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BCAA recommendations

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Can someone please recommend me a good brand of BCAA that is reasonably priced?

It's a damn shame that supplements are not FDA regulated.

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Blairbob

http://www.atlargenutrition.com/products/bcaa

Chris Mason is well known on the CrossFitboards besides also helping in assisting Louie Simmons in the CF Powerlifting Seminars.

If you use the code, CFF, you get 10% off.

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gravy

thanks for the link. I don't see anything about how many grams I would be paying for. And I am not a fan of crossfit or powerlifting, but to each his own.

does anyone have any other recommendations?

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Blairbob

Yeah, it's a bit tricky to find on the page.

Each serving is 3g of Leucine and 1.5 of Valine and Iso-Leucine. Chris also formulates it with 2g of Glutamine.

I'm not a huge fan of Powerlifting. I think it's cool enough but prefer it Raw but I do respect Louie Simmons a lot.

Chris is also a pretty swell guy that I talk to on occasion on IM through FB.

BCAA_watermelon_supp_facts_1.jpg

Other I found off the top of my head would be:

http://www.truenutrition.com/search.aspx?searchterm=BCAA

http://www.truenutrition.com/p-2147-dymatize-bcaa-complex-5050.aspx 58 servings for 15.90 and 22.94 out the door with shipping and tax (5.78 shipping, 1.24 tax)

http://www.truenutrition.com/p-1780-ultimate-nutrition-bcaa-12000.aspx 60 servings for 29.68

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igalk474

i heard good stuff about those:

for taking while in a long workout(intra-workout)

also

2:1:1 BCAA Ratio of Leucine:Valine:Isoleucine

is the best, most of those are 2:1:1

also it's best if it's ajipure

http://www.ajiaminoscience.com/products ... ality.aspx

ON BCAA 5000 Powder (unflavoured)

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

ON Essential AmiN.O. Energy

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/e ... nergy.html

SciVation Xtend

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/sv/xtend.html

Dymatize Elite Recoup

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/dym/recoup.html

(has 3.6g:1.8g:1.8g)

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/muscl ... 3-1-2.html

(this is not 2:1:1, but uses a patent pending 3:1:2 ratio that they say is even more effective)

BSN AMINOx

http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bsn/aminox.html

also true nutrition seems great too

but all of them needs to be compared and tested for effectiveness,

for better recommendation

i think Xtend or Elite Recoup are the best,

but i haven't tested it yet,

ON Essential AmiN.O. Energy

is good for pre workout(but Cellucor C4 Extreme seems better)

something i heard about bcaa somewhere:

BCAA supplements are designed for anyone who trains hard regularly and wants to preserve lean muscle tissue while preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown). The 3 BCAAs (L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine, and L-Valine) play a critical role in muscle development because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver. Because BCAAs are metabolized in the muscle, they can be used for building new proteins or for energy.

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Joshua Naterman

I'm going to recommend "Modern BCAA" from www.nutraplanet.com

It is 8:1:1 leucine:isoleucine:valine

a 12 gram serving, of which there are like 80 (and costs 24 dollars, holy crap what a deal), gives you 8g of leucine, 1g of isoleucine and 1g of valine.

I make this recommendation because research is continuing to show that leucine is the primary BCAA responsible for preventing unnecessary muscle catabolism during exercise and also appears to have a significant anabolic effect when 7-8g of L-leucine are consumed along with 20-30 grams of protein. The other 2 grams are flavoring.

The normal 2:1:1 doesn't give enough, which is why you almost always see recommendations for 15g before and after the workout, which wastes a ton of money because 2:1:1 BCAA is really expensive by comparison, when looking at the cost per 8g of leucine.

If your BCAA mixes well with cool water you got cheated. BCAAs are highly insoluble and are a pain in the butt to mix. This is going to sound gross, but mixing them with hot water makes a HUUUUUGE difference. They also mix much better with a protein drink.

