BCAA ratios

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    BCAA ratios


    8:1:1, 4:1:1, 3:1:1. 2:1:1

    What do you prefer and why?

    Is there any scientific evidence that anything over 2:1:1 ratio is more beneficial?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Manback View Post
    8:1:1, 4:1:1, 3:1:1. 2:1:1

    What do you prefer and why?

    Is there any scientific evidence that anything over 2:1:1 ratio is more beneficial?

    Higher the ratio, the better. So 8:1:1 for me. Xtend should be reformulated IMO.

    Leucine causes protein synthesis to peak higher. The other BCAA's dont have as much research behind them.
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    agreed xtend should be reformulated, and why dont these companies use instantized BCAA, the only one that mixes right is IBCAA>...... i have 1 scoops SPmax and 1 scoop modern bcaa in my shaker from this morning aroudn 9am and it STILL hasnt lost the foam wtf!!!!
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    Its the l-leucine that doesn't mix. A high ratio of BCAA is better because it means it has more l-leucine in it which is what helps with protein synthesis and kicking in the anabolic. Now too much leucine can have some opposite effects on protein synthesis but that's if you taking straight leucine with nothing else.
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    I've been lifting for a good 7 years and NEVER used BCAAs until about a month ago (2:1:1) now I take anywhere from 30-40 grams a day. I can't believe I've been training all this time without them! Recovery and strength are all up. Next time I order I'm gonna get some pure Leucine and mix it with my bulk BCAAs and try a 4-1 to see how it works.

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    Not to discount what anyone has said, but where is there proof that 8 parts leucine is better than 4 or 2 parts?

    I have noticed when buying BCAA's in bulk that the 8:1:1 and 4:1:1 mixes were cheaper than the 3:1:1 and 2:1:1 mixes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ligmenos View Post
    i think this will help...


    This question comes up a lot, should I be taking just leucine or a bcaa supplement or the full spectrum of essential amino acids(EAA's) when trying to maximize protein synthesis and build muscle. Just to be clear our bodies need all the EAA to build muscle, but protein synthesis can be stimulated simply by leucine alone. Regardless, without the other EAA present, muscle cannot be built, suggesting taking leucine or bcaa's alone is a poor choice unless the other EAA's are available in the body from a previous meal or supplement. Now, while many body builders are eating every few hours, so the availability of the other EAA's may not be too much of issue, but there is another interesting advantage of taking all the EAA's over a leucine or bcaa supplement and that is the DURATION that protein synthesis will last. A study compared the rate of muscle protein synthesis(MPS), infusing leucine alone VS a full EAA mixture over four hours. What the researchers found was, that leucine alone stimulated MPS for 15-30 minutes but then declined rapidly. But when full EAA mixture was infused, MPS was simulated for the full four hours. Based off the research, it appears that a full EAA mixture(leucine is an EAA) will increase MPS for atleast 4 hours, while leucine alone falls short after just 30 minutes. This information while useful for all exercise enthusiast who train for lean body mass, it is especially usefully for individuals who train in the morning prior to eating protein.


    Kobayashi H, Kato H, Hirabayashi Y, Murakami H, Suzuki H.Modulations of muscle protein metabolism by branched-chain amino acids in normal and muscle-atrophying rats.
    J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):234S-6S.

    Originally Posted by AEN
    Branch chain amino-acids or just Leucine?

    In a previous entry of mine, I reviewed a study that compared the muscle protein stimulus of the essential amino acids (EAA) against a branch chain amino acid formula, that contained an equal amount of leucine compared to the EAA supplement. What that study showed, was that BCAAs could only stimulate protein synthesis for a short time(15-30mins) and then declined rapidly, while the EAA supplement kept protein synthesis stimulated for four hours. In a nutshell, this study and other show the presence of the other EAAs are needed to maintain the rate of muscle protein synthesis, stimulated by leucine.

