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  1. #1
    Registered User shavs's Avatar
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    Do BCAAs really work?

    Look, I know taking BCAAs wont make you huge, that's not their job. But, I have been taking xtend for the longest time, and I can't say I have seen a change in anything solely because of the Xtend. The weight/muscle gain is from the food/protein/carbs. As far as taking it preworkout to feel more energized, on days where i was out of my xtend and took no BCAAs preworkout I felt no difference. $60 for 90 servings is a lot, I could be spending on something else maybe not gym related. Are BCAAs really worth it?
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  2. #2
    Registered User x-ray vision's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shavs View Post
    on days where i was out of my xtend and took no BCAAs preworkout I felt no difference.
    You're not supposed to feel a difference. Not feeling a difference on a day to day basis is not evidence that BCAAs aren't helping to increase muscle mass. That said...

    Are BCAAs really worth it?
    Nope. As you mentioned, you're getting protein from other sources. If you're taking whey protein powder, that alone is almost 25% BCAAs. Getting in enough protein overall is far more important than supplementing with BCAAs pre-workout.
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  3. #3
    Registered User dcblackbird's Avatar
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    I'm thinking you'll find more answers on the supplement board.
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  4. #4
    Lean Strength Athlete -TC-'s Avatar
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    not worth it
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  5. #5
    Registered User shavs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by -TC- View Post
    not worth it
    I'm starting to think that too, but what about during a cut, I heard specifically you need to keep up BCAAs. Very high in fact.
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  6. #6
    Registered User shavs's Avatar
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    bump
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  7. #7
    Picture Me Rollin' loyal2thegame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shavs View Post
    bump
    I use xtend and honestly its hard to say. I'm cutting right now and i'm worried about losing mass so that is why I supplement with it; however, I'm going to think of a way to track my progress better using vs. without and see if it makes a difference.
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  8. #8
    Registered User gottalift78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shavs View Post
    I'm starting to think that too, but what about during a cut, I heard specifically you need to keep up BCAAs. Very high in fact.
    I agree on this. Many will tell you, on a bulk you may not benefit from BCAA, but when cutting it's important to keep your BCAAs high as you don't get the amount in your normal diet. I have been cutting for about a month now and take Xtend during my work out and found it has given me more endurance. I take a shake after and leave the rest up to my diet. Give it a shot and see for your self, if you don't like it, then you will know not to use it.
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  9. #9
    Registered User shavs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gottalift78 View Post
    I agree on this. Many will tell you, on a bulk you may not benefit from BCAA, but when cutting it's important to keep your BCAAs high as you don't get the amount in your normal diet. I have been cutting for about a month now and take Xtend during my work out and found it has given me more endurance. I take a shake after and leave the rest up to my diet. Give it a shot and see for your self, if you don't like it, then you will know not to use it.
    I use xtend now and have bee for a while. Although, I am trying to cut now. Either way i just ordered a big tub before I posted the thread anyway, but if I don't see a difference after that I may stop.
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  10. #10
    Internet Pirate Opies's Avatar
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    if you are going to supplement your diet with BCAA's, at least buy supplement direct or some other bulk producer so you can get 1kg of pure BCAA powder for 40$. The premade BCAA mixes are a huge money sink
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  11. #11
    The Italian Stallion BadWog's Avatar
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    IMO BCAA's are a huge waste of money, even whilst cutting.

    I've been cutting for a while and have noticed no muscle loss, whilst gaining a lot of strength during my cut. I eat 1g protein/lb LBM and that's it.

    Supplement companies overstate the amount of protein and BCAA's you need to avoid catabolism just so they make more money off you.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Euro850R's Avatar
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    I disagree with being a huge waste of money, especially whilst cutting.

    "BCAA supplementation (76% leucine) in combination with moderate energy restriction has been shown to induce significant and preferential losses of visceral adipose tissue and to allow maintenance of a high level of performance"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...t=ExternalLink

    Calorie restriction and BCAA use in pro wrestlers.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9...t=ExternalLink
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  13. #13
    Registered User Hellcraft's Avatar
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    One thing is for sure - they are expensive.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Euro850R View Post
    I disagree with being a huge waste of money, especially whilst cutting.

    "BCAA supplementation (76% leucine) in combination with moderate energy restriction has been shown to induce significant and preferential losses of visceral adipose tissue and to allow maintenance of a high level of performance"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...t=ExternalLink

    Calorie restriction and BCAA use in pro wrestlers.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9...t=ExternalLink
    To be fair, the first study is a lit review that references the second study. Unfortunately I do not have access to the second study that was posted directly but there are a couple of things you should be aware of.

    1) In the second study that you posted there was actually no differences in exercise performance following BCAA supplementation during an energy restricted diet. This is even mentioned directly in the abstract for that article.

