Improving Mixability of BCAA's

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    Improving Mixability of BCAA's


    Amino acids, despite their name, are actually a very weak base. Due to their weak basicity, they do not dissolve well in a neutral solvent (water). By lowering the pH of the solvent, we can enhance the dissolution of a weak base. This can be as easy as adding vitamin C to your BCAAs.


    Would such changes in pH degrade the BCAA's?


    thanks,

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    I doubt adding vit. c would degrade anything, now having said that, im no chemist. Xtend in water before and during workouts has worked for me.
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    Xtend has a pretty low mesh size and mixes better than bulk BCAAs, but it will still floats on the top (at least from my experiences).
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesinner View Post
    Xtend has a pretty low mesh size and mixes better than bulk BCAAs, but it will still floats on the top (at least from my experiences).
    try mixing in shaker cup or water bottle and mix 4 scoops of xtend and shake it up for 30 seconds and put in refrigerator nite before you drink it
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    You see, this is why I just mix with Vit C. It helps in cortisol suppression, gives it some taste, is cheaper, and will competely dissolve within minutes. I'm just uncertain of a free-form amino acid's stability dissolved in water.
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    add warm water,bcaa's,and crystal light in a shaker cup....shake vigorously,add ice(if you prefer) enjoy

    Repeat
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    I usually dump 4 scoops xtend in shaker cup and it mixes very easily for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bLacKjAck. View Post
    I usually dump 4 scoops xtend in shaker cup and it mixes very easily for me.
    me too, and i usually drink some watermelon on the way to the gym and the rest during my workout. now ive got to the point where i crave it and have to have while im working out. good stuff
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    About one hour preworkout, I mix 6 scoops of Mango Xcell in one gallon of water(sometimes with crystal light), shake it a little, and throw it in the freezer. When I grab it before I leave, its completely dissolved everytime. I always drink the entire gallon in my 1.5-2 hour workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesinner View Post
    Amino acids, despite their name, are actually a very weak base. Due to their weak basicity, they do not dissolve well in a neutral solvent (water). By lowering the pH of the solvent, we can enhance the dissolution of a weak base. This can be as easy as adding vitamin C to your BCAAs.


    Would such changes in pH degrade the BCAA's?


    thanks,

    thesinner

    Amino acids reside as zwitterions in both crystalline and aqueous forms. Zwitterions have the NH3+ and COO- groups (dipolar), and surprisingly have a net NEUTRAL charge (This is definitely something to call home about). Of the 20 alpha-amino acids comprising us, people, humans, mammals, there are a handful that are nonpolar (including BCAAs such as Leucine, IsoL, Valine). Ok, by "nonpolar" I'm talking about the R-group (the functional group). Now, if we toss an AA into regular tap water (pH=7.0), that zwitterion is still there, acting as BOTH an acid and a base. It's flopping back and forth, trying to find an equilibrium. Such a confused molecule it is....it must have a woman in its life (ok, that wasn't called for. Yes it was.).

    No let's take a strong acid dump some into the water which has the Amino acid floating around. Now we're basically adding protons (H+), increasing the acididititidity (acidity if you're smart) of the water. Remember that COO- in the zwitterion? Well it's still there and it likes H+, so ya, they're going to hook up and stuff.

    (If you're still reading, you're a glutton for punishment)

    So, what we have left is that cationic NH3+ in the zwitterion (well, it's no longer a zwitterion anymore, but who really cares). MMMMMM exciting.

    Ok, what the hell were we talking about again? Oh ya.

    So, with the amino acid in THIS state, to be quite honest with you, it actually might help with it's solubility (again, I said if you used a STRONG ACID, and I'm doubtful Ascorbic acid is strong). I believe that the addition of this acid would be helpful to the BCAA's solubility because the R-groups of of Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine (3 popular BCAAs) are Non-polar, so if you want to get the amino acid to dissolve, it has to be polar, just like water. And if you add that acid to the mixture, remember it's going to leave you with a polar group on that amino acid. And as my heavy Chem. professor used to tell us, "LIKE DISSOLVES LIKE". So, polar substances dissolve polar substances.

    You better call home for this too.

    That's my $.10. Good luck. Oh, and I too have BCAA powder, and I don't mind that it doesn't dissolve. I just toss a good scoop into my mouth, swish with water, mash up the fluffy balls of AA that form, and choke it down 2x/day. Life is good.

    :bruce2: ------ ose:
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    Quote Originally Posted by papapumpsd View Post
    So, with the amino acid in THIS state, to be quite honest with you, it actually might help with it's solubility (again, I said if you used a STRONG ACID, and I'm doubtful Ascorbic acid is strong).
    You are right, they have both an amine base and a carboxylic acid group (hence the neutral dipoles); however, in the presence of H30+ they will function as a weak base.

    The strength of the acid in this case really isn't important since it is the concentration that effects pH. Ascorbic acid, though a weaker acid, can still create the same pH's that sulfuric acid does. Trust me, I mix them with Vit C, they dissolve beautifully. I'm just curious if there's any hydrolyzation taking place.

    As far as like dissolving like, this is true, but just because something will dissolve, doesn't mean it will dissolve very well. BCAA's have a very poor solubility at the neutral ph of 7.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesinner View Post
    Amino acids, despite their name, are actually a very weak base. Due to their weak basicity, they do not dissolve well in a neutral solvent (water). By lowering the pH of the solvent, we can enhance the dissolution of a weak base. This can be as easy as adding vitamin C to your BCAAs.


    Would such changes in pH degrade the BCAA's?


    thanks,

    thesinner
    You don't worry about the BCAAs in the acidic environment of the stomach, so why worry about it in a glass?

