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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:59 am 
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That study is a bit flawed for what we’re discussing here. There were 5 diet protocols: hC (low calorie), hHP (low calorie high protein), hBCAA (low calorie high BCAA), hLP (low calorie, low protein), C (control).

The only diet comparable to the hBCAA supplementation diet was the high protein diet.

Unfortunately, they used Soja Protein which is SOY protein. Soy protein isn’t as digestible as Whey protein. Soy protein has a lower amount of BCAAs than whey.

http://www.build-muscle-and-burn-fat.co ... otein.html

Further, consider that most Whey powders not only contain BCAAs naturally, but are also being enhanced with extra BCAAs. My whey has 7g of BCAA per scoop which is more than a BCAA supplement (5g per serving). As such, I'd imagine my Whey would have produced the same results as the hBCAA diet since it contains as much if not more BCAA than the amount they used in the study.

The study only shows that higher levels of BCAAs are effective. It doesn't show anything about faster absorption of BCAAs; it just shows higher levels of BCAAs are beneficial. The hBCAA diet had a higher level of BCAAs than the Soy Protein diet.

hHP = 46% leucine, 22% isoleucine and 32% valine
hBCAA = 76% leucine, 19% isoleucine and 5% valine

They should have compared the hBCAA diet to a Whey protein such as mine that has 7g of BCAAs. Notice leucine is the BCAA that was significantly higher in the hBCAA diet, and leucine is the BCAA that is highest in Whey through both natural occurrence and additional enhancements (they add more leucine to the whey powder).

So, supplementing with BCAAs could be beneficial if your Whey is lacking them, or you aren’t taking Whey. But if your Whey has them in high quantities such as my whey with 7gs of BCAAs per scoop, then supplementing BCAAs along with Whey is pointless other than simply increasing your protein intake of grams per pound of bodyweight. Which, of course may be a good thing.....but as other threads have shown here, there is much debate about how many grams per lb of BW you really need. If Whey is cheaper, then go with Whey over plain BCAA supplements.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:24 am 
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If you are to take BCAAs alone they will absorb faster than if you were to take them with whey. If you are in need of an insulin spike then mix it with OJ, very simple. Depending on the brand of whey there will be 20 different AAs. The amino acid transport system will get clogged and due to competion for absorption some of those bcaas won't be absorbed.

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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!

Yes and no, appoximitely 1/3 of your muscle mass is made of those 3 AAs but there is hype behind their use.

Also how many grams of protein per serving in your protein Chris? Some of these people say you should take 15-20g of bcaas in a single serving. How many grams of your protein would you have to take to match those amounts? 40-60g? Not realistic if you are on a very severe cutting diet such as Berardis Get Shredded Diet or even taking that amount after or before a workout.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:27 am 
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ironmaiden708 wrote:
If you are to take BCAAs alone they will absorb faster than if you were to take them with whey. If you are in need of an insulin spike then mix it with OJ, very simple. Depending on the brand of whey there will be 20 different AAs. The amino acid transport system will get clogged and due to competion for absorption some of those bcaas won't be absorbed.


Can you back that up with a study? The study in that link you provided earlier only showed that a higher level of BCAAs was beneficial. That is all. The hBCAA diet had more leucine than the Soy Protein diet. The study showed nothing about absorption. Only quantity.

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Also how many grams of protein per serving in your protein Chris? Some of these people say you should take 15-20g of bcaas in a single serving.


My Whey has 7g of BCAAs per scoop which is more than the 5g per serving that Peter is currently using.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:39 am 
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ironmaiden708 wrote:
Yes and no, appoximitely 1/3 of your muscle mass is made of those 3 AAs but there is hype behind their use.


Also, saying this is like saying that a brick wall is 1/3 brick. Yes, it is. But without the mortar, rebar, concrete footers, etc, then all you have is a pile of bricks and not a wall.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:42 am 
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Chris_A wrote:
But if your Whey has them in high quantities such as my whey with 7gs of BCAAs per scoop, then supplementing BCAAs along with Whey is pointless other than simply increasing your protein intake of grams per pound of bodyweight.


