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  1. #1
    Registered User bassdreamer's Avatar
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    Best time to take BCAA?

    I tried to search this with little luck, so pardon my silly question. Does taking (additional, beyond what's in food and protien powders) BCAA make a difference?

    And if so, should I add them to my diet when I'm bulking (now) or dieting (come Jan)?

    Or is it not really necessary.

    I currently supplement with whey protien for pwo and NO-explode prior to working out, along with glucosomine and a multi.
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  2. #2
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bassdreamer View Post
    I tried to search this with little luck, so pardon my silly question. Does taking (additional, beyond what's in food and protien powders) BCAA make a difference?

    And if so, should I add them to my diet when I'm bulking (now) or dieting (come Jan)?

    Or is it not really necessary.

    I currently supplement with whey protien for pwo and NO-explode prior to working out, along with glucosomine and a multi.

    Very marginally, meaning, if you have the money, go ahead. But you probably won't miss it if you don't.

    Past Creatine and Whey (or, at least PWO protein) this is going to be the case with most supps for long term results.


    *edit-sorry, didn't even answer the original question.

    Timing of BCAAs: Post workout.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  3. #3
    Registered User pastorgbc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bassdreamer View Post
    I tried to search this with little luck, so pardon my silly question. Does taking (additional, beyond what's in food and protien powders) BCAA make a difference?

    And if so, should I add them to my diet when I'm bulking (now) or dieting (come Jan)?

    Or is it not really necessary.

    I currently supplement with whey protien for pwo and NO-explode prior to working out, along with glucosomine and a multi.
    I have had excellent success using Xtend during my workout. Per the recommendation at Scivation, I mix it with a whey protein isolate and sip it during the workout.

    I find that it gives me energy during the workout and eliminates my need for a post workout drink, which is good for me because I workout on my lunch hour and would prefer to eat a meal after my workout.

    Ray
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  4. #4
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    BCAAs can be very effective while cutting, as well as bulking. Scivation (Xtend) recommends taking before, during, and after workouts. I also take a couple of scoops almost every morning upon waking.

    Instead of sipping it during my workouts like I used to, I now mix 5 scoops...drink about 1/3 before workouts, drink water during workouts, and drink the remaining 2/3 with CEE or mono, as I'm on my last exercise. It is pricey (even bulk isn't that cheap), but I believe in the value of it. While recently cutting and doing a lot of cardio, I sipped Xtend all day long.
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  5. #5
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
    Very marginally, meaning, if you have the money, go ahead. But you probably won't miss it if you don't.

    Past Creatine and Whey (or, at least PWO protein) this is going to be the case with most supps for long term results.


    *edit-sorry, didn't even answer the original question.

    Timing of BCAAs: Post workout.
    I'm curious how you came to the marginal assessment? You obviously know your stuff, but I have come to a completely different conclusion about BCAA's....they are one of my most important supps, particularly Leucine. I buy my BCAA's in bulk and adjust the ratio so that the Leucine is at a 2-1-1 ratio.

    I'll try and dig up some more studies as I find the time......


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum
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  6. #6
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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  7. #7
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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  8. #8
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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  9. #9
    GOOOO COCKS!!!!! Hibiscus09's Avatar
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    I think they're important. I take mine before and after lifting.
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  10. #10
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    As I posted earlier, I not only think they are very useful, but I use them as well. But like just about any other supp out there, there are always studies that will support different beliefs. For the sake of an honest discussion, I'll share a post I recalled reading a few months back. I found it very interesting, but of course, I obviously chose to ignore its implications about BCAAs. This was posted by fitfFirm, and was in a thread about Xtend causing some bloating in some users, and I don't know the origin of the source:

    Originally Posted by fitnfirm
    Branched chain
    amino acids

    Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) include isoleucine, leucine and valine, essential amino acids found naturally in high protein foods. BCAAs are used orally to enhance exercise performance, increase stamina, improve mental concentration, build muscle and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise.1-4 BCAAs have also been used for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), latent portosystemic encephalopathy and chronic hepatic encephalopathy.5-8 BCAAs have also been used intravenously to treat acute hepatic encephalopathy.9 BCAAs are also known as isoleucine, L-isoleucine, leucine, L-leucine, valine and L-valine.1