    I would be weary of leaving any powder in solution for an extended period of time, however.
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    I use various BCAA's and EAAs and have discovered a small trick that has worked throughout the years for me as far as mixing it up goes.

    Put it in a shaker that's not filled all the way up with water. Shake it for 5-10 seconds. Then swish it around really fast so you end up with a funnel effect in the shaker. Set it down and let it swirl around and around on it's own for a minute or a few. Pick it up, give it a couple of shakes and it will all, or almost all be dissolved. Swirl it again if you want/need to. Yes, this works with bulk powder.

    -Blesum
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    This subject got me curious because I hate how bulk bcaa's clump on the top. So anyway I took two ounces of apple cider vinegar and mixed it in with 16 ounces of water and 10 grams of bcaas and it mixed wonderfully, but the taste is pretty bad, but on the plus side the vinegar should help with digestion shouldn't it?
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    I've heard vinegar aides in the digestion of carbohydrates (lowering their GI). My personal preference (if you're not one for drinking diluted vinegar... ) is just to mix in some Vit C and kool-aide.
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    Yeah, I think I'll try the vit C next, the apple cider vinegar is pretty rough. I'll down a ounce straight sometimes if I've got heartburn, but drinking it mixed in 9 ounces slowly is painful to say the least.
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    Are you drinking this during your workouts? or pre/post? or both?

    I can't imagine having to choke down vinegar between squats.
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    I only added apple cider vinegar once as and experiment, and I don't think I'll repeat it. I've taken 5 grams of bcaa's before and during workouts for about the last 4 months, and have noticed a great increase in recovery speed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum View Post
    I use various BCAA's and EAAs and have discovered a small trick that has worked throughout the years for me as far as mixing it up goes.

    Put it in a shaker that's not filled all the way up with water. Shake it for 5-10 seconds. Then swish it around really fast so you end up with a funnel effect in the shaker. Set it down and let it swirl around and around on it's own for a minute or a few. Pick it up, give it a couple of shakes and it will all, or almost all be dissolved. Swirl it again if you want/need to. Yes, this works with bulk powder.

    -Blesum
    i will try that thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel35 View Post
    This subject got me curious because I hate how bulk bcaa's clump on the top. So anyway I took two ounces of apple cider vinegar and mixed it in with 16 ounces of water and 10 grams of bcaas and it mixed wonderfully, but the taste is pretty bad, but on the plus side the vinegar should help with digestion shouldn't it?
    Great idea...apple cider vinegar! That's acidic, so it'll help dissolve the BCAAs and it has that, MMMMMM MMMMM, apple cider taste!
    (Not sure if vinegar aids digestion. Considering it's a mild acid, I guess it could break down foods a bit, but you're not "digesting" BCAAs, you're absorbing them. Not sure if that's what you meant).
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    I've got a stupid "noob" question about all this...

    I thought we didn't want to turn our bodies acidic, so why are we adding apple cider vinegar?

    -Blesum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum View Post
    I've got a stupid "noob" question about all this...

    I thought we didn't want to turn our bodies acidic, so why are we adding apple cider vinegar?

    -Blesum
    Blesum, by ingesting acidic (or basic) foods, you don't necessarily increase (or decrease) the pH of your body. That's tightly controlled by your body's clever hemeostatic mechanisms (is that a word?). Just remember, when you consume an acid such as vinegar, the vinegar is a molecule and has a certain configuration of atoms bound together. The acidity of a molecule is simply it's ability to "let off Hydrogen" molecules into the environment. pH is the measure of free protons (hydrogens).

    One way to get acidic blood is to go on a high fat & protein diet, low in carbs. The metabolism of fats leads to keytones (a byproduct), which, are acids. This would be ketosis (not a bad thing). If you go to the extreme of ketosis, you would develop ketoacidosis (acidic blood). Then, you prob. feel like a sour puss and have to go see a doctor. That's a bad thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum View Post
    I've got a stupid "noob" question about all this...

    I thought we didn't want to turn our bodies acidic, so why are we adding apple cider vinegar?

    -Blesum
    There's an ideal pH range that we want to keep it in, adding a little Vit. C or Vinegar isn't going to drastically change the blood's pH, especially when compared to the changes in pH caused by a strenuous workout.

    The reason we're preparing slightly acidic solutions to mix with BCAA's is so that it will cause them to dissolve easily. It's easier to sip on BCAA's between sets when they're dissolved in solution, and not floating on top of the water.



    There are no stupid questions, just people who take glutamine.


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    Last edited by thesinner; 02-27-2007 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Wrong pH value
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesinner View Post
    There are no stupid questions, just people who take glutamine.


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    HA HA Sinner, why are not a Glut user?
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    Quote Originally Posted by papapumpsd View Post
    HA HA Sinner, why are not a Glut user?
    I got in a really big debate with another member on this forum about the effectiveness of glutamine. He ocassionally likes to drop hints that glutamine is better than I give it credit for. And I occasionally like to drop hints that he doesn't know what he's talking about.
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    Interesting, I was under the impression that it was easy to push the PH balance in either direction by what one ate and drink. I've been eating all this broccoli for nothing... Well, yeah it's a great food but apparently it's not helping my PH become more "base".

    Oh well, live and learn.

    -Blesum

    P.S. No glutamine for me.
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    I'm afraid I'm going to take back a portion of what I said earlier. Our blood's pH is ~7.4 (for some reason, I was thinking it was about 5) making it neutral. Regardless, the trivial amount of hydronium present in this BCAA mixture is going to give you a belly-ache at worst. Our blood contains buffering agents, which resist changes in pH.


    Also keep in mind that adding 2 oz of a pH=5 solution to 6 pints of a buffered pH=7 solution, will not do much of anything. If it did, we'd all be f*cked because we'd either die from eating Vit C or die from scurvy.
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