T Nation

BCAA vs Whey Powder


I'm sure there must be an article or thread that discusses this, but my search did not find much.
so what's the value if any of taking both BCAA and Whey powder shakes?
I always heard that whey is the single best source of protein supps.
but lots of folks talk about BCAA too.


"The BCAAs stimulate the effect of insulin in three different manners. The first manner through which the metabolic pathway is affected is the increased production of insulin. It has been demonstrated that BCAA supplementation in accordance with carbohydrate intake following resistance exercise increases insulin output by 221%, which is much greater than the 66% supplementation without leucine" Wiki

They increase the body's ability to synthesize protein. So taking both should net you the greatest results. I think....... I'm just a newb


Tipton et al. just had a study published that showed that Leucine and Whey supplementation had no extra effect over Whey alone in young healthy men. However, in older men they did have a greater effect. I other words, if you are a healthy young (<40) male, just stick to protein and carbs after exercise and don't waste money on BCAA.


Good to hear... I'll have to check that out. That'll save me some cash! Thanks!


No problem, you can look it up on pubmed.com. search leucine or just paste "Stimulation of muscle anabolism by resistance exercise and ingestion of leucine plus protein.

Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Ferrando AA, Aarsland AA, Wolfe RR.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Apr;34(2):151-61."

When looking up studies, it is important to take into account whether the studies were conducted on humans and whether the humans were healthy or not. Studies on animals are notorious for not carrying over results to human studies, and studies on non-healthy humans will not usually apply to healthy humans.


Granted I havent read that article by Tipton et al yet, but I notice whenever I go off using BCAA's I get much more DOM's. On them I am sore for a day max whereas when Im not ill do chest on a monday and only just over it on Friday.


I do not fully understand what you are trying to say (for future reference; punctuation as well as proper grammar are very useful tools for getting your thoughts across). As to your statement, Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it's effects on training and recovery are not fully understood.

It is known that working through the DOMS with proper technique lowers the occurrence of the phenomenon. Furthermore, do not underestimate the Placebo Effect. You just paid good money for a product presumably after reading an article advertising it's effects so you expect to see those effects.

Your brain responds to this 'stimulus' if you can call it that and convinces your physical body that it is 'feeling' some or all of those effects. In some extreme cases, the Placebo effect has had drastic effects on the physical body.