    Mechanism of action: BCAAs are believed to be important in the development of central fatigue that results from alterations within the CNS, as opposed to peripheral or muscular fatigue resulting from impairments within the muscle itself.10 Prolonged exercise increases 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) levels in the brain, which then impairs exercise performance by depressing CNS activity. 5-HT levels are determined by the ratio of plasma free-tryptophan (fTRP) to BCAA. Plasma fTRP levels increase and BCAA levels decrease during prolonged exercise, resulting in a rise in the ratio, ultimately leading to increased brain TRP levels and 5-HT synthesis. BCAA supplementation is believed to help maintain an optimal ratio by maintaining plasma BCAA levels during exercise.5 However, the use of BCAAs as an energy source by exercising muscle is minimal when compared to that of glycogen and glucose.4

    Efficacy: There currently is no scientific evidence to support the claim that increasing protein or amino acid intake through supplementation will enhance metabolic efficiency and increase muscle mass.2,11 While some researchers have reported improvement in mental performance and ratings of perceived exertion,3 most studies fail to demonstrate any improvement in exercise following BCAA oral supplementation.11-14

    Adverse effects: Excess amino acids result in the production of urea, which is then eliminated in the urine through various processes which increase the loss of water. Excessive supplementation can lead to dehydration, gout, liver and kidney damage, calcium loss and impaired absorption of essential amino acids.2 BCAA supplementation may cause bloating, water loss and diarrhea. The resulting dehydration may result in impaired exercise capacity, muscle cramping and an inability to regulate body temperature. Extreme dehydration can result in hallucinations or heat stroke.
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  11. #11
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post

    Efficacy: There currently is no scientific evidence to support the claim that increasing protein or amino acid intake through supplementation will enhance metabolic efficiency and increase muscle mass.

    That looks like someone's opinion, not a study. The actual medical studies I posted above seem to refute that.
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  12. #12
    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hibiscus09 View Post
    I think they're important. I take mine before and after lifting.
    Do we need anymore proof, gentlemen?
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  13. #13
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    That looks like someone's opinion, not a study. The actual medical studies I posted above seem to refute that.
    I'm sure this won't shock you, but I disagree. It looks very much like a study to me. At least as appearance goes, it looks like many others I've read. In fact, I shared this with Pastorgbc, a month or so back, because of the last paragraph that relates to side effects.

    Again, and I can't emphasize this enough, you're always going to be able to find studies that refute one another when it comes to most supps.
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  14. #14
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mark1T View Post
    Do we need anymore proof, gentlemen?
    Good point! Case closed!
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  15. #15
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    Good point! Case closed!
    I will concur
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  16. #16
    When in doubt, mumble namtrag's Avatar
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    I took them for a while. Got blood work for a routine physical, liver enzymes were 4 times the upper limit of the normal range. Doc said to stop taking them. 2 weeks later, got retested and liver was smack in the middle of normal range.

    Needless to say I don't take them anymore.

    This may not happen to most people, but it happened to me. I just eat 1 g of protein per lean body mass per day now.
    Yorkshireman I: Right! I had to get up in the morning, at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill and pay mill-owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our dad would kill us and dance about on our graves, singing Hallelujah!
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    GOOOO COCKS!!!!! Hibiscus09's Avatar
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    Awww, ya'll are sweeties! Thanks Mark, Steve and Kevin! Ya'll are following the advice of someone who thinks wine and chocolate are life staples also.
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  18. #18
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    I'm curious how you came to the marginal assessment? You obviously know your stuff, but I have come to a completely different conclusion about BCAA's....they are one of my most important supps, particularly Leucine. I buy my BCAA's in bulk and adjust the ratio so that the Leucine is at a 2-1-1 ratio.

    I'll try and dig up some more studies as I find the time......


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

    First, thanks for the compliment.

    Second, I think the studies posted were sound, so I don't think the problem is the validity.

    I am saying very marginally in the context of how "natural" supplements work in general, and in the relative importance of BCAAs to sound diet, a protein supplement, and creatine. Maybe my semantics weren't correct. Sometimes, in trying to be clear, I become less clear .

    He was asking about BCAAs on TOP of a regular protein supplement. Which the second study posted directly addresses.

    To be clear, I think they are useful, but I wouldn't sweat it if they aren't in the budget.

    If you have had great results from them, then that is important feedback. I haven't really seen that much of a difference with them, but I take others experience seriously so I don't end up with an N=1 for observation.

