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  1. #1
    Registered User Jacobk91's Avatar
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    Which BCAA ratio is best

    ive literally been googling and searching the forums for about 30 minutes trying to find out which is scientifically proven to be the best ratio. Ive found many different opinions. Whats best? 2:1:1 4:1:1 or 8:1:1?
    sorry if this gets asked a lot but i really cannot find a definitive answer
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  2. #2
    Registered User consumingfire's Avatar
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    is the ratio isoleucine:leucine:valine
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  3. #3
    Registered User Jacobk91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by consumingfire View Post
    is the ratio isoleucine:leucine:valine
    leucine is first
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  4. #4
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    yo jacob i dont have an answer for you but perhaps you have one for me, how essential are the bcaa's outside of leucine? is it a must that they work together? from what iv read its leucine thats mostly responsible for muscle growth? whats your opinion?
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    Originally Posted by Jacobk91 View Post
    ive literally been googling and searching the forums for about 30 minutes trying to find out which is scientifically proven to be the best ratio. Ive found many different opinions. Whats best? 2:1:1 4:1:1 or 8:1:1?
    sorry if this gets asked a lot but i really cannot find a definitive answer
    leucine is the amino acid with the strongest mTOR activation compared with the other two BCAAs, so, if you want to primarily stimulate protein synthesis, then a higher ratio of leucine : iso/val may be exactely what you are looking for.
    However, there is some evidence potentially suggesting a role of the other two BCAAs in fat loss; if you are primarily looking for fat loss, then I would go for a relatively balanced ratio of the three BCAAs.
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  6. #6
    Registered User tinman15's Avatar
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    Could you provide said evidence? Everything I've seen shows the opposite, that only leucine is needed and theoretically, the other 2 would only compete for absorption. Interested in anything you could provide.
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  7. #7
    Master of The Universe laneanders's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tinman15 View Post
    Could you provide said evidence? Everything I've seen shows the opposite, that only leucine is needed and theoretically, the other 2 would only compete for absorption. Interested in anything you could provide.
    I don't know where you found that they would compete for absorption. That's not the case at all. I don't know of any accurate information in regards to proper ratio but between 2:1:1 and 8:1:1 are used in nearly any BCAA product.

    The ratio is described in one product as being the same ratio that the amino acids themselves are found in muscular tissue. It apparently varies somehow from person to person between 2:1:1 and 8:1:1.

    Definitely need more leucine than the other two, but they definitely do not compete for absorption. As they are all three evident in the body. I'm not saying that you absolutely need all three, but they are all in your body so it's pretty obvious there is some reason for that.
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  8. #8
    Registered User tinman15's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by laneanders View Post
    I don't know where you found that they would compete for absorption. That's not the case at all. I don't know of any accurate information in regards to proper ratio but between 2:1:1 and 8:1:1 are used in nearly any BCAA product.

    The ratio is described in one product as being the same ratio that the amino acids themselves are found in muscular tissue. It apparently varies somehow from person to person between 2:1:1 and 8:1:1.

    Definitely need more leucine than the other two, but they definitely do not compete for absorption. As they are all three evident in the body. I'm not saying that you absolutely need all three, but they are all in your body so it's pretty obvious there is some reason for that.
    I should of said transport and isoleucine since you are going to make me get technical. Regardless, you are wanting to receive the effects of leucine, not isoleucine or valine. That is unless you can tell me, what is it that isoleucine and valine do that we want to receive a pharmacological effect from that leucine itself hasn't shown to provide on it's own? It was once thought that the bcaas are not only anti-catabolic but anabolic. But research is pointing towards just leucine.

    Still, absorption isn't wrong either, as transport and absorption are directly correlated. Na+ LAT ( L system amino acid transporter ) are mostly what we're interested specifically the LAT1 subtype which is expressed in muscle. All the bcaa's have a high affinity for LAT1, so they would compete, specifically leucine and isoleucine. This can be confirmed through competitive inhibition studies.

    I've not seen anything saying they promote fat loss, regardless of the mixture. Only seen anabolic and anti-catabolic properties, now thought to be attributed primarily by leucine. Which is why I asked for said evidence, there are so many studies, it can be difficult to filter through.

    Hope this helps, and in the future you shouldn't use the word definitely, let alone think it, unless you have the knowledge to make that assertion. That kind of thought processing not only prevents you from learning, but also makes you look ignorant.

    I don't know where YOU found a variation between the need for 2:1:1 and 8:1:1 but I would imagine those are just some made up numbers by supplement companies who often just make a bunch of **** up in order to sell you something. I could be wrong though, and am open to insight you can provide if you are capable of providing it.
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  9. #9
    Registered User wildthings's Avatar
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    Is it true that the 8:1:1 ratio helps to boost protein synthesis more than the lesser ratios, anyone has the studies on this?
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  10. #10
    Anna Ball Lick papagunz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wildthings View Post
    Is it true that the 8:1:1 ratio helps to boost protein synthesis more than the lesser ratios, anyone has the studies on this?
    It makes sense when you consider that leucine is the actual branch chain amino acid thats signaling mTOR. You could extrapolate out even further and say straight leucine is better than 8:1:1 BCAA for muscle protein synthesis.

