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Old 03-15-2013, 01:59 AM   #1
Trashcan
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A must read!

I came across this site when i was just trying to research BCAA's to understand how and why they work and the best ingestion timing. As i stumbled through this blog? More, I've found some great information.

BCAA's information.

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Artic...etailed_R.aspx

I started using branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in high amounts in 1994 after meeting with one of brightest minds in exercise physiology and medicine, Dr. Mauro DiPasquale, who wrote Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete: The Anabolic Edge. His contention was that if money was an issue, taking supplements during workouts was most important. I still believe that this holds true after playing with them for 17 years.

There is an abundance of new research over the past year that validates the use BCAAs. The BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they support everything from anabolic muscle building to high-intensity endurance training to improving mental function and mood. Let's take a look at what the new research tells us...or if you don't have the time, just read MY TAKEAWAYS from each study.

1) BCAAs Support Muscle Protein Synthesis A 2011 study found that BCAA supplementation can contribute to an anabolic environment in the body. Leucine was shown to have the ability to independently stimulate muscle growth by up-regulating enzymes that trigger protein synthesis. This anabolic shift occurred without changes in gene expression of amino acid transporters, indicating the critical importance of the BCAAs in developing muscle. Research from 2010 supports taking leucine for peak activation of protein synthesis and found lower body fat levels in the study's population of rats. MY TAKEAWAY: LEUCINE SUPPORTS MUSCLE GROWTH AND FAT LOSS

2) BCAA Levels Correlate with an Optimal Body Composition Research shows that individuals with a higher BCAA intake in their diets have lower rates of obesity, lower body weight, and better body composition. Researchers suggest that leucine increases energy expenditure and improves glucose tolerance. A Brazilian study supports these findings: BCAA supplementation allows individuals to train harder at exhaustive endurance exercise because the amino acids enhance fat oxidation in glycogen-depleted subjects. Participants who took 3 grams of BCAAs a day for three days (a very small amount) had 17.2 percent greater resistance to fatigue and were able to work for a longer period of time. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS INCREASE FAT BURNING, RESULT IN A LEANER BODY, AND INCREASE TIME TO FATIGUE

3) BCAAs Result in a Better Testosterone to Cortisol Ratio and Muscle Building Two studies highlight BCAAs role in decreasing muscle protein degradation. A 2010 study found that taking BCAAs while resistance training results in significantly higher testosterone levels with a lower creatine kinase and cortisol response. This is significant because both strength gains and a decrease in protein degradation are more correlated with a better testosterone to cortisol ratio than total testosterone levels. Additional research compared taking 10 grams of protein that was 18 percent leucine with a similar drink that was 35 percent leucine. The higher leucine concentration resulted in greater anabolic protein signaling, which means less muscle breakdown from the degrading effects of cortisol. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS RESULTS IN HIGHER TESTOSTERONE. GAINS IN STRENGTH ARE MORE CORRELATED WITH T/C RATIO THAN TOTAL TESTOSTERONE. LEUCINE IS KEY TO THIS EQUATION.

4) Evidence of Strength Gains from Taking Leucine with Training A British study showed that taking the leucine actually translates into greater strength in addition to the protein synthesis effects I've already mentioned. Previously untrained participants ingested 4 grams of leucine a day in conjunction with a 12-week resistance training program and increased strength by 41 percent. A placebo training group had strength increases of 31 percent after completing the same training program. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS ENHANCE STRENGTH GAINS FROM TRAINING BECAUSE BCAAS ALLOW YOU TO TRAIN HARDER AND INCREASE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS.

5) BCAAs Result in Lower RPE and Greater Endurance Performance Researchers from Sacred Heart University compared taking a BCAA supplement with consuming a carbohydrate beverage prior to a 90-minute endurance cycling trial at 55 percent of maximal oxygen uptake. The BCAA supplement significantly lowered participants' rating of perceived exertion during the exercise trial in comparison to a placebo group and the carb-supplement group. Additionally, BCAA supplementation significantly raised blood amino acid levels during exercise, a factor that likely has the effect of reducing muscle damage. Researchers suggest that BCAAs can be added to a carb supplement to help lower RPE and allow for more intense training at the same relative level of exertion.

A second study of experienced cyclists found that supplementing with leucine and a high carb food following intense training on consecutive days enhances subsequent high-intensity endurance performance and may decrease muscle membrane disruption. MY TAKEAWAY: TAKE BCAAS TO STAY STRONG LONGER. BCAAS ARE CRUCIAL FOR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE ATHLETES.

