T Nation

Help w/ BCAA Studies

So heres the deal:
I take a shitload of BCAA during my workouts, have been doing it for about a year now and have seen tremendous results. My lifting coach at college says taking BCAA DURING the workout does not do a thing and what I am experiencing is a placebo affect. She wants scientific evidence to back my claims.

Ive been scouring pubmed and other sites looking for peer reviewed articles on BCAA during resistance training but have not found very good ones. Ive found pleanty on how BCAA increases endurance during aerobic training and how they are muscle-sparing during a cut, but that was not enough for her. I showed her all of Berardi’s articles (the head lifting coach at my college is in love with this site BTW and recommends Berardi to us), but she said that did not constitute scientific evidence.

So help me out T-Nation!! I will continue to search for studies but if any of you know of or have seen studies which show BCAA have an ergogenic effect when taken DURING the workout please share! This woman is about as ignorant and stubborn as it gets (she recommends NO-Explode pre and Muscle Milk after a workout . . . HA!!!) SO LETS BRING HER DOWN!

I don’t see BCAA’s providing much during a workout, other than decreasing the likelyhood of muscle catabolism during an intense workout.

btw- do you go to UMD?

No, I go to a D1 school in Washington DC . . . I would assume at UMD they would be a bit more well-educated in terms of nutrition, considering their football and basketball teams kick ass (some years).

I found a few studies showing that BCAA ingestion during and pre-lifting increases blood plasma concentrations of BCAA after exercise and signals mTOR among other genes, resulting in anti-catabolic and anabolic activities . . . if thats not good enough for her, well, im not sure what to do!

What’s your deal with trying to prove her wrong, is she trying to get you to stop your BCAA consumption? If you know it works for you and you have seen results then forget about her and do your thing. She’s probably just sitting on her high horse.
On another note, I have also found that BCAA during workouts and interspersed throughout the day between meals has helped me gain some great lean mass over the last 4 months. I will try searching with you. Ever try scholar.google.com? It may sound crazy but I have done a lot of research and even worked at a neuropsychiatric research institute and this site is great at getting research articles.

Here are a couple articles. They both have a low N. Do some more searching around, they’re out there.



Well, she says BCAA during the workout do absolutely nothing . . . I am living proof that they DO help. I have a few of my teammates taking BCAA and Citrulline malate and she told me if I was subjecting my teammates to unsafe supplements she would stop me. Granted, BCAA are as safe as safe gets, but the fact she called me out pissed me off.

The point in trying to prove her wrong is that she is the grad student in exsc sci and its pathetic how little she knows about bodybuilding nutrition and supplementation. Shoot, our basketball players are some of the skinniest in D1 and eat Met-rx bars after their workout, and its no wonder we suck so badly this year! Some of those players havent gained weight in 2 years . . . but I digress

Ive been searching all morning and have found some goodies, thanks for the Google scholar advice, though

Here is another source that has helpful information and citations:

Clueless grad students piss me off too.