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BCAA's - Worth Taking?

Back in College (1988) I used to take handfull’s of these big-ass horse pill BCAA’s. I made pretty good progress, but then I was new to weightlifting. I haven’t taken BCAA’s in years. It seems like there is a bit of a resurgence of this supplement lately.

I don’t like most supps, but I’m thinking about trying BCAA’s again. All I take now is protein powder and eat lean. Would it be worth it to use BCAA again?

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Back in College (1988) I used to take handfull’s of these big-ass horse pill BCAA’s. I made pretty good progress, but then I was new to weightlifting. I haven’t taken BCAA’s in years. It seems like there is a bit of a resurgence of this supplement lately.

I don’t like most supps, but I’m thinking about trying BCAA’s again. All I take now is protein powder and eat lean. Would it be worth it to use BCAA again?[/quote]

I have been pretty vocal about my use and affinity for them in a lot of recent threads asking this question. I will say again if one is really striving to make muscle gains and if you have all of your other bases covered they are highly valuable for keeping one in an anabolic state.

Keeping amino acids flowing in the blood stream keeps you growing and wards off being catabolic. Been using them since their release here and my gains in strength and size have been consistently positive since this time.

Take care,

D

BCAA’s are the most anabolic supplement we have, other than protein -but you have to take a decent dose which is cost prohibitive for many.

[quote]David Barr wrote:
BCAA’s are the most anabolic supplement we have, other than protein -but you have to take a decent dose which is cost prohibitive for many.[/quote]

Which, in your opinion is better (keeping in mind I mean “better,” not optimal): More over a shorter time frame or less over a longer time frame? I.e., is it better to use three bottles in one month or three bottles in three months?

[quote]David Barr wrote:
BCAA’s are the most anabolic supplement we have, other than protein -but you have to take a decent dose which is cost prohibitive for many.[/quote]

Dave…define decent?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Which, in your opinion is better (keeping in mind I mean “better,” not optimal): More over a shorter time frame or less over a longer time frame? I.e., is it better to use three bottles in one month or three bottles in three months?[/quote]

Interesting question. I don’t think that there’s any ‘threshold dose’ at which we’d specifically see results. From that, both protocols should yield similar gains.

Having said that, I’d rather use 3 bottles in a month because you’re more likely to notice the gains (simply because they occur in a shorter time frame).

[quote]
David Barr wrote:
BCAA’s are the most anabolic supplement we have, other than protein -but you have to take a decent dose which is cost prohibitive for many.

scotty144 wrote:
Dave…define decent?[/quote]

Taken from the 40 Tips Barrticle:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1338473

‘Pound back the BCAA’s. Unlike antioxidants, and most supplements for that matter, it seems that “more is better” when it comes to BCAA’s. There are sure to be diminishing returns, in that 100g won’t be twice as effective as half the dose, but if you’re using quantities like that, then you have too much money anyway. 0.2g/kilo bodyweight is a good place to start, and work up from there.’

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Would it be worth it to use BCAA again?[/quote]

How is your diet?

[quote]Drewsky wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Would it be worth it to use BCAA again?

How is your diet?

[/quote]

Very Clean. I roughly follow the Body-for-Life eating program. 6 meals a day, protein in evey meal, lots of water. Hardly any junkfood.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Very Clean. I roughly follow the Body-for-Life eating program. 6 meals a day, protein in evey meal, lots of water. Hardly any junkfood.
[/quote]

I’ve heard some sponsored lifters “pound back” a hundred or more BCAA capsules a day.

Which says good things about the product. Many sponsored guys don’t take any of the supplements they pose in advertisements with.

I spoke with a sponsored lifter that receives a sizable care package every month. He opens the box, takes out the BCAA’s then takes the box with him to the gym and gives the rest of the contents away. I asked him why, his response “all that other stuff is worthless shit”.

If you can afford it, go with BCAA’s.

[quote]unearth wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Very Clean. I roughly follow the Body-for-Life eating program. 6 meals a day, protein in evey meal, lots of water. Hardly any junkfood.