    The next study being reviewed looked at muscle protein synthesis(MPS) in rats and compared the rates brought about by various mixtures of amino-acids and glucose. For simplicities sake, we will just focus on the rates of MPS brought about by the leucine and glucose mixture compared to the BCAA and glucose mixture. The outcome showed there was NO difference in MPS between the two groups, with the researchers stating "the effect of the BCAAs can be attributed entirely to leucine, which had the same effect as the 3 BCAAs together, whereas isoleucine and valine had no effect"

    Garlick PJ
    The role of leucine in the regulation of protein metabolism
    J Nutr. 2005 Jun;135(6 Suppl):1553S-6S.
    This is true, also, you need ALL essential amino acids to complete protein synthesis, the amino acid that even starts protein synthesis, methionine, isn't one of the BCAA's but an EAA. You can actually get into a protein negative if you have a large imbalance of certain amino acids within the body.

    in addition:

    Well, there is this theory that if you don't take in ALL the EAA's (which include BCAAs) in a 1:1:1:1 etc ratio, that you actually can come up to a overall protein balance negative. Your body can't make EAAs, only the NEAAs, so that leaves nine amino acids you HAVE to ingest for your body uses. To make your skeletal muscle protein (proteins are classified having ALL 20 amino acids + usually over 50 amino acids lengths long) you still need the other EAAs even if you ingest tons of BCAAs. So if you ingested a ton of BCAA, and your body still needs the other EAAs, you still can't complete protein synthesis, and you sit in a overall protein balance negative till you get those in. So what I do is I add additional L-Tryptophan to my EAA ****tail (I think all on the market are missing the EAA L-Tryptophan) so that I am not missing an individual EAA, cause you need it anyway, your body can't make it.

    For now I won't recommend anyone take just a BCAA or incomplete EAA product when all the EAA studies were done with ALL the EAAs, not missing L-Tryptophan like all the EAA products out (that I am aware of).

    Essential amino acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiki
    Therefore, a balance of essential amino acids is necessary for a high degree of net protein utilization
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiki
    The net protein utilization is profoundly affected by the limiting amino acid content (the essential amino acid found in the smallest quantity in the foodstuff), and somewhat affected by salvage of essential amino acids in the body.
    BAM! Like I said Leucine is the main BCAA but if your ratio is off then it could do more harm than good.
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    2:1:1 is the main ratio that has been studied. One of the things on my to-do list is combine iBCAA with MAP and drink over 6-8 hours and gauge its effects.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    agreed, just stick with normal 2:1:1 ratio, if u're into bcaa. high dosages of leucine deplete other amino acids in the amino acid pool, which is counterproductive.
    extra leucine will benefit when added to EAA's or whey protein. one could also use "leucine pulsing" - 7-10g leucine 10-15min prior to a meal.
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    Just get you some BC+EAA. Awesome price and amazing ratio!
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    and horrible taste on the bc+eaa LOL
    why cant LG make anything taste good?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    2:1:1 is the main ratio that has been studied. One of the things on my to-do list is combine iBCAA with MAP and drink over 6-8 hours and gauge its effects.
    I will be doing this soon

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    Quote Originally Posted by JN230 View Post
    and horrible taste on the bc+eaa LOL
    why cant LG make anything taste good?
    I've seen like two or three review saying that one of the flavors tasted good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luelinks View Post
    Just get you some BC+EAA. Awesome price and amazing ratio!
    Doesn't thins have added glutamine? Isn't glutamine useless?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryansm View Post
    I will be doing this soon
    A juiced up version of the BCAA experiment done years ago by Derek and Scivation.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Exactly what I was thinking, lol.

    I expect good things

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    I do 3 grams leucine with what ever I take, weather its food, supplements, shakes or caps. Since the most you can take is 3 grams per hour as of now I just do 3 grams. Believe me if leucine was that magical we would all be mega dosing leucine at 50-100 grams a day. Its not as easy as it seems.
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    I prefer 4:1:1:1 but how in the world people can really tell a difference is beyond me.

