T Nation

are amino acids in workout drink needed?

Okay, before you jump down my throat thinking that I’m slamming a biotest product, I’d like to get my question out there.

Surge contains vitamins, BCAA’s, and maltodextrin/glucose. I just read research by given by the team that produces Gatorade and they have articles that say BCAA’s and vitamins aren’t proven to do anything for a workout any more than just carbs and electrolytes. Futher, they also say that maltodextrin doesn’t do anything more that glucose-fructose.

Can anybody shed light on this for me?
I thought maybe Surge contains BCAA’s and vitamins, and the mix recommended by Berardi which has .8gC+.4gP/kg bodyweight was maybe geared towards anti-catabolism rather than performance during workouts.
I know that BCAA’s elicit a greater insulin response that with Carbs alone, but even in Berardi’s “Solving the post-workout puzzle” it doesn’t sound like you need much for BCAA’s:

“The most interesting thing was that in the last condition, the post-workout beverage only contained 6 g of protein and 36 g of carbohydrate. As long as insulin was high and correct amounts of essential amino acids and BCAAs were present, protein synthesis got jacked after the workout.”
So is the extra protein, maltodextrin really necessary? Any thoughts?

Is it necessary, HAHAHA, no not if you are trying to pimp your worthless glucose drink to the average dumbass for massive profits.

BCAA’s make up 1/2 of muscle tissue. They are used and or taxed during weight training thus, the importance of taking them in Post Workout.

If you do any real research, independent of some coporation trying to sell a product, you will find that BCAA compose a large portion of muscle tissue, compose an even larger portion of the ammino acid pool in muscle tissue, and are metabolized during workouts, especially when glycogen stores being to become depleted. Various things I’ve read have shown that they increase the rate of protein synthesis after workouts, reduce muscle soreness, reduce cortisol levels and other positive things. While not necessary they are an excellent addition to workout drink.

You are grossly wrong. Muscle is made up of about 70% water, 20% protein, 10% other stuff. I think. But I know it’s not 50% BCAA’s.

D-Rock. I think he meant 50% of the amino acid profile of muscles is made bcaa’s. However, I don’t think it’s proven it’s exactly 50%. There’s probably a range from person to person.

I read the abstracts of those Tipton studies. I’m not sure whether they imply that just 6 grams of EAA in a PROTEIN SHAKE will have the necessary effects (quick insulin release and positive nitrogen balance) or 6 grams of EAA IN FREE FORM. My hunch is the latter and that many gurus are misinterpreting this study out of wishful thinking. I don’t think that Berardi is one of them, however, since Beverly International has had success in using very small amounts of hydrolysates (peptides, NOT free form) for workout nutrion, and Surge has over and above the amount they use. Any thoughts?

I’m usually wary of posts involving ‘THE TRUTH’ in capital letters, buuut… I happen to agree with the two I’ve read so far! :slight_smile:

I aim to please!

Sorry I meant the amino pool in muscles is 1/3 BCAA’s. Not 1/2. And yes I meant amino Acid pool…

Yeah, I was going to post-n-slam THE TRUTH the last time I saw him (?) … but then I saw that what he’d posted was, “I agree with char-dawg”!


Hell, how can you argue with that? :wink:

6 grams of essiential amino acids is much different and more expensive than 6 grams of whey protein. The studies you look at are trying to find the least amount of protein or protein/carbs to elict insulin spike and protein synthesis. JB has optimised his formula for use with healthy athletes not patients in hospitals. BCAA’s add to an increase in insulin spike and more potent formula.

The way I read it is that the studies are looking at the minimum of free-form EAAs required for the anti-catabolic and anabolic effects. In fact, I think a new Tipton study just came out which implies that mroe than 6 grams isn’t beneficial. Getting the right kind and amount of AAs to the muscle for building blocks is a separate issue. A hydrolyzed whey will get the protein into the bloodstream quick, but using just 6 grams of BCAA, the aminos from the previous meal will also suffice. 6 grams of free-form BCAAs (very insulinogenic), which are EAAs, should have at least as much of an effect as a 6 gram assortment of free-form EAAs. With postprandial proteins in the bloodstream, the muscle should get an optimal amino acid profile.