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Chris H Laing
01-02-2009, 10:42 AM
Anybody know how many mg's of BCAA are effective in a pwo shake?

And can anyone recommend a good brand of BCAA's because this will be my first time trying them and I have no idea what I'm doing :o

Jay Cohen
01-02-2009, 01:24 PM
I ordered the following, 500 gram bottle, will give it 60 days, see how I feel.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/sf/bcaa.html

Allen Yeh
01-03-2009, 07:32 AM
If you guys just ordered BCAA powder without any flavorings be prepared. It's....interesting to say the least. After using it a few times plain I had to cave and throw it into shake of protein and gatorade powder to mask the flavor/taste. Mine does not mix well by itself and it was just hard to get down. Next time I get BCAA's I'm definitely going to try to go a little more expensive and get the easily mixable stuff or pills. It was a birthday gift though so I can't complain too much.

Garrett Smith
01-03-2009, 09:22 AM
The taste of BCAA combo powders was one major reason I'm interested in leucine by itself...I don't know how true the T-Nation marketers are, but they said their leucine (by itself) doesn't change the flavor of things it is added to much if at all...

Nothing is good for you if you can't manage to get it past your taste buds...

Chris H Laing
01-04-2009, 05:14 AM
Nothing is good for you if you can't manage to get it past your taste buds...

Regular protein powder is disgusting also. So is green drink. And apparently BCAA's. I'm just gunna throw it all in a blender it choke it down after workouts, and hopefully it'll help :D

Mike ODonnell
01-04-2009, 09:18 AM
to answer the original question I believe it is usually about 10grams recommended (5 grams minimal).....although BCAAs preworkout may be more effective.

Chris H Laing
01-04-2009, 05:23 PM
to answer the original question I believe it is usually about 10grams recommended (5 grams minimal).....although BCAAs preworkout may be more effective.

Thanks for the answer, but why might they be more effective pre workout? I thought BCAA's were just broken down proteins...but I know very little about BCAA's other than that other people use them and they work.

Arien Malec
01-04-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the answer, but why might they be more effective pre workout? I thought BCAA's were just broken down proteins...but I know very little about BCAA's other than that other people use them and they work.

BCAAs are the amino acids found most often in skeletal muscle

Two schools of thought:

1) take them pre-workout, and they spare muscle
2) take them post-workout, and they facilitate repair

(I guess there's the third school which says take 'em both pre- and post, and the fourth school, which says eat adequate protein from whole sources, and it doesn't really matter when).

Derek Weaver
01-04-2009, 07:22 PM
Right. I think that the 4th school would be the Lean Gains approach noting that most of them end up as glucose in the blood (if I remember correctly).

I think he's more of an EAA guy than BCAA guy (again, if I remember correctly).

I'd rather eat whole protein sources, a lot of them, and spend the money on sleep supplementation... but my sleep patterns are more sporadic than a new born's.

Gant Grimes
01-04-2009, 08:56 PM
Regular protein powder is disgusting also. So is green drink. And apparently BCAA's. I'm just gunna throw it all in a blender it choke it down after workouts, and hopefully it'll help :D

You have no idea how good you have it. Protein powders taste way better now than when I was your age. And BCAAs? Everyone should have the experience of choking down the horse pill AAs from the 80s and 90s.

For those that hate the taste, buy your own gel caps and stuff them with your own formula.
http://store.vitaminlifeusa.com/gel-caps-00014668.html

As for BCAAs, it depends on your program and your diet. If you're Zoning, you might want to add them, regardless of program. If you're doing CF, you would probably benefit from them but don't need them. If you're doing anything else that involves daily weights, then thrown em down.

Tony Ferous
01-05-2009, 02:51 AM
Im using now brand BCAA powder...at first it tasted vile, but strangely its gowing on me...i actually savour the taste now. Perhaps they are killing my taste buds though.