20-30g of whey, 8g of leucine, 20g of fiber-free carbs (maltodextrin, glucose, whatever) mixed into 1L of water is the way to go for your pre-workout. You DO want them all mixed together. This will give you a 6% solution which will empty and be absorbed as quickly as humanly possible, which is also what you want.

2 tablespoons of Modern BCAA, 1 scoop whey, and the 1/8 cup of glucose is the exact mix I use. That gives the above mixture in a 6% solution. It does make a noticeable difference, but you'll only see proper results if you are already meeting your energy needs throughout the day.

So, I am recommending the product because it gives you exactly what research says you need. It is a high quality, reasonably priced supplement.

24 dollars for 1 kilo is incredible.

You can also just buy L-leucine powder but I worked out the math and there isn't a cost advantage to doing so, which is why I get the Modern BCAA.

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Daniel Burnham

Second on the modern BCAA. I bought the flavorless the first time and it is awful so I recommend one of the flavors just to mask the taste.

Also modern bcaa has glutamine in it. This is a plus for me since I used to take it seperately post workout.

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Joshua Naterman

yea, I have grape something or other. Pretty decent, reminds me of kool-aid!

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gravy

Thanks for all the recommendations. I will be sure to check out each.

Josh, do you have any studies bookmarked backing up the 8:1:1 leucine:isoleucine:valine ratio?

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Nic Branson

Modern BCAA for a third vote and 8:1:1 definitely. For the older among us or the injured I would go as far as 10:1:1.

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igalk474

what is the difference between instantized and micronized bcaa?

i read from

http://usplabsdirect.com/mbcaa.html

that creatine or L-glutamine when mixed with water can turn into ammonia:

"creatine can quickly turn to its waste byproduct creatinine when mixed in water…

L-glutamine is known for its instability, in the dry state and especially in an aqueous solution (5,6).

The degradation products from L-glutamine can be glutamic acid, ammonia and pyroglutamic acid, the latter two being potentially toxic (5-9)."

is it true?

what does it means?

what can you do to avoid the ammonia, like what are the best practices with it?

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Blairbob

Basically, don't let it sit. Mix it up, drink it down ASAP.

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gravy
Modern BCAA for a third vote and 8:1:1 definitely. For the older among us or the injured I would go as far as 10:1:1.

can you or anyone provide any studies or research that support this ratio over say a 2:1:1 ratio for example?

This has a lot of info on BCAA.

http://books.google.com/books?id=R7g2xi ... aa&f=false

In summary:

-it is more cost effective to get BCAA from food sources

-carbohydrate ingestion during exercise is more important as fuel, and prevents increased BCAA oxidation; BCAA do not play a significant role as fuel during exercise

-"no valid scientific evidence supports commercial claims that orally ingested BCAAs have an anticatabolic effect during and after exercise or that BCAA supplements may accelerate the repair of muscle damage after exercise" (Wagenmakers 1999b)

While orally ingesting BCAA in the form of powder or shake may be convenient in a pinch, when and what is eaten throughout the day is far more important for healthy individuals than BCAA supplementation. Creating a schedule and having the discipline to eat properly and exercise properly will be most beneficial in the long run.

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Joshua Naterman
Modern BCAA for a third vote and 8:1:1 definitely. For the older among us or the injured I would go as far as 10:1:1.

can you or anyone provide any studies or research that support this ratio over say a 2:1:1 ratio for example?

This has a lot of info on BCAA.

http://books.google.com/books?id=R7g2xi ... aa&f=false

In summary:

-it is more cost effective to get BCAA from food sources

-carbohydrate ingestion during exercise is more important as fuel, and prevents increased BCAA oxidation; BCAA do not play a significant role as fuel during exercise

-"no valid scientific evidence supports commercial claims that orally ingested BCAAs have an anticatabolic effect during and after exercise or that BCAA supplements may accelerate the repair of muscle damage after exercise" (Wagenmakers 1999b)

While orally ingesting BCAA in the form of powder or shake may be convenient in a pinch, when and what is eaten throughout the day is far more important for healthy individuals than BCAA supplementation. Creating a schedule and having the discipline to eat properly and exercise properly will be most beneficial in the long run.