You are right that excess BCAAs, like excess of any amino acid. is pointless, but I'd put the period there. I'm pretty sure that anyone debating how many grams of protein per pound of body weight is needed would agree that it is how many grams of complete protein per pound of body weight that counts. Any excess AAs, that is any that are eaten out of proportion to the other AAs, just count as calories.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:56 am 
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pdellorto wrote:
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...


Absorbing quickly doesn't make it useless. The goal is protein synthesis. The BCAA's increase the insulin spike (221% more than just carbs) which starts the ball rolling. It's the fast absorption that makes that happen. Following the BCAAs 15 minutes later with protein allows your body to make max benefit from the whey. That's the theory. I can't say personally how it works. I know there are a lot of theories and all work more or less to some degree. You just have to try it and see what works for you. "everything works, nothing works forever"


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:59 am 
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http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beast11.htm
There you go. It should be obvious anyways, what will absorb faster 3 AA's or 20 AA's?

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Also, saying this is like saying that a brick wall is 1/3 brick. Yes, it is. But without the mortar, rebar, concrete footers, etc, then all you have is a pile of bricks and not a wall.
Where/when did I state that you shouldn't take whey protein with BCAA?


Quote:
Whey has 7g of BCAAs per scoop which is more than the 5g per serving that Peter is currently using.
7g of bcaa mixed in with a 20-25g serving vs pure bcaa. Hmmm....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:05 am 
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In the study you linked to it says:

Quote:
Remember, the BCAA ability to be utilized in various pathways is governed by their availability. It is my belief that delivering large amounts of BCAA to muscle and keeping BCAA levels elevated will cause a strong and sustained activation of mTOR, leading to skeletal muscle hypertrophy.


It is his BELIEF. A BELIEF? And if he believes in the Tooth Fairy, do we just assume that is true as well?

As you can see in the following report, BCAAs supplied by whole foods and whey protein powder are sufficient.

Quote:
It has been suggested that the RDA for leucine alone should be 45 mg/kg/day for sedentary individuals, and even higher for active individuals [53]. However, while more research is indicated, because BCAAs occur in nature (i.e. animal protein) in a 2:1:1 ratio (leucine: isoleucine: valine), one may consider ingesting ≥ 45 mg/kg/day of leucine along with approximately ≥ 22.5 mg/kg/day of both isoleucine and valine in a 24 hour time frame in order to optimize overall training adaptations. This will ensure the 2:1:1 ratio that appears often in animal protein [64]. It should not be overlooked that complete proteins in whole foods, as well as most quality protein powders, contain approximately 25% BCAAs. Any deficiency in BCAA intake from whole foods can easily be remedied by consuming whey protein during the time frame encompassing the exercise session; however, an attempt should be made to obtain all recommended BCAAs from whole food protein sources.

In summary, exercising individuals need more dietary protein than their sedentary counterparts, which can be obtained from whole foods as well as from high quality supplemental protein sources such as whey and casein protein.


http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... id=2117006

-----------------------------------------

In the following study we see that is the quantity (dose) of the amino acids as well as the composition which are important.

Quote:
Factors that influence the efficiency with which amino
acids stimulate protein synthesis primarily include the dose
and composition of the amino acid mixture or protein [10].


Interestingly enough, that study goes on to show that taking the essential amino acids alone exhibits a two-fold response to taking in mixed amino acids.

Quote:
However, the specificity of the response
to essential amino acids may be obscured by the
moderately high dose provided or the carbohydrate-induced
insulin response. A follow up study found a significantly
greater (approximately two-fold) response to 6 g of essential
amino acids compared to 6 g mixed amino acids (3 g
essential plus 3 g non-essential) [14]. This observation, and
others from supportive animal and tissue culture studies
[13,15,16], confirms that ingestion of only essential amino
acids is sufficient for the acute stimulation of muscle protein
synthesis.


