T Nation

BCAA Capsules

Hey guys and gals,

I’ve got a quick question about BCAA capsules. I know for some capsules (such as medicines which could be denatured), it is definitely better so just swallow it.

However, I’ve also heard that some capsules are just as good or better ingested by being mixed in a drunk. So thus my question is: would opening up a BCAA capsule into a protein shake or a glass of milk pre/post workout be better than just taking it as a pill?

Would it be worse? Also, is there any current research out there which suggests an amount or point of dimishing returns on BCAA ingestion at one particular time?

Thanks.

-DTC

My knowledge is that BCAA are best taken by themselves on an empty stomach. If taken with other or aminos (protein, milk, etc.) the aminos will fight for binding sites and the banch cain aminos wont be absorbed as readily.

Im not 100% on this but maybe someone will jump in and verify/dispute this. Also, the capsules help protect the aminos from stomach acid(again, not 100% sure)

Biotest BCAAs dissolve in water after a couple hours… so go ahead and break all you want, I really dont think it makes a difference. They are only in pill form for convenience.

[quote]Houshin Akai wrote:
Biotest BCAAs dissolve in water after a couple hours… so go ahead and break all you want, I really dont think it makes a difference. They are only in pill form for convenience.[/quote]

Yeah, but can you take 'em with a post workout shake that contains milk, etc?

[quote]HendrixJams wrote:
Houshin Akai wrote:
Biotest BCAAs dissolve in water after a couple hours… so go ahead and break all you want, I really dont think it makes a difference. They are only in pill form for convenience.

Yeah, but can you take 'em with a post workout shake that contains milk, etc?[/quote]

Anyone? Bueller?

binding sites? you must mean transport protein uptake. yes, there would be competition for uptake as there is a maximal amount that can occur, but there are a few reasons not to worry.

the BCAAs will be absorbed long before any of the proteins in the milk. of the milk, 20% is the whey fraction, this will absorb between the BCAA and the casein, 80% of the protein in milk. if this were the amino acid intake, there would be minimal to no slowing of uptake of amino acids at normal dosages. the greatest effect of slow absorbtion comes from the casein which gets digested very slowly as it forms a gel in the stomach.

in general protein absorption from different proteins rarely affects the rates of other proteins’ absorption.

[quote]ubl0 wrote:
binding sites? you must mean transport protein uptake. yes, there would be competition for uptake as there is a maximal amount that can occur, but there are a few reasons not to worry.

the BCAAs will be absorbed long before any of the proteins in the milk. of the milk, 20% is the whey fraction, this will absorb between the BCAA and the casein, 80% of the protein in milk. if this were the amino acid intake, there would be minimal to no slowing of uptake of amino acids at normal dosages. the greatest effect of slow absorbtion comes from the casein which gets digested very slowly as it forms a gel in the stomach.

in general protein absorption from different proteins rarely affects the rates of other proteins’ absorption.[/quote]

So…uh…

It’s okay to take BCAA’s with a smoothie that contains milk? :slight_smile:

I just picked up a book called
“Nutrient Timing”.
Written by John Ivy, and Robert Portman

it talks about when and how to take protein powder.
This book is actually the reason I didnt buy BCAA’s in capsule form.

Just to let everybody know the book nor I am implying that BCAA’s in capsule form are no good. Just that the book gives specific mixtures of protein powder, hi GI carbohydrate and BCAA’s to use, and the only BCAA’s it calls for is Glutamine and Leucine.

P.S
Holy crap, i never realized how expensive BCAA’s are until the other day when i went looking for them.

Glutamine isn’t a BCAA…

Correction to my above response
The only BCAA it calls for is lucine
:slight_smile:

So is it safe to say that none of us are positive on the best time to take BCAAs? ;p

Thanks for the replies so far guys, but is anyone 100% sure of when/how to take them to benefit the most?

[quote]DTC wrote:
So is it safe to say that none of us are positive on the best time to take BCAAs? ;p

Thanks for the replies so far guys, but is anyone 100% sure of when/how to take them to benefit the most?[/quote]

Well I know you’re to take em 30-45 mins before you work out and right after…

however this whole milk thing has me perplexed.

Wish this stuff could be made more simple…some of this jibba jabba about when and what to take seems uneccesarily complicated

I just throw mine in my blender during shake making.

There are no rules for BCAA timing. It seems to be more about quantity than anything.

You could take the BCAA stack before training to enhance the insulin spike, but other than that it’s all about numbers.

[quote]David Barr wrote:
There are no rules for BCAA timing. It seems to be more about quantity than anything.

You could take the BCAA stack before training to enhance the insulin spike, but other than that it’s all about numbers.[/quote]

Great. That’s the kind of information I was looking for. Crisp, clean and spoken with authority. Thanks :slight_smile:

I take 15g BCAA per day in pill form, but the timing changes based upon whether it is a training day or not.

I take 5g pre workout and 5g post workout. I also take 3 scoops of Surge during and post workout which contain BCAA’s. I save my final 5g for just before I go to sleep.

On non-training days I take 5g midmorning and 5g midafternooon. I still take 5g just before bedtime.