Search www.pubmed.com for "leucine protein synthesis" or "leucine skeletal muscle" to see all the results. You will find quite a few detailing the increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis when adding the extra leucine to a whole protein source.

This is not contradictory to most of the above, and while it is absolutely cost effective to get the necessary BCAA for good health from food sources they simply do not have enough relative leucine to maximize the rate of skeletal muscle protein synthesis. They are also far too slowly digested to make the same kind of impact that the supplement does.

You are 100% on point when you point out that carbohydrate prevents quite a lot of BCAA oxidation, and that BCAAs do not play a significant role in energy production during exercise. They are, however, clearly oxidized preferentially when muscle glycogen gets low and there is not enough glucose in the blood to do the job required. This is part of why I am so insistent that people consume carbohydrate (and a small amount of protein) throughout the entire workout.

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Cole Dano

20-30g of whey, 8g of leucine, 20g of fiber-free carbs (maltodextrin, glucose, whatever) mixed into 1L of water is the way to go for your pre-workout. You DO want them all mixed together. This will give you a 6% solution which will empty and be absorbed as quickly as humanly possible, which is also what you want.

Slightly off topic, but what is your thought on mixing whey and casein? I've read in a few places that the mixing gave the best results.

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Cole Dano

Thanks Blair, I just saw that after I made the post.

I suppose that for a workout drink, changing the ratio to favor whey would work well?

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gravy

I searched both on pubmed. I also searched "BCAA athlete" and found some interesting articles:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300014

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10912884

I am mostly interested in studies done on athletes, and less so on mice/rats (even though they are model organisms, they are not human). Unfortunately the studies done on athletes have really small sample sizes.

I guess I'll have to experiment and see if glucose intake pre-workout and during training does it for me or if supplements are needed.

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Joshua Naterman

20-30g of whey, 8g of leucine, 20g of fiber-free carbs (maltodextrin, glucose, whatever) mixed into 1L of water is the way to go for your pre-workout. You DO want them all mixed together. This will give you a 6% solution which will empty and be absorbed as quickly as humanly possible, which is also what you want.

Slightly off topic, but what is your thought on mixing whey and casein? I've read in a few places that the mixing gave the best results.

For standard mixing, which I don't recommend for pre-workout as casein will slow gastric emptying, you will want to do somewhere between 40% whey and 60% casein and 20% whey and 80% casein.

Basically, for practical purposes, having 20/80 is better because you will want to take around 30g of protein at once. That will give you 6g of whey and 24g of casein. If you're using the same scoop, an approximate 1 scoop of whey for every 4 scoops casein is the way to make your bulk mixture. Just make sure it is well mixed.

The reason for this serving size is that the whey WILL preferentially empty first, and will provide the initial quick release of 6g or so protein, which will reach the blood in about 15-30 minutes. The casein takes about an hour to reach something close to peak absorption rates, which is 6.something grams per hour. That will then be more or less sustained for about 2 hours and will start tapering off more sharply (in a curvilinear shape) at that point due to decreased net bolus size. Basically, smaller surface area in contact with intestinal enzymes, which means less reactions per second and therefore a slower rate of absorption.

That 30g serving will last you about 4 hours, and perhaps 5 before you are basically at such a low absorption rate that it is worth having protein again. If you are having your casein shakes every 3 hours, you can pretty much just do straight casein as you will maintain a fairly steady absorption rate due to the overlapping of absorption curves (mathematically speaking).

If you wanted to really maintain peak absorption rates you could just keep using the 80/20 casein/whey mix but until you have reached around 264 lbs of lean mass you won't need more than what casein provides over 24 hours.