What are BCAAs made from anyhow? My bottle says it contains no milk.
Im thinking they are a good bet for me i avoid milk products, otherwise whey may be a better bet, you get the bcaas and the other aminos.

Allen Yeh
01-05-2009, 03:45 AM
Right. I think that the 4th school would be the Lean Gains approach noting that most of them end up as glucose in the blood (if I remember correctly).

I think he's more of an EAA guy than BCAA guy (again, if I remember correctly).

I'd rather eat whole protein sources, a lot of them, and spend the money on sleep supplementation... but my sleep patterns are more sporadic than a new born's.

I thought he had said in the Lean Gains approach to have them before working out as he didn't recommend fasted workouts? I also thought he advocated PWO shakes?

Derek Weaver
01-05-2009, 08:07 AM
Yeah, he's cool with PWO shakes, but I think he's an Essential Amino guy.

Here's an excerpt from Jamie Hale's work: Knowledge and Nonsense: The Science of Nutrition and Exercise.

M. Berkhan: No, you get plenty off BCAAs from food protein sources, especially whey protein. There’s nothing showing any benefit of excessive dosing. Because BCAAs are very glucogenic, they will most likely end up in your bloodstream as glucose. Bodybuilders who eat piles of protein and consume BCAAs on the side are throwing money down the drain.

Gant made a good point though that if you're hypocaloric with less than 1gr. of Protein/lb of LBM, then BCAAs are critical. People start Zoning and wonder why their back squat falls by 35%...

Mike ODonnell
01-05-2009, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the answer, but why might they be more effective pre workout? I thought BCAA's were just broken down proteins...but I know very little about BCAA's other than that other people use them and they work.


http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/281/2/E197
Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise
Kevin D. Tipton1,2, Blake B. Rasmussen1,2, Sharon L. Miller1,2, Steven E. Wolf1, Sharla K. Owens-Stovall1, Bart E. Petrini1, and Robert R. Wolfe1,2

1 Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, and 2 Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston, Texas 77550

The present study was designed to determine whether consumption of an oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (EAC) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise. Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (EAC consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (EAC consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-2H5]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg. Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by ~130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise (P < 0.05). Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater (P = 0.0002) during PRE (209 ± 42 mg) than during POST (81 ± 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.

Chris H Laing
01-13-2009, 12:30 PM
As for BCAAs, it depends on your program and your diet. If you're Zoning, you might want to add them, regardless of program. If you're doing CF, you would probably benefit from them but don't need them. If you're doing anything else that involves daily weights, then thrown em down.

What if I was doing something that involved daily bodyweights??? I'm currently on a gymnastic-focused plan for a while.

Yeah, he's cool with PWO shakes, but I think he's an Essential Amino guy.

Gant made a good point though that if you're hypocaloric with less than 1gr. of Protein/lb of LBM, then BCAAs are critical. People start Zoning and wonder why their back squat falls by 35%...

I'm already getting at least that much protein daily, around 150g on rest days (from all whole foods) and 200g on work days(extra 50g's comes from pwo shake), and I weigh around 140, but if I was looking for more protein, would BCAA's not be the way to go? What about EAA's?

Derek Weaver
01-13-2009, 01:34 PM
I think you're probably fine. What's total caloric intake for the day?

I think that if you're eating enough food (at least maintenance amounts) and obviously you're getting enough protein, then BCAA's don't really matter. You're getting enough from your protein sources... assuming they're not crap like vegetable and soy proteins.

If you're cutting the fat (I hope you're not at 140 lbs. and your height and age. I'd assume there's not too much to cut) then BCAA's are a nice addition.

Chris H Laing
01-13-2009, 02:48 PM
I think you're probably fine. What's total caloric intake for the day?

Not sure. I've only been tracking protein on fitday, but for the next couple days i'll track it all and see. I'd guess around 3000.

I think that if you're eating enough food (at least maintenance amounts) and obviously you're getting enough protein, then BCAA's don't really matter. You're getting enough from your protein sources... assuming they're not crap like vegetable and soy proteins.

