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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:07 am 
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Are BCAAs in any way superior to the equivalent amount (in grams of protein) of whey protein as a post-workout or peri-workout protein source?

I've been using up the last of the BCAAs I bought for when I was in the hospital. Now it's time to replace them...should I? I am getting lots of protein, but I've been taking the BCAAs in my bag to the gym and downing 5g before I workout and then 5g immediately after. I'm trying to decide if I'm tossing money down a hole here when I could just be taking whey protein instead, which is much cheaper. But I've seen some writeups about peri- and post-workout nutrition that says you need amino mixes and BCAAs, and that whey absorbs too slowly in comparison. True?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:41 am 
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That's a good question. BCAAs are just specific proteins. I assume they are the key ones for promoting protein syntesis but given the state of scientific research in the nutriton for weight training area, I don't know how anyone could determine exactly what BCAAs are optimal.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:45 am 
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It's nice to have but it is not neccesary.
http://www.1fast400.com/?products_id=1511

www.forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=7491761
Here's a pretty good article on it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:54 pm 
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Do they in fact absorb more quickly? If so, they make sense for immediately after waking, pre-, peri-, and post- workout. If not, well, 15g of specific proteins vs. 15g of whey protein...the whey is much cheaper.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:17 pm 
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BCAA is a combo of 3 AAs, the most anabolic of them all. Leucine:Iso-Leucine:Valine.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:43 pm 
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So, if I'm understanding this correctly, they would absorb more quickly. So they aren't essentially but they are valuable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t all Whey powder supplements have the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine? My Whey powder that I got from Wal-Mart has 7grams of BCAAs per scoop. I did a quick Google search and every Whey powder I bumped into had at least 4.5g of BCAA or more.

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Whey is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, which are vital to your metabolism, and to making your body function properly for good health. Whey also boasts the highest concentrations of branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) found in nature. Branched chain amino acids are an important source of energy during exercise and play a key role in protein synthesis.


http://www.trulyhuge.com/whey_protein.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 pm 
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stuward wrote:
That's a good question. BCAAs are just specific proteins. I assume they are the key ones for promoting protein syntesis but given the state of scientific research in the nutriton for weight training area, I don't know how anyone could determine exactly what BCAAs are optimal.


This Wiki takes a stab at it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branched-chain_amino_acids


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:23 pm 
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BCAAs will absorb faster than whey. How to take? View that website and choose the approach you find to be the most suitable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:16 pm 
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BCAAs are Branched Chain Amino Acids. This describes their molecular structure. There are 3 of them: leucine, isoleucine and valine.

The 3 BCAAs are essential amino acids meaning they must be derived from diet and can not be produced by your own body. There are 9 essential amino acids, 3 of them are branched chain. The 9 Essentials are: phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, lysine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine.

I don’t see the point at all to separately supplement the 3 BCAAs when they are found in the same or greater concentrations in Whey. You can’t say they absorb faster as a BCAA sup because if BCAAs do absorb faster, they will absorb faster in a whey shake before the other present amino acids. They are present in whey, and will abosrb at the given rate.

Whey is a conglomerate of ALL the essential aminos. Not only does it contain the 3 BCAAs, but also the other 6 essentials. You can't say BCAAs absorb faster than whey since whey IS BCAAs.....that is, it contains the 3 BCAAs. Never forget that BCAAs are just a protein, 3 of the 9 essentials, and whey contains them. Don't think that BCAA is a product name.

There are many amino acids in whey, including the 3 BCAAs, so why sup BCAAs if you are also taking whey? Not to mention eating whole food protein which also contains BCAAs.

It smacks of a marketing gimmick to me to sell a sup that is strictly the 3 BCAAs with disregard to the other essential aminos. My whey has 7g of the BCAAs, and yet, in this thread, the dosing is 5g of BCAAs? I'm getting more than that with my plain old whey!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Chris_A wrote:
I don’t see the point at all to separately supplement the 3 BCAAs when they are found in the same or greater concentrations in Whey. You can’t say they absorb faster as a BCAA sup because if BCAAs do absorb faster, they will absorb faster in a whey shake before the other present amino acids. They are present in whey, and will abosrb at the given rate.


Is that true, though? I've heard that if you combine foods you can get a different GI than if you eat them separately. If that's true, then it seems like you should be able to pull off the faster-absorbing amino acids and supplement them on their own in order to maximize their absorption rate, without being laden down with the slower-loading amino acids. Essentially, cut it down to what your body can use ASAP and don't divert any resources to the slower stuff. After your workout or during normal meals it wouldn't matter, but in a workout situation I can see time sensitivity being an important matter.

But I could just be totally misunderstanding, or full of bad information. It's happened before. I started this thread exactly because I don't really know!
:smile:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:45 pm 
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For your body to go into an absorptive state, insulin levels must rise. Most Whey products contain dextrose or maltodextrin (sugars) that are designed to cause an insulin spike and start the absorptive state. Once your whey shake spikes insulin and the absorptive state begins, if BCAAs are more quickly absorbed, then they should be absorbed first since they are in whey.

If BCAAs get absorbed at the same rate as other aminos, then perhaps you might want to sup BCAAs first…but I still can’t see why. We’re talking about a few minutes here, and post exercise metabolism and rebuild can last 24 hours or longer (some say 48 hours). A few minutes isn’t going to make a difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:15 pm 
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pdellorto wrote:

Is that true, though? I've heard that if you combine foods you can get a different GI than if you eat them separately. If that's true, then it seems like you should be able to pull off the faster-absorbing amino acids and supplement them on their own in order to maximize their absorption rate, without being laden down with the slower-loading amino acids. Essentially, cut it down to what your body can use ASAP and don't divert any resources to the slower stuff. After your workout or during normal meals it wouldn't matter, but in a workout situation I can see time sensitivity being an important matter.

But I could just be totally misunderstanding, or full of bad information. It's happened before. I started this thread exactly because I don't really know!
:smile:


I think you are mixing two concepts. Different macronutrients affect gastric motility in different ways. The sum of the influences determines motility at any point in time. If there is more fat motility slows down, if there is more carb, it speeds up. But that affects everything that is in the stomach at a particular time in the same way.

Absorption is a different matter.

But basically, if some AAs get into the blood sooner, they just have to wait around for the others anyway. I think Chris has it pretty straight.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:19 am 
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Jungledoc - if that's true, and the BCAAs just absorb quickly and then wait for the rest, it would seem like supplementing with them is useless. They wouldn't be complete, so your body couldn't use them, and therefore they'd just be wasted.

But they do seem to actually work, so they must be doing something...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:52 am 
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In that thread Ironmaiden linked to, someone linked to another thread with the contents of a study of wrestlers using BCAAs. Talk about directly relating to my sport, it's people trying make weight without losing muscle.

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthrea ... =106447081

Peter


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