T Nation

BCAA's vs L-Leucine


I've been on the fence about this for a few weeks now.

The two supplements in question are BCAA's and L-Leucine.

Obviously there is L-Leucine in BCAA's, but my big question is:
For a tighter budget, is it worth getting L-Leucine instead of BCAA's? Or are BCAA's with their L-Leucine and L-isoleucine and L-valine so much better? Because the dosages on BCAA's seem ridiculous and a bottle doesn't seem like it would last two weeks. However the Biotest L-Leucine seems it would last about a month using it three times a day.

If I got the L-Leucine, I would be taking it at my breakfast, and then pre-workout and post-workout. Would this be effective?

I've been making nice gains so far on only these supplements:
Micronized German Creatine


Don't bother with BCAA's unless you are using them for CNS fatigue, or endurance exercise. You will better off using leucine alone, either before meals and paraworkout.


Okay, thanks for replying. I actually just looked at my Whey powder, and per scoop it already has 2500mg of Leucine, 1420mg IsoLeucine, and 1350mg of Valine. Is this normal of Whey powders? I've never paid much attention to the Amino Content before.


Pray tell...


All protein supplements will have some ratio of BCAA in.. your has a good amount and ratio it seems.

Very basically, the benefit of BCAA is that they are anabolic/anti-catabolic. They are used heavily in protein synthesis and it has been found that they alone can and will begin the process (of Protein synth.) without other amino's present (after training).

It has also been found that Leucine does this alone to a great degree - although IIRC not to the same extent BCAA can - and as such is one of the more 'important' of the three for this benefit.

I use them as follows; If dieting, i supplement BCAA as a means to avoid catabolism of tissue when restricting calories, so take a few grams (10g usually) in-between meals or after waking at night as a way to do this without the calories of a meal or shake.
If not dieting i don't use them as i eat a shit load of calories anyway.
I use leucine whether dieting or not and generally add it to whey shakes 1-3x a day.

I would suggest you use both if dieting, but IMHO it is only in those who are VERY attuned to their physique and how it reacts to foods in the smallest degree who can notice benefits from such micro management.

Simply put, at 6'3" 175lbs and 17% bodyfat - you don't need either really. Eat clean, and train hard and don't stress the small shit. Concentrate on macro's not micro's at your level mate.



Thanks for chiming in Brook


a ton of bcaas immediately postworkout works best for me