    There was no change in aerobic (VO2max) (p > 0.75) and anaerobic capacities (Wingate test) (p > 0.81), and in muscular strength (p > 0.82).
    Given the information presented in the abstract I do not see how the authors can make such a claim that BCAA supplementation allows the maintenance of a high level of performance. Rather, given that there were no effects on exercise performance at all, it should have stated BCAA supplementation does not impact exercise performance at all. So although taking BCAA does not hinder your performance, it also does not help it.

    2) I would really like to take a look at the original study because something is off in the way they presented the data. Here is what is stated in regards to weight and fat loss:

    A significant highest body weight loss (-4 kg, p < 0.05) and decrease in the percent of body fat (-17.3%, p < 0.05) were observed for subjects of the hBCAA group. Subjects of the hBCAA group exhibited a significant reduction (-34.4%, p < 0.05) in abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT).
    First I would like to know what the 4 kgs difference is. Did the BCAA group reduce their body weight by 4 kgs? If so, how much weight did the control croup lose? Or did they mean that the average difference in weight loss between the BCAA group and the control group was 4 kgs? This makes a difference in terms of what is being reported and I would like to see the raw numbers that should be presented in the article. Either way, a 4 kg ( 9 lbs) loss in body weight is a lot considering the study lasted for 19 days. That would be a little over 3 lbs per week, so it is most likely not just fat loss, but water as well. This is especially true since the subjects were consuming approximately 2000 kcals per day.

    In the second part of what was stated above they mentioned that there was a 17.3% reduction in body fat? I highly doubt that any subject lost 17.3% body fat during 19 days, so this leads me to believe that they are trying to say that the difference in weight loss between the 2 groups was 17.3%. For example what they might be alluding to is that the the BCAA group lost 5 lbs (I don't have access tot he raw numbers so yes I am making these up to demonstrate a point). If the difference in weight loss that occurred between the 2 groups was 17.3%, that would mean that group B would have lost 4.1 lbs. Now the question that someone should ask themselves is whether or not losing that additional 0.9 lbs (which in part could still be withing measurement error) is worth spending the money for the supplement. The cost to benefit ratio needs to be looked at here. I do feel the authors are being misleading here, however, I would still like to look at the original study to make sure my assessment is accurate. I will hold off my judgment call until I see the actual study.

    They also mentioned that there was an decrease in visceral fat (fat surrounding the internal organs) in the BCAA group. This may be great from an overall health standpoint, however, caution needs to be taken here. The control diet was 33% fat and the BCAA diet contained 20% fat. This may not have anything to do with BCAA supplementation, but rather the lower percentage of fat contained in the diet. Also, note that some of the loss in overall body fat is due to a reduction in visceral body fat. Therefore some of that reduction in body fat would not even be noticeable from a bodybuilders perspective because the loss of fat is coming from around the internal organs and not subcutaneous fat beneath the skin. So once again, the cost to benefit ratio needs to come into play.

    Other issues that need to be considered is the overall amount of protein that was used in the diets in the studies mentioned in the lit review that was posted (the first link). One of the studies compared the differences in BCAA supplementation to a diet that contained 0.57 grams/lb of protein. This amount is actually on the low end of what is currently recommended (0.55-0.8 grams/lb). No comparisons were made using diets that contained higher amounts of protein, so it is possible that increasing the protein content of the diet could offset any potential benefits of BCAA supplementation. Keep in mind I am not suggesting you need huge quantities of protein to offset this difference.
    Last edited by SumDumGoi; 02-26-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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  15. #15
    Wat do? tman0307's Avatar
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    I notice a big difference when I take BCAAs and when I dont. Taking BCAAs pre and during my workout seems to give me better endurance and mental clarity for the workout, and I recover faster between sets, and also notice less soreness between workouts.

    I take 10-15 grams of BCAAS pre/intra, and it has become a staple for me.
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  16. #16
    Registered User LtheChase's Avatar
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    Just my experience so far, I take about 5g of BCAA's pre workout with some whey in a shake. Ive been doing this for awhile and I work out more then most (timewise) and I've noticed no difference at all in preformance or recovery. That given if I have to take more to make this a viable supplement I will probably have to pass because of the price. However for the sake of curiosity I will start going for 10g preworkout. After this tub is done I will try a new brand but if I get the same results then I am going to have to believe its all hype or a placebo effect.

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  17. #17
    Registered User arileff's Avatar
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    This summer, I have often not been hungry when I wake up. So, I just recently invested in some xtend because apparently ingesting some BCAA's pre/intra workout is important when training fasted. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's really making a huge difference, but I'm definitely making gains and that blue raz **** taste good!
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