If you're cutting the fat (I hope you're not at 140 lbs. and your height and age. I'd assume there's not too much to cut) then BCAA's are a nice addition.

Haha not soy protein, and I do eat a lot of veggies, but not for the protein. And I get my fill of fat daily, and love it!

Derek Weaver
01-13-2009, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't worry about it then. I'd invest in digestive enzymes to help break down and absorb all that nutrition you're eating. Probiotics should come in before BCAA's too in my opinion.

Bradley Martyn
01-14-2009, 08:36 AM
The taste of BCAA combo powders was one major reason I'm interested in leucine by itself...I don't know how true the T-Nation marketers are, but they said their leucine (by itself) doesn't change the flavor of things it is added to much if at all...

Nothing is good for you if you can't manage to get it past your taste buds...

L-leucine, is L-luecine is L-leucine, i have tried a few varities, some from Purebulk.com as well as T-nations L-Leucine, it tastes like complete trash haha, but you just have to man up. The best way to take it is get some water in your mouth like your going to gargle mouthwash after brushing your teeth, and then put a scoop in there then drink a bunch of water to wash it down. Since the BCAA's when coming into contact with water usually like to float on the top, the water under it will keep it from touching your tounge.. Its alot like taking a shot. (the right way).

Daniel Olmstead
02-03-2009, 09:34 AM
I started taking BCAA's (capsule) a few days ago, and yesterday and today I've noticed an unpleasant bitter taste in my throat after I eat - regardless of when the meal is in relation to taking the pills. Are these things correlated? Has anyone else had this experience?

Wendy Nelson
12-28-2009, 12:44 PM
After reading through this thread and numerous other searches I am still unclear if I should/need to supplement with BCAA :confused:

If I am eating steak n eggs every day would it be a good bet that I'm covered? Does the cooking heat reduce the amount of availability?

While cruising posts I did see digestive enzymes recommended before a BCAA supplement. This sounds good so I think I will get some Wobenzym.

I agree with eating Paleo and it serves me well, but at my age it's hard to beat back the what ifs....could I be healthier and should I give my body an advantage?

Thanks for any insight.

Steven Low
12-28-2009, 04:08 PM
If you're going to supplement you might as well just get whey. Whey is BCAA loaded and much cheaper than buying individual BCAAs + you get extra protein.

BCAAs help delay fatigue during workout IIRC and help induce anabolic response (specifically L-leucine for anabolic).

Wendy Nelson
12-28-2009, 05:41 PM
I was using this with some unsweetened cocoa powder and a banana after every workout.

http://www.iherb.com/Now-Foods-Whey-Protein-Isolate-Natural-Unflavored-5-lbs-2268-g/1160?utm_source=gb&utm_medium=pf wfs

Then I got the eebie geebies from reading numerous posts about the evils of dairy. The last nail in the coffin of my PWO shakes, greek yogurts and cheeeeeese was Robb’s input at a cert I went to. (I mean got F@$%ed at)

The dairy debate has always been an inflammatory (pun intended) one but I tossed my hat in with those that said it was not good for the body. Would you say that the processed whey flies under the radar of proposed harm?

Derek Weaver
12-28-2009, 07:00 PM
I wouldn't worry about it Wendy. I think there are enough benefits to outweigh the risks.

Besides, what's that going to amount to for total intake? Less than 20% on workout days? Hardly enough to be concerned about if you ask me.

Steven Low
12-28-2009, 07:42 PM
If you don't want and dairy traces in whey you can grab some isolate. But it costs more.

But yeah, what's wrong with whey? Dairy I can see especially if you're allergic. But whey, a component of dairy, should be fine unless you're allergic to it specifically.

You can message Robb if you want him to talk about it on podcast or something though.

Yael Grauer
12-28-2009, 09:58 PM
I use BCAA in lieu of a PWO shake since it's better for fat loss. Also awesome for recovery. I also sip on it throughout the day if I'm limiting calories (which I had to do when losing a lot of lbs. quickly for a jiu jitsu tournament). I use Xtreme Ice (grape splash) and it is delish.

