T Nation

Counting BCAA, Creatine, and Other Amino Acid

So it is my understanding that amino acid supplements count as a gram of protein for each gram of the powder correct? This being the case, I should count these against my calorie requirements and protein requirements for the day correct?

Or do I just not count these at all?

The diet I am on counts for 195g combined of the following…
BCAA
Creatine
Glutamine
Glycine
Leucine

I guess while we are on the topic, I am counting the calories and fat grams from my 30g of omega-3’s a day too.

The reason why I am asking is because I am in a cutting phase. I am following the following diet…

On lifting days, there are 195g of the above supplements, which is 780 calories.
On non lifting days there are 50g of the above, which is 200 calories.

This is not counting whey protein.

So I need to know if I need to adjust my protein intake and hence my calorie intake for the day to maintain my weight loss.

If I cut calories by 500 below maintenance, and then consume 780 calories in amino acids, I am not cutting anymore.

So on lifting days I would need 105g of dietary protein outside my supps on lifting days and 250g of dietary protein on non lifting days right?

Hope this clears up the question.

Thanks!

[quote]bbattle wrote:
So it is my understanding that amino acid supplements count as a gram of protein for each gram of the powder correct? This being the case, I should count these against my calorie requirements and protein requirements for the day correct?

Or do I just not count these at all?

The diet I am on counts for 195g combined of the following…
BCAA
Creatine
Glutamine
Glycine
Leucine

I guess while we are on the topic, I am counting the calories and fat grams from my 30g of omega-3’s a day too. [/quote]

Unless you want to give youself a migrane headache, do not count fish oil and amino acids into your protein and fat total, seriously, just take both and real food on top of that, being that anal about something as minute as that will just end up raising your cortisol levels!

Haha, I will admit I am a little bit neurotic.

BUT, 780 calories a day isn’t minute, that many calories could offset a 500 calorie deficit, same as 30g of fish oil is 300calories. That is 1080 extra calories on a training day, 500 on an off day. That is significant.

I remember that article. I also re read it. Dd you?

The biggest thing about CT, is that he goes along the lines that you have a brain and all his work outs/nutrition plans have flexibility and adaptability.

Count it, don’t count it. It’s up to you. Just adapt. Make a decision, stick to it, make changes if needed. We could be the exact same height, weight, fat percentage, etc and we would most probably have different caloric requirements.

But re read the article. He is not anal about what you are asking (he is also selling supplements), why are you?

[quote]JFG wrote:
I remember that article. I also re read it. Dd you?

The biggest thing about CT, is that he goes along the lines that you have a brain and all his work outs/nutrition plans have flexibility and adaptability.

Count it, don’t count it. It’s up to you. Just adapt. Make a decision, stick to it, make changes if needed. We could be the exact same height, weight, fat percentage, etc and we would most probably have different caloric requirements.

But re read the article. He is not anal about what you are asking (he is also selling supplements), why are you?[/quote]

So in short you have no idea how the body treats amino acids relative to protein and its caloric effect on weight gain/loss.

I have a brain, and that is why I see it being a potential problem. In a diet involving planning out a calorie deficit, the deficit existing is important. I have a body type that is extremely sensitive to the calorie range I am in. I also have a body type where I will tend to be losing fat and gaining muscle in a way where my scale weight does not adjust much and it is sometimes hard to tell week to week what my progress is.

Clearly, for this reason, I want to understand amino acid super suppings effect on my calorie deficit. Yes we could be the same measurements and have different needs. But no matter who we are, a gram of protein will always be 4 calories for both of us, the question is, do amino acids play by the same rules.

BCAAs don’t count as protein, you need all 23 (I think it’s 23) to count as a gram of protein. The fish oil you can count if you want but as stated before being that anal about something like that is kinda pointless. If this is your first time dieting, its more important to figure out how your body reacts to certain foods.

Why don’t you count the BCAA’s? It’s still “GRAMS of protein.”

I am in the same boat as the OP. I’m often flustered by whether or not to count BCAA’s, as the nutrition labels often say “0 calories” per serving. Yet the fish oil always has calories listed, so I count those against my total when dieting.

Take them and don’t count them. If you find that it puts you in a position where you aren’t losing weight/getting leaner then remove something from your diet.

I would count them as a gram. People who don’t count aren’t precise. Your body doesn’t disregard the cals because the bottle does.

[quote]bbattle wrote:

[quote]JFG wrote:
I remember that article. I also re read it. Dd you?

The biggest thing about CT, is that he goes along the lines that you have a brain and all his work outs/nutrition plans have flexibility and adaptability.

Count it, don’t count it. It’s up to you. Just adapt. Make a decision, stick to it, make changes if needed. We could be the exact same height, weight, fat percentage, etc and we would most probably have different caloric requirements.

But re read the article. He is not anal about what you are asking (he is also selling supplements), why are you?[/quote]

So in short you have no idea how the body treats amino acids relative to protein and its caloric effect on weight gain/loss.