    Mike
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    So if leucine is the only dietary protein that has the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, why do we need the other two , isoleucine and valine? Why would we not just supplement with leucine only for the purposes that we take BCAA's in the first place?
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    Here's an interesting chart I've found regarding Leucine and food sources that supply it.

    Food sources of Leucine Food g/100g

    Soy protein concentrate 4.917
    Peanuts 1.672
    Wheat germ 1.571
    Almonds 1.488
    Oat 1.284
    Beans, pinto, cooked 0.765
    Lentils, cooked 0.654
    Chickpea, cooked 0.631
    Corn, yellow 0.348
    Rice, brown, medium-grain, cooked 0.191


    It seems as if soy protein would be a welcome addition to any diet, despite the estrogen related claims...no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Manback View Post
    So if leucine is the only dietary protein that has the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, why do we need the other two , isoleucine and valine? Why would we not just supplement with leucine only for the purposes that we take BCAA's in the first place?
    Leucine is the primary signaling amino acid for protein synthesis via MTOR.

    Signaling Pathways Involved in Translational Control of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle by Leucine1
    Joshua C. Anthony, Tracy G. Anthony, Scot R. Kimball and Leonard S. Jefferson2

    Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033

    2To whom correspondence should be addressed at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, P.O. Box 850, Hershey, PA 17033. E-mail: jjefferson{at}psu.edu.

    Numerous reports established that in skeletal muscle the indispensable branched-chain amino acid leucine is unique in its ability to initiate signal transduction pathways that modulate translation initiation. Oral administration of leucine stimulates protein synthesis in association with hyperphosphorylation of the translational repressor, eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), resulting in enhanced availability of the mRNA cap-binding protein eIF4E, for binding eIF4G and forming the active eIF4F complex. In addition, leucine enhances phosphorylation of the 70-kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K1). These results suggest that leucine upregulates protein synthesis in skeletal muscle by enhancing both the activity and synthesis of proteins involved in mRNA translation. The stimulatory effects of leucine on translation initiation are mediated in part through the protein kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), where both insulin signaling and leucine signaling converge to promote a maximal response.
    I believe the threshold dose for leucine is around 2g. What about the other bcaa's though, valine and isoleucine? BCAA's also have another critical role regarding muscles; they serve as a primary energy source when glycogen levels are low. If you aren't taking any BCAA's and the muscle tissue is placed in this condition catabolism will take place in order to scavenge the amino acids which take part in the Glucose-Alanine cycle. During times of oxygen depletion when lactate is produced, alanine is also produced. Alanine is shuttled via the blood to the liver where it is converted to glucose. The original conversion of pyruvate to alanine requires amino acids with valine and isoleucine taking preference.

    The glucose-alanine cycle is used primarily as a mechanism for skeletal muscle to eliminate nitrogen while replenishing its energy supply. Glucose oxidation produces pyruvate which can undergo transamination to alanine. This reaction is catalyzed by alanine transaminase, ALT (ALT used to be referred to a serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase, SGPT). Additionally, during periods of fasting, skeletal muscle protein is degraded for the energy value of the amino acid carbons and alanine is a major amino acid in protein. The alanine then enters the blood stream and is transported to the liver. Within the liver alanine is converted back to pyruvate which is then a source of carbon atoms for gluconeogenesis. The newly formed glucose can then enter the blood for delivery back to the muscle. The amino group transported from the muscle to the liver in the form of alanine is converted to urea in the urea cycle and excreted. All 20 of the amino acids, excepting leucine and lysine, can be degraded to TCA cycle intermediates as discussed in the metabolism of amino acids. This allows the carbon skeletons of the amino acids to be converted to those in oxaloacetate and subsequently into pyruvate. The pyruvate thus formed can be utilized by the gluconeogenic pathway. When glycogen stores are depleted, in muscle during exertion and liver during fasting, catabolism of muscle proteins to amino acids contributes the major source of carbon for maintenance of blood glucose levels.


    The bcaa's are exceptional in that they typically aren't affected by the liver and can pass directly to the muscle tissue where they are available to perform the above functions which prevents the body from scavenging its own muscle tissue to provide the needed amino acids.