However, take note of the quantity here. It should be obvious what has happened. In the first mix they used 3g Essential aminos and 3g non-essential (aminos your body can make). In the next mixture they double the Essential aminos (and dropped the non-essentials) and got doubled response. Again, this points to quantity.

Next, the study shows that ingesting free aminos acids results in their uptake or flushing within a 1 hour time frame. However, the study then shows that whey has the same rapid uptake response.

This shows that the “fast” uptake of essential aminos is in fact 1 hour. A whole hour. The same amount of time Whey is aborbed. I don’t call that fast.

Quote:
Preliminary studies
confirm that an acute amino-acid induced increase in muscle
protein synthesis does contribute to protein synthesis in an
additive fashion over the course of a day [34]. Studies of
bolus ingestion of free amino acid solutions show a rapid,
transient response which returns to basal values within an
hour [14,27]. The metabolic response to a bolus of whey is
rapid and of significant magnitude and therefore, should
suffice to increase muscle protein synthesis without preempting
the response to a subsequent meal. Preliminary
data show this rapid absorption pattern to be beneficial to
overall nitrogen balance and post-prandial protein utilization


Another point of interest is that incomplete or unbalanced protein soruces are actually detrimental and can limit protein sysnthesis.

Quote:
Importantly, animal [11,16] and human [2,24,25] studies
provide evidence that poor quality or imbalanced dietary
proteins increase nitrogen losses and limit protein synthesis
due to inefficient utilization of the indispensable amino
acids.


Albeit, in rats, protein synthesis seems to be the same with just the essentials. But....those are rats.

Quote:
The anabolic effect of a complete mixture of amino
acids infused in rats was matched by provision of BCAA
only [16], again reflecting the primacy of BCAA in protein
synthesis.


But, one must consider that animal protein and muscle tissue is composed of a 2:1:1 mix of the BCAAs. This is the same composition found in whey. Depending on diet, supplementing with BCAAs alone will increase the ratio of BCAA ingestion, and there is no proof that elevated levels beyond the 2:1:1 ratio are beneficial.

Quote:
An interesting consideration with regard to the
capacity of whey proteins to stimulate muscle protein synthesis
derives from comparing the proportion of amino acids
supplied by whey relative to the amino acid composition of
human skeletal muscle [26-28]. Amino acid composition of
whey proteins is very similar to that of skeletal muscle,
providing almost all of the amino acids in approximate
proportion to their ratios in muscle. Logically, one might
suppose that this compatibility would position whey as an
effective anabolic supplement, although we recognize that
the non-essential amino acids contribute little to the overall
response.


http://www3.baylor.edu/HHPR/ESNL/public ... 1-8-03.pdf

So again, studies indicate that Whey alone is sufficient, and free BCAA supplementation derives it’s positive effects from increased quantities of leucine which Whey has.

However, the studies do show that of the proteins in Whey, it is the BCAAs (leucine in particular) that is of greatest importance and that protein synthesis can be achieved by ingestion of the BCAAs only.

Everything I’ve read indicates that the BCAA availability in fast absorbing whey is sufficient. Studies show ingested free amino acids remain in the body for 1 hour which is the same amount of time for Whey digestion, thus they don’t appear to be “fast”....at least not any faster than Whey.

Dollar for Dollar, it seems that Whey, especially a Whey fortified with extra BCAAs, is the most cost effective solution that produces the same, if not better, results. Remember that there are other benefits to Whey protein than just protein synthesis such as improved immune function, improved gastrointestinal health, free radical suppression, etc.


Last edited by Chris_A on Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:09 am 
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ironmaiden708 wrote:
Where/when did I state that you shouldn't take whey protein with BCAA?


So, you're suggesting taking 20-25g of BCAA, along with 2 or more Whey Shakes. That gives you at least 77g of protein from supplements alone. Then consider all the protein you eat from whole foods. Clearly you'd be approaching or exceeding 1g or 1.5g of protein per lb of body weight.

