T Nation

BCAA Mixability


#1

The BCAA powders I have tried mix with water about as well as styrofoam. What pure BCAA's do you like from this perspective?


#2

BCAA's are hydrophobic (their chemical structure). They don't mix in water because of this. Pour some powder in your mouth and wash it down with a shot of water.


#3

It doesn't mix as easily as whey protein.

I've had luck mixing powdered BCAAs, but you need to mix it in a shaker bottle and let it sit for a little while, then shake again.


#4

And choke when you eventually inhale accidently ^_^

Although when that happened to me I was more interested about how it would affect absorbtion rofl


#5

I've got BCAAs powder form from NOW foods, and i gotta tell you it tastes horrible, i mean it will make shakes and oatmeal taste bad, I push through it, but are BCAAS normally this terrible tasting?


#6

Yup.

Which is why I now get them in tablets :smiley:


#7

BCAAs don't taste good folks, don't put them on things that you don't want to have a gritty consistency or that you're planning on eating slowly.

Like Elusive said, they're hydrophobic, they're never going to mix with water, they don't like water.

Your best bet is to put them in a shaker cup in another shake (PWO or whatever) shake the shit out of them then consume.


#8

I just eat them with a spoon, wash down with water. They seem to cling to any vessel I tried drinking them from before, and make food taste like shit, so that's that.

Some companies make BCAA's that mix a bit better, but I don't trust 'em.


#9

I have a 20 oz Metal Shaker with screw on top. Every training session I throw 15g BCAAs (Champion Nutrition powder), 5g Leucine (Biotest powder), and a single serve packet of crystal light together. I usually add a little more water once I drink it down about a third, but for the most part it all stays mixed in.

S


#10

x2 on the crystal light, I find the tangerine/grapefruit one mixes best with the powdered BCAAs


#11

Hydrophobic is a relative term.

Actually all the BCAA's will dissolve in water to a reasonable extent: valine to 30 g per 16 ounces, isoleucine to 14 g per 16 oz, and leucine to nearly 10 g per 16 oz (NOTE: leucine value is edited from previously wrong figure: I had accidentally given the dl figure.)

The problem is not so much solubility, unless attempting to use less water than this, as it is rate of dissolution.

Rate is improved with smaller particle size and witm mixing. Biotest Leucine powder dissolves faster than some others due to the particles being very fine. It is not the case that BCAA's will never mix with water, only that it is a rate-limited process, with rate much more severely limited with large particle size.

On the taste: while personal experience may vary, my experience was the palate slowly adapting to the taste. Rather as a person may think buttermilk (for example) tastes awful at first but later finds it acceptable, the same sort of thing happens here.

BCAA's can still for me turn something fairly tasty into something just entirely acceptable, but aren't nasty-seeming anymore. This did take a while though.


#12

I held a gun to my leucine and it caved.

If you want it to mix, you need to let it set for awhile as bill said. Personally, I just put 5gs in my mouth and wash it down with water, works like a charm.


#13

The BCAA's I use (from Superior Nutraceuticals) also don't dissolve that well, until the water I use warms up. The solubility of them increases when with a warmer solvent.

Like the others have said, if you let the drink sit for a few hours, they will dissolve when it comes to room temperature.

As far as the taste is concerned, if they're mixed with whey or Crystal Light (or any flavoring mix; Crystal Light is pretty expensive), you won't notice them.


#14

I had also had a thought that the solubility was perhaps substantially better at room temperature than cold, but on looking it up, actually the difference is not very marked and even zero C is sufficient given any reasonable amount of water.

The issue then would again be rate: reactions, including dissolution, proceed more slowly at colder temperatures. (I am above using the term "reaction" in the thermodynamic sense.)

But yes, trying to dissolve BCAA's into cold water is much more frustrating than is the case with room temperature water.


#15

The BCAA powder made by ajinomoto mixes pretty well. I put in a bottle of water to sip during a workout and all of it mixed. It still tastes bad though.