    This is an article (note all 4 pages) discussing bcaa's. Bodybuilding.com - BCAA Supplementation For Athletes! - Intensity Magazine

    As for the original topic, I believe the higher ratios are due to the fact while some energy is needed (valine and isoleucine) that a couple grams of these is sufficient whereas a higher dose of leucine is desired for enhanced protein synthesis signaling purposes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapentia View Post
    Leucine is the primary signaling amino acid for protein synthesis via MTOR. ... I believe the threshold dose for leucine is around 2g. ... I believe the higher ratios are due to the fact while some energy is needed (valine and isoleucine) that a couple grams of these is sufficient whereas a higher dose of leucine is desired for enhanced protein synthesis signaling purposes.
    exactly.

    i buy 1 kg of scifit's strange 3:2.5:1 mix...
    (it works, it is cheap, and it is available...)
    and mix in 500grams straight leucine
    yielding 1500grams of
    960gr : 384 gr : 156 gr
    giving a (roughly)
    6:2.5:1 ratio

    i toss 5 grams of that mix into WPH shakes
    yielding roughly
    3 grams : 1.5 grams : 0.5 grams

    typically, in the a.m., before bed, and before/during/after exercise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JN230 View Post
    agreed xtend should be reformulated, and why dont these companies use instantized BCAA, the only one that mixes right is IBCAA>...... i have 1 scoops SPmax and 1 scoop modern bcaa in my shaker from this morning aroudn 9am and it STILL hasnt lost the foam wtf!!!!
    We went against instantized because of the Soy used to emulsify the BCAAs...

    The foam on Top is some Micronized Leucine..
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    Quote Originally Posted by USPLabs View Post
    We went against instantized because of the Soy used to emulsify the BCAAs...

    The foam on Top is some Micronized Leucine..
    which pretty much means that if you add some lecithin to your bcaa drink,
    and mix well,
    then your bcaa's should go into solution.
    right?
    works for me.
    loves me some lecithin...
    non-gmo, organic.
    good for the liver.
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    i would jsut use the 2:1:1 or 4:1:1 ratio has it seems to have the most positive feedback at this point in time. Aswell Luecine is generally a bit less expensive then the other BCAA's so by using more you can lower the price of the product, i would stick with 4:1:1 as 8:1:1 is just too much luecine in comaparison, IMO ofcourse.
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    Whatever is cheapest lol..
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    Quote Originally Posted by jin View Post
    which pretty much means that if you add some lecithin to your bcaa drink,
    and mix well,
    then your bcaa's should go into solution.
    right?
    works for me.
    loves me some lecithin...
    non-gmo, organic.
    good for the liver.

    It needs an emulsification process...
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    Quote Originally Posted by USPLabs View Post
    It needs an emulsification process...
    perhaps in a little counter-top mixer,
    or with a hand mixing wand type of thing?
    possibly with the addition of a tiny bit of coconut oil...
    works for me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jin View Post
    which pretty much means that if you add some lecithin to your bcaa drink,
    and mix well,
    then your bcaa's should go into solution.
    right?
    works for me.
    loves me some lecithin...
    non-gmo, organic.
    good for the liver.
    If you add a sufficient amount of citrulline malate it will help the bcaa's dissolve fully. If you look at the labels it is in many of the BCAA products being sold. I personally mix 2g cit. malate with 10g 8:1:1 BCAA's + some beta-alanine and stevia for preworkout. Post workout I take 10g BCAA's (same ratio) + 2g citr. malate + 15g PeptoPro + 1g Beta-Alanine + 2.5g creatine and some stevia for sweetness. Only downside is citrulline malate is twice as expensive as the BCAA's.
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    hmmm.
    malic acid maybe brings the bcaa's into solution?
    i used to mix the bcaa's into water with lemon juice added,
    and they mixed up pretty well...
    i will have to try that again...
    that would have been citric acid.
    maybe most any oxidative organic acid will do the job...
  

  
 

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