6) BCAAs Can Decrease Muscle Soreness, Particularly DOMS A University of Birmingham study found that taking BCAAs at strategic points throughout the day will significantly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness from high-intensity eccentric training. Researchers found a significant decrease in muscle soreness 48 hours and 72 hours following exercise when supplementing with BCAAs ½ hour before exercise, 1 ½hours after exercise, between lunch and dinner, and again before bed. The exercise consisted of 12 sets of 10 eccentric repetitions at 120% of 1RM.

A second Japanese study confirmed that BCAAs decrease DOMS where the exercise consisted of squats for 7 sets of 20 reps with 3 minute rest intervals-my kind of researchers. The subjects were either given a placebo or 100mg/kg of BCAAs (about 9 grams for a 200lb person), with significantly less soreness at 48 and 72 hours after training. MY TAKEAWAY: TAKE BCAAs IN DOSES THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS FROM TRAINING.

7) Take BCAAs to Improve Mental Function and Reaction Time Reaction time, which is virtually untrainable-you're either born with it or you aren't, has been shown to improve if you have higher BCAA blood levels. A new study found that a high protein diet improves mental function and reaction time. Participants who ate a high protein diet of 3 grams per kg of bodyweight performed significantly better on verbal fluency tests and had faster reaction time than participants who only ate 1.5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. At the end of the study period, the high protein group had elevated levels of BCAAs, which researchers suggest are the source of the improvements because BCAAs have been shown to reduce fatigue and heighten brain function after heavy training, highlighting their value in post-workout nutrition. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS CAN KEEP YOUR BRAIN AT ITS BEST, ESPECIALLY WHEN FATIGUED. QUICK TIMING ATHLETES (BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, HOCKEY) NEED BCAAS FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE.

8) Improve Mood and Decrease Depression with BCAAs Supplementing with 10 grams of essential amino acids, which include BCAAs, has been shown to improve depressive symptoms and overall physical performance in an elderly population. BCAAs likely increased brain serotonin synthesis, improving mood and decreasing depression. BCAAs were thought to have improved participants' nutritional status by inducing protein building and increasing insulin sensitivity. Researchers point to the importance of leucine (the supplement used contained 2.5 grams), because it is the most important BCAA for protein building. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS CAN MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER AND GET RID OF DEPRESSION. THEY ALSO IMPROVE INSULIN SENSITIVITY AND MAY HELP PREVENT DIABETES.

9) Live Longer and Improve Your Health with BCAAs Recent evidence shows that BCAAs have an anti-aging effect and increase the formation of new mitochondria, which can increase energy production. Giving a BCAA supplement to mice resulted in extended life spans and supported cardiac health. Indirectly, there are other ways that BCAA supplementation can prolong life. Individuals with chronic liver disease may improve insulin resistance with BCAA supplementation, and taking leucine with fish oil and a high protein diet can reduce muscle loss associated with cancer. MY TAKEAWAY: BCAAS IMPROVE HEALTH AND KEEP YOU YOUNG!

10) How and When to Take BCAAs The critical nature of an organized nutrition protocol is indicated with research evidence that protein synthesis is enhanced by BCAA supplementation for up to 24 hours after weight lifting to the point of muscle failure. Training to failure with both 30 percent and 90 percent of the 1RM load will sensitize the muscle to protein feeding for 24 hours after the workout. The key is maximal fiber recruitment versus submaximal-achieving failure primes the body for protein feeding, which should be consumed with BCAAs throughout the day. For a 90 kg/198 lb man, I would recommend 5-10 BCAA capsules 45 minutes before training, and 20-30 caps spaced out evenly during the training session. If you have done plenty of heavy eccentrics or plyometrics, you may want to take an addition of 5-10 caps three times a day with meals for faster recovery. All my students report greater gains from BCAAs paired with as many as 20 caps of Beta-Alanine Supreme. Some trainees need only a small amount of Beta-Alanine for a muscle-building effect, while those with primarily fast-twitch fibers will get the greatest benefits from 20 caps. MY TAKEAWAY: YOU MUST TAKE BCAAS DURING TRAINING-TRY TO TAKE THEM BEFORE AND AFTER AS WELL

If you still want more on BCAAs, check out The Best Workout Supplement Just Got Better, Five Simple Ways to Break Training Ruts, and I Love Leucine.