    I have great results from glutamine, but others say it does nothing for them, so I can relate.
    Last edited by Defiant1; 11-28-2006 at 08:10 PM.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  19. #19
    Registered User dbx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
    I have great results from glutamine, but others say it does nothing for them.
    I hear you there. I stopped buying glutamine (individual tubs) after realizing no tangible effects. This is another supp with a lot of articles that claim it's a waste of time. The last glut study I read claimed that large doses only benefited long distance runners when consuming something like 20gs! after a lengthy run....and that the benefit (are you ready?)...was avoiding a respiratory infection over those who didn't use glutamine. There's truly some interesting stuff out there to read, and it can certainly be confusing to most of us.

    But as you said, it's what it does for you as an individual that counts.
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  20. #20
    Perma-bulker Andrew69's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mark1T View Post
    Do we need anymore proof, gentlemen?
    Not after seeing Hibi's avatar!
    You gotta love how sports will f*ck with ya, make you believe you can come back from an insurmountable deficit and then get kicked right in the nuts when you're almost there - Bluntdogg
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    Perma-bulker Andrew69's Avatar
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    Back on topic now
    Ive found BCAA's great, especially in aiding recovery. I find I recover much quicker after a workout while supplimenting with BCAA's , as well as greatly reducing the incidence of DOMS.
    You gotta love how sports will f*ck with ya, make you believe you can come back from an insurmountable deficit and then get kicked right in the nuts when you're almost there - Bluntdogg
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    Registered User bassdreamer's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate all the input and information.
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    Tired of being lied to resurrected's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bassdreamer View Post
    I tried to search this with little luck, so pardon my silly question. Does taking (additional, beyond what's in food and protien powders) BCAA make a difference?

    And if so, should I add them to my diet when I'm bulking (now) or dieting (come Jan)?

    Or is it not really necessary.

    I currently supplement with whey protien for pwo and NO-explode prior to working out, along with glucosomine and a multi.
    I just bought some to try , I read they are good for dieting amd bulking. Either way I will use it right after a workout.
    Life is what passes you by while you are too busy making a living.
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    Okay, help me out with another stupid question. I see BCAA's for 10 bucks then this xtend product a couple of you mentioned is much more expensive. What's the difference?

    My thoughts are this: Right now I am taking advantage of the inevideble holiday calorie increase (being in sales, there are parties and dinners galore to go too right now) and bulking up. It seems to be working because along with some weight increase, I am gaining good strength gains. But come Jan, I will be wanting to attempt to see the abs again before I die, but I don't want to loose this muscle gain. If I took BCAA's (either xtend or just the generic pills) would that help in combating the lower calorie intake, and cardio uptake I'll be doing to get lean?

    Kind of a long winded question, but like I said, Im in sales.
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    Registered User Dyrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bassdreamer View Post
    Okay, help me out with another stupid question. I see BCAA's for 10 bucks then this xtend product a couple of you mentioned is much more expensive. What's the difference?
    Bump. I was wondering about that too.
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    Originally Posted by bassdreamer View Post
    Okay, help me out with another stupid question. I see BCAA's for 10 bucks then this xtend product a couple of you mentioned is much more expensive. What's the difference?
    The primary difference is the flavoring system in Xtend. Scivation (imho) is the 1st company to effectively mask the taste of BCAAs. Bulk BCAAs taste very nasty. Of course, you can do like many others do, and flavor them by adding Crystal Light or something along those lines. Xtend also contains citrulline malate, which can cost a few extra bucks when purchased separately.

    But you can mix a 1/2 gallon of water with Xtend and sip it anytime during the day. It's actually VERY good tasting. MRM is another brand of BCCAs and they add glutamine in their blend. In a cost comparison (ingredients/grams) with Xtend, MRM comes out a little bit better. However, they have NOT mastered the art of a good flavoring system. Still tolerable, though I found myself taking straight shots of scoops and chasing with water. It's really not bad this way.

    Hope that helps.
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  28. #28
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    My best results with BCAA is in the morning on empty stomach before cardio,and after workout like PMW with vitargo,whey,glutamine.
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  29. #29
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr. Someday View Post
    That looks like someone's opinion, not a study. The actual medical studies I posted above seem to refute that.
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpo...ostcount=25626
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  30. #30
    I want a PB&J Mr. Someday's Avatar
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    Very cool defiant! I found those 5 studies in about 20 minutes.....God knows there were plenty more to look through, I just didn't have the time.

    Like I said before, BCAA's are a key supp to me. Cee and whey isolate are the only others I swear by (unless of course you count multi-vitamins as a supp).
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