after strenuous workouts might produce some beneficial long-term effects in serious endurance athletes...
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    I always drink my BCAAs in with my protien about an hour before working out. I use about a table spoon and a half each serving and do it once a day. Is this the best way to take them or should I look at an alternate way?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaGrange26 View Post
    I always drink my BCAAs in with my protien about an hour before working out. I use about a table spoon and a half each serving and do it once a day. Is this the best way to take them or should I look at an alternate way?
    not sure if there even is a "best" way to take BCAAs, but i think taking them before and after a workout is the most economical method. according to that study, taking a few grams before weight training helps reduce protein degradation, which should theoretically aid in recovery time and yield better long-term effects. taking them again after with some extra leucine will aid in protein synthesis. i've even toyed with the idea of taking a little leucine before bed.
  

  
 

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