Understanding arm growth.
http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Artic...iquin_Way.aspx

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:08 AM   #2
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Some information is somewhat dry and sciencey, but i like that. It's factual information with research and studies to stand behind it.

Seemed worthwhile to share.

Enjoy!

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:23 AM   #3
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MP (muscle pharmacy) protein powder has 5g of BCAAs, is that enough? If not, which BCAA brand do you guys recommend?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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i never really got caught up in this stuff. IMO, which very well may be wrong, I don't think I would look or perform any better than I do with a few grams of this a day.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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I eat either steak, chicken fish eggs or whey powder with every meal... complete BCAA profile and they bring more to the table.

Unless you are training on an empty stomach / near empty these become pretty expensive for the benefit they'd give IMO.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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I eat either steak, chicken fish eggs or whey powder with every meal... complete BCAA profile and they bring more to the table.

Unless you are training on an empty stomach / near empty these become pretty expensive for the benefit they'd give IMO.
i started taking bcaa's (between 5-10g a day) in the past year and i havent really noticed much of a difference, but i dont think im going to stop anyways, mainly because it's not particularly expensive. plus, who am i to argue with science?
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:58 AM   #7
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I'm not arguing the science of BCAA's, im just saying that if you see benefits supplementing them means your diet is deficient if you aren't training early morning / fasted / on somewhat a empty stomach.

For pretty much every supplement minus fish oil/vitamin d etc, I always ask... Why do you need it? What whole foods is your diet missing?
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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A 14oz steak for instance will steadily supply the bloodstream with complete amino acids for hours after eating, like 6+ hours for instance. That, plus a ton of other benefits that supplemented BCAA's don't provide.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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I eat either steak, chicken fish eggs or whey powder with every meal... complete BCAA profile and they bring more to the table.

Unless you are training on an empty stomach / near empty these become pretty expensive for the benefit they'd give IMO.
in another month or so I plan (key word) on doing some HIIT sprints right out of bed. Would I benefit more by just running then eating breakfast?
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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I eat either steak, chicken fish eggs or whey powder with every meal... complete BCAA profile and they bring more to the table.

Unless you are training on an empty stomach / near empty these become pretty expensive for the benefit they'd give IMO.
So you're thought is that this would be much more beneficial to the average Americans diet (ie lots of processed, bad foods) than people like us that are getting these nutrients naturally already?

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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If you ate 6 small meals a day I could see them being useful as well
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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So you're thought is that this would be much more beneficial to the average Americans diet (ie lots of processed, bad foods) than people like us that are getting these nutrients naturally already?

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Not sure i understand what your question meant but the only "people" I see this being useful for are those who are working out with heavy weights (there goes the average joe) and the ones who are working out who haven't ate a serious amount of animal protein in at least a few hours. So for the early morning gym goer these become crucial (performance would suffer on a full stomach of meat )
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #13
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in another month or so I plan (key word) on doing some HIIT sprints right out of bed. Would I benefit more by just running then eating breakfast?
I think you should do the sprints "fasted" and mix BCAA's with water and drink during the rest portion. Then eat a big breakfast with lots of complete protein.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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My issue with the way this guy presented things is that obviously BCAA's are very anabolic and good for you, but he presents it from a supplement point of view. If your diet is in check (at least 1g per lb of bw a day made up of complete protein sources) and you don't train fasted these become expensive paper weights.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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My issue with the way this guy presented things is that obviously BCAA's are very anabolic and good for you, but he presents it from a supplement point of view. If your diet is in check (at least 1g per lb of bw a day made up of complete protein sources) and you don't train fasted these become expensive paper weights.
i see what you mean. i guess i'm sorta using it more as something to fill in any cracks i have in my diet rather than as a supplement for an overall crappy diet. you keep referring to it as expensive though. isnt it pretty cheap? i think my tub cost about 25 bucks and it lasts about 5 or 6 months
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:27 AM   #16
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I think you should do the sprints "fasted" and mix BCAA's with water and drink during the rest portion. Then eat a big breakfast with lots of complete protein.
I'm going to run around my neighborhood and I really don't want to drink water while running to reduce cramping and sloshing around. It will only be like 15 minutes anyway.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:02 PM   #17
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Also just added this to my routine today. Idk if I got the tempo and rest tines right, but WOW this worked my arms well! I recommend trying it if you wanna work on your biceps.

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Artic...m_Routine.aspx

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