You will absorb 144-ish grams of protein if you stay caseined up all day long, but even if you only get around 120 grams (factoring in a few hours where you didn't get any protein due to sleeping past the end of the absorption of a bedtime shake, or something like that) that is enough protein to sustain 120/1.2= 100kg of lean mass. That's 220 lbs of lean mass. That's a guy who is 244 lbs at 10% body fat. That's pretty much a monster.

If you really maxed everything out and got 6 grams per hour for 24 hours, for an absorbed 144g, you'd be able to sustain 144/1.2= 120 kilos of lean mass. That is 264 lbs of lean mass.

I hope you all realize that protein alone will not make you bigger. What I am trying to demonstrate to you is that it does not take all that much protein, and that every single one of us is probably getting enough protein to be far larger than we want to be.

In order for that potential mass to actually appear on your frame you will have to eat the calories required for this tissue synthesis, and do so consistently. There's a reason so many bodybuilders resort to drugs: This kind of consistency requires a disciplined lifestyle, and most can't or won't do what it takes to get what they want naturally.

A very good year of consistent drug-free training can yield around 15 lbs of actual muscle tissue on advanced athletes, but not more than that unless there are some very unique genetics or the athlete is drugged. That is about a 17 lb gain if 90% of it is muscle.

Technically speaking, if we go by absolute peak protein absorption being 240 grams per day @ 10 grams per hour from the intestines, that's enough protein to support 240 grams / 1.2 grams per kilo of lean body weight = 200 kilos of lean mass.

Let that sink in.

200 kilos. 440 lbs. That's bigger than anyone on the field in the NFL. That's probably more lean mass than any sumo wrestler that has ever lived carried.

What really limits our size, from a practical perspective, is the amount of calories we can absorb from our guts.

I hope you can all see that for most, protein is not the main issue. Energy is.

I know that's slightly off topic, but I think it is important to put protein in perspective. You do need to get enough, but it is usually not a challenge to get enough. Even from a normal diet. It's the energy that is always the missing link.

Well, the energy and the specific replacement of carbohydrate to ensure that little to no dietary protein OR bodily lean tissue is broken down and turned into sugar.

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Nic Branson

Gotta have calories. Without enough of them it does not matter what they are, no growth will occur :)

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gravy

Could using BCAAs help with exercise induced hypoglycemia?

Edit: after reading, some places say it could make hypoglycemia worse.

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Cole Dano

Josh thanks for the reply! It's sinking in....

Your nutrition related posts of late have been of superlative quality.

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Larry Roseman

And by the way the 80/20 casien/whey % is the profile of milk protein.

So milk protein isolate is an option as well.

Or milk.

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Joshua Naterman
Could using BCAAs help with exercise induced hypoglycemia?

Edit: after reading, some places say it could make hypoglycemia worse.

Carbs. I don't know why the hell everyone is trying every possible inventive way to avoid eating carbs, other than the fact that they are all marketing expensive supplements. Intentional or otherwise, that is the end result.

Try to remember something: Max rate of GNG in the liver is slightly over 27g per hour. That's pretty slow, and not enough to do anything about hypoglycemia. You also will not get that rate. It will be half or less.

Bottom line... eat carbs. Don't try all the fancy stuff, just eat real food. Get your veggies. PWO is the time to have steamed veggies with very little oil (think coating the bottom of a pan with a thin layer of butter while it warms up and then steaming your veggies in the pan with some water and a cover on medium heat) or something similar, along with white rice or white potatoes. You can also do sweet potatoes or brown rice or whatever you want... just get the calories.

All that protein synthesis we hope to achieve costs extra energy. You either give it to your body or not very much happens, and that's just a bad end to a great workout.

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Chris Viglietta

@Joshua Naterman bumping this thread. 

The website NutraPlanet.com no longer carries the "Modern BCAA" you recommended several years back. 

Do you have a new recommendation?

Thanks in advance!
Your posts throughout the GB Forum are of highest quality.

Keep up the great work!

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