I have a brain, and that is why I see it being a potential problem. In a diet involving planning out a calorie deficit, the deficit existing is important. I have a body type that is extremely sensitive to the calorie range I am in. I also have a body type where I will tend to be losing fat and gaining muscle in a way where my scale weight does not adjust much and it is sometimes hard to tell week to week what my progress is.

Clearly, for this reason, I want to understand amino acid super suppings effect on my calorie deficit. Yes we could be the same measurements and have different needs. But no matter who we are, a gram of protein will always be 4 calories for both of us, the question is, do amino acids play by the same rules.
[/quote]

I have no idea how it affects YOU.

Coaches work with you and your feedback to learn how you deal with the diet they present you. There guidelines and rule of thumbs, but in the end, no one knows the exact amount of calories you need to be in deficit, but you. And that is learned thru trial and error. The good news is that it gets easier with time as you know what your body responds to.

Just to clarify, you lack consistency if you have a hard time telling what your progress is. Sorry, it’s not your body type. Eat the same thing for a week. You WILL be able to tell what is happening to your body.

But, you will probably go on and on about this and actually forget to work out, so either look at the label or calculate as a protein.

Again, it doesn’t matter, just be consistent. If you calculate them now, always use them in your calculation. At the end of the day, if you feel run down all the time after having calculated everything, you are still lacking calories, that you included the bcaa’ s or not.

BCAAs aren’t a complete protein source therefore they can’t have caloric impact., they only contain three of the 23 that you need to make a complete protein. you could only count an essential amino acid would like humapro as a complete protein since your body can make the non essential ones…hence non essential. If you don’t believe me I suggest you do some more research on basic nutrition.

People seem to just not understand the question.

If you could gato10, please link me to a paper, document, report, essay…SOMETHING that talks about how consuming amino acids does not have a caloric impact on the body. If your body processes it, and can use it for energy, then it sounds like it should. If you know of a source that discusses amino acids having ZERO IMPACT ON YOUR BODY’S METABOLISM, THEN PLEASE LINK IT.

I have been scouring the internet, and have found no such source. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, and do not site any source.

I understand that amino acids are “incomplete proteins”. The FDA uses this as their justification to not have to list them in the nutrition facts of packaged goods as food. However, this is a reflection of the FDAs decision in regulating commerce, not a reflection of HOW they are processed by the human body.

I am concerned with how they are processed by the human body, not how the government chooses to classify the labeling of food products.

I love how people commenting on this thread try to tell me to do my research, when it seems they don’t even understand the question or the point.

[quote]gato10 wrote:
BCAAs aren’t a complete protein source therefore they can’t have caloric impact., they only contain three of the 23 that you need to make a complete protein. [/quote]

This isn’t actually true. For example, consider rice/beans: both are incomplete protein sources (combine em and THEN its complete) and yet we clearly track their protein contributions separately.

[quote]bbattle wrote:
BUT, 780 calories a day isn’t minute, that many calories could offset a 500 calorie deficit, same as 30g of fish oil is 300calories. That is 1080 extra calories on a training day, 500 on an off day. That is significant.[/quote]

I don’t see how its even remotely possible to get in 780kcals worth of BCAA’s on any given day. Whether at 4kcal/gram (or the 1kcal/gram I’ve also seen somewhere) I just don’t see it.

bubble, I understand your question, you asked if you should count them. imo (and others) i don’t think you should. I don’t have any link to what your asking, but i wrote what i wrote because i remember shelby starnes and i think ken skip hill saying that you should not worry about the minuscule amounts of fats and proteins in certain foods ie, rice, lean cuts of meat. I also base my response off of countless other BBs that use BCAAs as a way to keep aminos in their system, while dieting, but not causing their macros for the day to be altered. sorry i can’t site anything.

chill, i get what you’re saying too, but I think what i wrote ^there explains my response. It’s just not enough to worry about, if pro level bbs don’t worry about i’m pretty sure we shouldn’t either.

@chillain:

Here is the article where Thib makes the suggestion. If you total up the grams of sups for a lifting day on this program, it ends up being 195g between glutamine, BCAA, Leucine, Glycine, and Creatine. 135 Pre-/Peri/Post workout, and then an additional 60 comes from other servings throughout the day, not including the Whey Isolate.

It seems like a lot to me to.

jesus tap dancing christ… how many calories are in toothpaste?

I never count BCAA.
I always count fish/pumkin/primrose, etc. oil.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
I never count BCAA.
I always count fish/pumkin/primrose, etc. oil. [/quote]

+1

[quote]bbattle wrote:
@chillain:

Here is the article where Thib makes the suggestion. If you total up the grams of sups for a lifting day on this program, it ends up being 195g between glutamine, BCAA, Leucine, Glycine, and Creatine. 135 Pre-/Peri/Post workout, and then an additional 60 comes from other servings throughout the day, not including the Whey Isolate.

It seems like a lot to me to.[/quote]

Consider going straight to the source for clarification and then posting CT’s direct response here. Since it seems you’re not very interested in add’l random posters’ experiences.

For every person that tells you it’s 4 cal per gram, I’ll find you someone that says it 0.

Good luck with splitting the atom.