I’ve heard some sponsored lifters “pound back” a hundred or more BCAA capsules a day.

Which says good things about the product. Many sponsored guys don’t take any of the supplements they pose in advertisements with.

I spoke with a sponsored lifter that receives a sizable care package every month. He opens the box, takes out the BCAA’s then takes the box with him to the gym and gives the rest of the contents away. I asked him why, his response “all that other stuff is worthless shit”.

If you can afford it, go with BCAA’s.[/quote]

I think I’ll give them a try again. They lost popularity back in the 90’s when Creatine, Untimate Orange and a bunch of other “miracle” products started flooding the market. I followed the trends for a while. Time to get back to the basics.

[quote]David Barr wrote:

David Barr wrote:
BCAA’s are the most anabolic supplement we have, other than protein -but you have to take a decent dose which is cost prohibitive for many.

scotty144 wrote:
Dave…define decent?

Taken from the 40 Tips Barrticle:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1338473

‘Pound back the BCAA’s. Unlike antioxidants, and most supplements for that matter, it seems that “more is better” when it comes to BCAA’s. There are sure to be diminishing returns, in that 100g won’t be twice as effective as half the dose, but if you’re using quantities like that, then you have too much money anyway. 0.2g/kilo bodyweight is a good place to start, and work up from there.’[/quote]

Wow, that’s a helluva a lot of BCAAs! Higher even than CT’s recommendations, no? I am currently only taking 4 Biotest pills 5 times a day. Sometimes I’ll double a serving or two to 8 pills, especially before and after workout. I’m not actively trying to gain right now, but I’ve still noticed some improvements in my training and body comp. I think I will experiment with the higher doses though next time I’m actively adding mass.

BCAAs are, in my opinion, as vital as protein powder, creatine and fish oil. No matter how little money I have, I always get in my BCAAs:

5g with breakfast and 5g with my bedtime shake.

On workout days I also have 5g immediately pre and post-workout along with a pint of chocolate milk.

Whenever I can afford to, I get in as much as 10g in each of my BCAA ‘feedings’.

To whoever asked if it was better to take several small doses or a few large ones; I think that both CT and Berardi have said that the more you take at once the better the effects (i.e. they are exponential to a certain degree), so take fewer, large doses.

[quote]jarvis wrote:
[i]5g[/i] with breakfast and [i]5g[/i] with my bedtime shake.

On workout days I also have [i]5g[/i] immediately pre and post-workout along with a pint of chocolate milk.

Whenever I can afford to, I get in as much as [i]10g[/i] in each of my BCAA ‘feedings’.[/quote]

Not to purposely be nitpicky… but 5 isn’t 10.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
David Barr wrote:
0.2g/kilo bodyweight is a good place to start, and work up from there.’

jsbrook wrote:
Wow, that’s a helluva a lot of BCAAs! Higher even than CT’s recommendations, no?[/quote]

Naw, that’s only 20g for a 220lb guy. This is on the lowest end.

Americans. :wink:

[quote]David Barr wrote:
Naw, that’s only 20g for a 220lb guy. This is on the lowest end.

Americans. ;)[/quote]

Damn non-Americans and your kilogram bullshit… :slight_smile:

What’s everyone’s opinion about Liver Tabs?

Cheaper, many other Amino Acids, and vitamins as well.

Are the BCAA’s that they boast just in whole protein form, or are they broken down into the Aminos?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Unless you’re eating very little protein, I doubt you would see a difference with BCAA.
Sure is a good way for a supplement company to make a killing though!

[quote]chrisrodx wrote:
Unless you?re eating very little protein, I doubt you would see a difference with BCAA.
Sure is a good way for a supplement company to make a killing though!
[/quote]

Well, I eat at least 300g of protein a day, and they’ve done a lot for me. They’ve provided a terrific tailwind to my progress…can I prove they work? Of course not, but I now consider them essential.

To be honest, I’d go so far as to say that if money really is that tight, I’d use a cheaper, lower quality protein supplement if it meant getting in over 20 g BCAA per day.