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Question Re: BCAAs

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this site and realize that BCAAs are a “staple” of sorts.

So I checked the protein I use (post workout) to see what was in it…

First here is what I found, and then I’ll ask my question:

My Protein

Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
(the following is copied from Jay Robb’s site:
http://www.jayrobb.com/cat_proteinWheyVan_1_lb.asp)

Calories: 113
Protein: 24 g
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 13 mg
Sodium: 62 mg
Potassium: 170 mg
Phosphorus: 85 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 3.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 2 g naturally occurring from lactose

Amino Acid Profile Per Serving (Jay Robb’s Whey Protein)
Isoleucine (Branch Chain Amino Acid) 1757 mg.
Leucine (Branch Chain Amino Acid) 3031 mg.
Valine (Branch Chain Amino Acid) 1273 mg.
Alanine 1085 mg.
Arginine 997 mg.
Aspartic Acid 2168 mg.
Cysteine 1416 mg.
Glutamic Acid 2953 mg.
Glycine 611 mg.
Histidine 299 mg.
Lysine 2483 mg.
Methionine 679 mg.
Phenylalanine 1456 mg.
Proline 236 mg.
Serine 1316 mg.
Tryptophan 563 mg.
Threonine 967 mg.
Tyrosine 981 mg.

Jay Robb’s Whey Protein Provides all the Essential and Branch Chain Amino Acids, plus 588 mg. of other naturally occurring amino acids.

—end of copy and paste—

So then I looked (for comparison at the BCAAs that Biotest sells:

(again copy and pasted)

L-isoluceine 900 mg
L-leucine 1620 mg
L-valine 1080 mg

—end of copy and paste—

So it looks like there are more BCAAs in a serving of the protein than there are in the BCAAs (pill form)

I’m am NOT knocking Biotest…I love the other supplements that I’ve gotten…I’m just curious…

How do I determine if I actually need to supplement with MORE BCAAs?

And what should my expectations be if I did?

I’ll be placing an order for other things either way…I’m just not sure about the BCAAs.

Thanks to anyone who might be able to help, or even to additional resources that can help me find my answer.

you’re talking per 3 caps I think, where as you need to look at more like 10-20 per day.

The two things you need to look at are the actual proportions – it seems getting them in the right proportions is better.

And also the fact that if you supplement with extra BCAAs, you’re taking probably no less than 10 or so per day. This means you’re really ensuring your body is getting enough of these, and the research suggest they really spike up protein synthesis (muscle growth).

I guess it just depends on your goals, but I’ve seen so many people talk about greater muscle growth and faster recovery from using BCAAs, usually in addition to good protein powder, that I bought some in my last Biotest order, and eagerly await them :wink:

BCAAs are most effective centered around the workout and between meals. Protein with BCAAs and other amino acids are great. But protein has calories. Additional BCAA supplementation centered around the workout is very beneficial. And, particularly when hypocaloric, BCAAs between meals have the benefit of keeping a steady stream of aminos in the body when eating is not desireable.

You’re comparing the BCAA content of protein vs. free form amino acids. There’s a big difference.

[quote]jsbrook wrote (edited to key in on where I have questions):
Protein with BCAAs and other amino acids are great. But protein has calories. … And, particularly when hypocaloric[/quote]

I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I get the “why” part of it. Why are calories “bad” when it comes to BCAAs?

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:
You’re comparing the BCAA content of protein vs. free form amino acids. There’s a big difference.[/quote]

What IS the difference? Is there an article somewhere here on T-Nation that I should read regarding this difference?
Thanks!

Also wanted to say THANKS for the replies!

and had yet another follow-up question re: daily intake.

Is there an article here or elsewhere that describes the recommended doseage for BCAAs? Is it per body weight or something?

[quote]m00se wrote:
ChrisKing wrote:
You’re comparing the BCAA content of protein vs. free form amino acids. There’s a big difference.

What IS the difference? Is there an article somewhere here on T-Nation that I should read regarding this difference?
Thanks![/quote]

"Muscle tissue will grow in the presence of a number of factors, including exercise, hormones (growth hormone, insulin, testosterone and thyroid) and nutrients. Nutrition science has advanced to the point where athletes who supplement with free form amino acids can get IAAs, high in BCAA content, to the muscles much more effectively.

The key is the window of opportunity that occurs immediately after exercise, when the muscle is especially receptive to nutrients and the blood flow to the exercised muscles remains high. The solution to optimizing recovery and growth in this case could include eating a small meal composed of protein with both simple and complex carbohydrates.

This isn’t the current high tech approach, however. For one, if you trained hard, chances are - even if a convenient and light, nutritious meal was readily available - you wouldn’t feel like eating. More important, a high protein meal won’t put significant levels of amino acids into your bloodstream until a couple of hours after you eat it, especially if blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract has been diminished by a hard training session. The bottom line: Even if you eat the right foods soon after training, the nutrients will arrive at the muscle too late to take full advantage of the window of opportunity."

By keeping free form amino acids in the blood stream you are ensuring an anabolic (muscle growing) state as much as possible. Whole food like meat, eggs, and such is your first layer. Quality protein powders like Metabolic Drive is your second layer, and adding in highly bio-available BCAA’s is your third layer. For anyone interested in optimal muscle gains this should be a priority.

Take care,

D