View Full Version : BCAA's and their role in your diet

03-04-2012, 11:06 AM

I was wondering what the point of ingesting BCAA's was if one has sufficient intake of protien every day. I have heard broscientists say its to fight off catabolism, however, i know that catabolism is only achieved after 48+ hours of fasting.

Any benefit to paying for/spending calories on BCAA's in your diet?

03-04-2012, 11:08 AM
Catabolism is an overblown phenomenon not just on this site but with most supplement companies.

There is no point to BCAAs. If protein is adequate, no need for BCAAs. End of story.

Save your money. I can get my BCAAs for free and I still choose not to take any. Just no need.

03-04-2012, 11:16 AM
No, supplemental BCAA is not necessary unless you’re not consuming enough high quality protein. Bodybuilders get marketed to death about the benefits of free-form BCAA when there’s no objective evidence of their benefit over the pre-existing BCAA within the matrix of real food. People forget that BCAA is abundant in many foods in nature, especially animal proteins. I base all of my beliefs and recommendations on scientific evidence, not subjective placebo and marketing driven testimony. You can be sure that if someone believes (by whatever means it took to convince him) that extra BCAA will work, it will. However, it’s the belief that’s the active agent, not the BCAA.

You can create the same effect by convincing someone that a lucky rabbit’s foot in his right pocket will increase his lifting strength. If the person is truly convinced or even if the person has deeply vested hopes in the product or protocol, it indeed will work. The mind has powerful effects on the body. It always has and always will.

Until I see solid replicated scientific evidence of the benefits of stacking supplemental BCAA on top of a pre-existing high protein intake (as compared to simply increasing total protein), I’m not going to buy into the hype. I’ve even experimented with my athletic clientele and had them ditch supplemental BCAA in favor of an increased protein intake. Not only did I save them a lot of money, but their performance and body composition continues to improve. I know that it’s not a tightly controlled experiment, but it definitely puts me at ease that I’m not missing out on any “magic.”

So much for the anabolic peephole & the urgency to down AAs during your weight training workout; they are already seeping into circulation (& will continue to do so after your training bout is done). Even in the event that a preworkout meal is skipped, the anabolic effect of the postworkout meal is increased as a supercompensatory response (Deldicque et al, 2010). Moving on, another recent study (Staples et al, 2010) found that a substantial dose of carbohydrate (50g maltodextrin) added to 25g whey protein was unable to further increase postexercise net muscle protein balance compared to the protein dose without carbs. Again, this is not to say that adding carbs at this point is counterproductive, but it certainly doesn't support the idea that you must get your lightning-fast postexercise carb orgy for optimal results."


03-04-2012, 12:04 PM
I take them before "fasted training" the logic according to leangains is that under 50 cals won't bring you out of the fasted state. That was your body has aminos to work with.

03-04-2012, 12:42 PM
Any benefit to paying for/spending calories on BCAA's in your diet?

Personally, I don't see the need for them if daily protein requirements are met from other sources (such as regular food).

The only other thing I can add is that a few of the guys using IF state that they have better workouts with BCAAs, but other than that anecdotal evidence, that's all I've seen.

IMO, this is a question that would be very difficult to nail down in any kind of a clinical trial, and that's probably why there's no clinical evidence one way or the other in general circulation.