I thought you were the one that said excess protein is just "pi$$ed away" and wasted?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:13 am 
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It's nice that you like to debate but you are going into a very bad zone. Cut the crap or this will be locked down.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:20 am 
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ironmaiden708 wrote:
It's nice that you like to debate but you are going into a very bad zone. Cut the crap or this will be locked down.


Where is the crap? I simply want scientific evidence that one way or the other is better. Everything I've seen shows that free BCAA supplementation has no distinct advantages over Whey supplementation, especially a Whey fortified with extra leucine.

If there is definitive proof, I'd like to see it, and once I see it, I'll consider supplementing free BCAAs. Every little VALID edge one can get in the iron game is appreciated.

But, if all we do is rely on gym lore and some guy's "belief" then we all become blind addicts to the supplement pushers.

Not that extra supplements will actually hurt you, but it can be a pointless waste of money, and a disappointing road for someone believing some of the grandiose supplemental ads.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:42 am 
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OK guys, seems to be getting a little heated here. lets keep it a little more friendly. A straight debate is a good thing, let's just keep the tooth fairy and other remarks out. I'm sure people are learning probably more than they ever wanted to know about BCAA's. Tks
Tim-Moderator


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:26 pm 
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I must admit, this paper surprised me a bit concerning the potential negative affects of supplementing with free BCAAs.

Quote:
Perhaps even more enlightening is the work of Tipton et al., who conducted studies on the types and quantities of amino acids that increase protein synthesis in humans during and after exercise [33]. They compared 40 grams of mixed amino acids to 40 grams of essential amino acids (containing a much higher quantity of BCAA's) to compare their effectiveness in stimulating protein synthesis postexercise, and the two supplements provided a equivalent increases in protein synthesis. The authors then concluded that "there is a maximum rate of net synthesis attainable during hyperaminoacidemia after exercise," and that 40 grams of mixed amino acids is enough to maximally stimulate protein synthesis postexercise.


Quote:
Another issue is that BCAA supplements are in the form of free-form amino acids, as opposed to a whole protein source. Supplement companies often claim that free-form amino acids are absorbed in greater quantity, more effectively, and more quickly, but this is contrary to the scientific evidence.


Quote:
In addition to the effects on tryptophan levels, BCAA's may have other effects on the CNS, both direct and indirect. A well established property is that BCAA supplements reduce dopamine levels, an effect that occurs in many sample populations including healthy human volunteers (at doses of 10, 30, and 60 g) [40]. There are two possible reasons for this effect. The primary reason is that BCAA's competitively inhibit transport of phenylalanine and tyrosine to the brain (similar to the inhibition of tryptophan) [41]. Secondly, BCAA's also simultaneously lower the plasma levels of key amino acids required for neurotransmitter synthesis. This occurs because the BCAA's stimulate protein synthesis, but other amino acids are also required for protein synthesis. This issue does not occur with whole protein sources, which also provide the other amino acids required for protein synthesis. BCAA's also consequently lower levels of norepinephrine [42]. In conditions such as mania and hepatic encephalopathy, this effect of BCAA's can be beneficial [41-42]. However, decreased levels of NE and dopamine are generally not desirable in normal individuals. Functional changes induced in healthy humans by BCAA ingestion so far include impaired spatial memory and elevated plasma prolactin [40-41]. There is also a reference in the literature to BCAA ingestion increasing appetite [43].


http://www.1fast400.com/i59_BCAAs.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:31 pm 
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I'm not going to continue with this discussion since it's totally off track from what it was originally intended so these are my final conclusions for peter.

-Theres no need to take them unless you are on a tough cutting diet.
-It won't hurt to take them
-A strong protein diet will suffice.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:28 am 
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The discussion has gotten bit astray of my original question but it's really interesting. As long as it stays civil I wouldn't mind seeing it continue. I have to admit when I start seeing less-than-polite responses I start to skim and skip.


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