Wendy Nelson
12-29-2009, 08:47 AM
Robb has signed off on whey a while back and actually mentioned the Now brand as a good choice. The tasty grape stuff is tempting but I guess I will just restart my PWO whey shakes that I was using before. It has everything mentioned in the ICE except L-Glutamine which I am guessing our bods produce plenty?

Thanks for the input all :D

Mike ODonnell
12-29-2009, 09:10 AM
BCAAs IMO are easier to implement even if you are eating real food. Just put a scoop or two into a large water bottle and carry with you and drink all day. May help esp during more stressful times, workouts, or between meals to prevent excess amino acid oxidation from muscles. Plus easy to drink before or during a workout.

FYI, studies have shown that you will get more bang for your buck on using anything (amino acids, whey) preworkout than post (of course you still want to eat pwo).

Yael Grauer
12-29-2009, 03:07 PM
Wow, I did mostly drink it during the WO.

Darryl Shaw
12-30-2009, 05:08 AM
After reading through this thread and numerous other searches I am still unclear if I should/need to supplement with BCAA :confused:

If I am eating steak n eggs every day would it be a good bet that I'm covered? Does the cooking heat reduce the amount of availability?

While cruising posts I did see digestive enzymes recommended before a BCAA supplement. This sounds good so I think I will get some Wobenzym.

I agree with eating Paleo and it serves me well, but at my age it's hard to beat back the what ifs....could I be healthier and should I give my body an advantage?

Thanks for any insight.

The foods listed below each provide 2000mg (2g) of BCAA's so assuming that your diet is reasonably varied and your calorie intake is adequate I'd say that you've got the whole BCAA thing covered.

40g of cooked lean steak.

1.5 (75g) eggs.

260ml of skimed milk.

170g of low fat yogurt.

65g of almonds.

2 slices (145g) wholegrain bread.

Wendy Nelson
12-31-2009, 09:19 AM
Thanks Darryl, where can I get that math ref, is there an easy to understand conversion link somewhere out there? I had a PWO whey shake yesterday and had a slight gut ache the rest of the day. I dunno, maybe whey is not for me. I am going to try it again a coupla times to make sure but I might have to forego the whey.

I have been waiting out a shoulder and back injury and have been just doing foam rolling, massage and water so I have not used my whey in over a month. Interesting how elimination can shine a light.

Mike ODonnell
12-31-2009, 02:14 PM
Interesting how elimination can shine a light.

Bingo! More people need to eliminate things time to time just to see what happens....and the understanding they get from it is worth more than any book or doctor can tell you.

Darryl Shaw
01-02-2010, 05:13 AM
Thanks Darryl, where can I get that math ref, is there an easy to understand conversion link somewhere out there? I had a PWO whey shake yesterday and had a slight gut ache the rest of the day. I dunno, maybe whey is not for me. I am going to try it again a coupla times to make sure but I might have to forego the whey.

I have been waiting out a shoulder and back injury and have been just doing foam rolling, massage and water so I have not used my whey in over a month. Interesting how elimination can shine a light.

I can't remember where I got those figures from but I think it was probably one of Prof. Louise Burke's sports nutrition books as they're the ones I refer to most frequently. As I recall the point she was making was that food is your best source of BCAA's and as this paper (link (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/135/6/1591S)) states that "on average the BCAA content of food proteins is about 15% of the total amino acid content" and that "a typical BCAA supplement sold in tablet form contains 100 mg valine, 50 mg isoleucine, and 100 mg leucine" whereas "a chicken breast (100 g) contains 470 mg valine, 375 g isoleucine, and 656 mg leucine, the equivalent of about 7 BCAA tablets" and "one quarter of a cup of peanuts (60 g) contains even more BCAA and is equivalent to 11 tablets" it would seem that she was right.