    To the op: If just BCAAs are being consumed I prefer a 2:1:1, if its mixed with hydrowhey or I ate prior to lifting I don't really care if its 4:1:1 or straight leucine.
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  11. #11
    Registered User RaceBMX4130's Avatar
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    So far, from what I've been reading, it's been studied that you want a minimum of .02 grams of leucine per serving of protein. So basically, a 200lb individual is lookin at 4 grams of leucine per serving. This basically helps the muscle absorb all of the protein anabolically possible. Or, get the most out of the source of protein i suppose.
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    Leucine is the best amino acid to supplement for solid muscle mass and strength gains. I find it pretty convenient to use Leucine powder and add that to my protein shake. All Branch chain amino acids will help play an important role for your body, so be sure to buy a quality bcaa product as they are incredibly anti-catabolic which is great for cutting and keeping your hard earned muscle. I like to take bcaa when i wake up, before training, after training and before bed. Some might say that taking 4 servings per day is to much, but if you are a hard gainer and are struggling, try this example for a month and track your results
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  13. #13
    Registered User animalpaks's Avatar
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    Supplementing with amino acids is unnecessary and an outright waist of money. more than a useable amount of amino acids are taken in each day in your food that you eat. Supplementing anymore amino acids will do nothing more than give you runs on the toilet and cause possible brain damage.
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    Every two molecules of leucine metabolized uses a molecule each of isoleucine and valine. If you went heavy on the leucine-only you can deplete concentrations of the other two BCAA from the amino acid pool. This is why the original products featured 2:1:1. I've never seen anything backing the 4:1:1 or 8:1:1 so i'd assume it was more for marketing than research. If you're taking the BCAA alone (i.e. no other aminos or carbs) then i'd stick to 2:1:1. If you're aiming to boost your leucine intake for a particular meal it looks like you can go a little heavier, so long as all EAAs are present - although I base this on something recently published in the AJCN that i've only skimmed: http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/20...jcn.111.017061

    That said, given the high protein intakes of bodybuilders and many athletes using a 4 or 8:1:1 probably won't hurt.
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    Registered User Virulent2's Avatar
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    I just started taking BCAA's and I'm feeling great. Animalpaks, I'm curious where you heard that information, link?
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    Originally Posted by Virulent2 View Post
    I just started taking BCAA's and I'm feeling great. Animalpaks, I'm curious where you heard that information, link?
    judge for yourself. He said that:

    1. supplementing more aminos is unnecessary because you get enough from diet
    2. aminos can cause brain damage

    so therefore.... eating causes brain damage
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  17. #17
    Registered User SkatDaddy's Avatar
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    Huh?

    "Supplementing with amino acids is unnecessary and an outright waist of money. more than a useable amount of amino acids are taken in each day in your food that you eat. Supplementing anymore amino acids will do nothing more than give you runs on the toilet and cause possible brain damage."

    I have been taking BCAAs for six months (during workout and add to my homemade mass gainer). I recover faster, get more quality reps in, and I am gaining more mass on average than before. Why? Due to BCAAs keeping me in anabolism because I am maintaining a positive nitrogen balance; and BCAAs can be used to provide energy directly to muscle tissue, just to name a couple benefits.
    FACT: Hospitals give IV BCAAs to many patients

    Now, about your statements:
    1.) How do you know that an individual gets enough aminos their diet, much less enough BCAAs and enough of each essential amino? You have made quite the sweeping generalization.
    2.) As a biochemistry major, I read MAD studies and examine lots of research data. NEVER have I come across anything that theorized that aminos cause brain damage. IN FACT, a recent study seems to prove that your statement is a total fallacy. Check out this excerpt:

    Neurology researchers have shown that feeding amino acids to brain-injured animals restores their cognitive abilities and may set the stage for the first effective treatment for cognitive impairments suffered by people with traumatic brain injuries.
    "We have shown in an animal model that dietary intervention can restore a proper balance of neurochemicals in the injured part of the brain, and simultaneously improves cognitive performance," said study leader Akiva S. Cohen, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
    Link: news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/12-08-2009/0005147067&EDATE=
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    I wouldn't feel the need to defend your point to someone who has 4 total post and doesn't give any supporting information for their statements.

    Like This:

    http://www.jissn.com/content/9/1/20/abstract

    The present study has shown that BCAA administered before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces indices of muscle damage and accelerates recovery in resistancetrained males. It seems likely that BCAA provided greater bioavailablity of substrate to improve protein synthesis and thereby the extent of secondary muscle damage associated with strenuous resistance exercise. Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT01529281
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