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BCAA retain muscle loss

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I am on very low calorie diet and have been taking BCAA to help retain muscle loss (have just heard it does not sure if it true or not) but it also gives me aburst of energy during workouts and helps me feel less fatigue.

Have been reading some of the posts on here and most people are saying they are pointless.. are they really not worth taking? If so are there alternatives that could aid with the above? 

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Can't see any reason at all why it would give you energy... we are talking a very small amount of cals on a small scoop of BCAA, and there is no stimulant effect.

An altrenative for energy would be some simple carbs, for a pick-me up it would be caffeine or a pre workout (or music), for muscle preservation then protein, training and steroids would do the trick.

imo BCAA are not worth it

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56 minutes ago, ams_sxi said:

I am on very low calorie diet and have been taking BCAA to help retain muscle loss (have just heard it does not sure if it true or not) but it also gives me aburst of energy during workouts and helps me feel less fatigue.

The energy you've been experiencing from the taking of BCAAs was not a mirage, it was real. BCAA replenish your ATP and keep protein synthesis going. ATP and energy are synonymous, as ATP is what we call the energy currency of our cells.

56 minutes ago, ams_sxi said:

Have been reading some of the posts on here and most people are saying they are pointless.. are they really not worth taking? If so are there alternatives that could aid with the above? 

I was not one of those people.

You have chosen or are thinking of going down the caffeine path for your workout energy. Now that's an energy mirage if you ask me. Am I bashing caffeine? No, even though it very much looks like it. I never used as much as a vitamin pill when I was doing the most intense workouts, so to say that you will...

18 minutes ago, ams_sxi said:

invest in a pre workout to keep me lifting the same amount of weight during workouts 

 ...seems foreign to me at least. I'd first advise you to look at your sleeping pattern, nutrient density intake (even though you're on a low caloric intake, does not in any way mean you need to be on a low nutrient density intake). How are you managing your life stresses is yet another major factor to the way you feel prior to your training session.

In a nutshell, I am saying do not abuse caffeine (as that's what the pre workout powders/drinks basically rely on for their energy boosting)..., however I am saying use caffeine when you need it most, and not to simply allow you to lift the same amount of weight. That is all mate, and all power to you.

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I like BCAA's first thing in the morning.  It is like brain food after a night of fasting.  They also help with ATP sythesis, like @Fadi65 said.  Getting the computer started up is important if you work out early in the morning.  I can't work out with my stomach full of coffee.  

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12 minutes ago, Fadi65 said:

The energy you've been experiencing from the taking of BCAAs was not a mirage, it was real. BCAA replenish your ATP

In isolation or when taken with carbs? And an effect in excess of that achieved by the BCAA content of other protein sources?

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41 minutes ago, Ultrasonic said:

In isolation or when taken with carbs?

In isolation, BCAAs have the ability to elevate your ATP levels. That does not mean that this elevation would not occur when one combines the two substrates. However the difference one finds here (with the BCAAs taken in isolation) is in the way they offer a more energetically friendly way to keep your ATP levels elevated.

If you wish for a larger insulin response, whilst getting the ATP and MPS we're discussing here, then in that case an inclusion of a carbohydrate would serve your purpose more favourably, as the BCAAs and Leucine by itself have a monophasic response (as opposed to carbohydrates biphasic response) to induced insulin.

Can a carbohydrate only substrate like glucose increase ATP levels? Of course it can. Getting back to BCAAs, they are the only amino acids that muscle can directly oxidise to make ATP.  

41 minutes ago, Ultrasonic said:

And an effect in excess of that achieved by the BCAA content of other protein sources?

Not exactly sure what you mean here Sir. BCAAs as we both know are isolated. So when you mention the words "protein sources", I'm thinking protein foods/the whole if you like instead of the isolated parts. As I have written here before, we need to keep proteins refractory effect at bay if our aim is to maintain a high level, or a constant level of MPS (as much as humanly possible at least). And the eating of a full protein meal (including all the BCAAs of course), would not serve the purpose the way BCAAs in isolation do between meals. Hence, I mentioned the importance of the right amount of frequency/timing between meals in my earlier posts on MPS.

Still, I'm not 100% sure I fully understand your question, that's my bad of course. But I'm here to continue with the discussion if need be.

Thank you for your two part question (shame I only understood half of it).

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2 hours ago, 2004mark said:

Can't see any reason at all why it would give you energy... we are talking a very small amount of cals on a small scoop of BCAA, and there is no stimulant effect.

An altrenative for energy would be some simple carbs, for a pick-me up it would be caffeine or a pre workout (or music), for muscle preservation then protein, training and steroids would do the trick.

imo BCAA are not worth it

This, I messed around with BCAAs supplements on and off for years on end varying doses a lot, never saw any difference personally. Came to the conclusion, that there is enough in food and protein supplements. A scoop of whey contains 4 - 5mg of BCAA so with several scoops a day, I think it is enough

I have read the explanation before that was noted by  @Fadi65 above and I'm sure the science is correct but I have never found them to be useful in my experience. I think there are a lot more important things to get right in weight training and BCAA's are a minor effect. I daresay 99% all problems will be focused around calories requirements , finding the right personalised diet and macros, correct training style, motivation, and so on. Having said that, if one thinks BCAA's are useful for him/her, well I don't see any downside (apart from wasted cash)

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5 minutes ago, JohhnyC said:

This, I messed around with BCAAs supplements on and off for years on end varying doses a lot, never saw any difference personally. Came to the conclusion, that there is enough in food and protein supplements. A scoop of whey contains 4 - 5mg of BCAA so with several scoops a day, I think it is enough

I have read the explanation before that was noted by  @Fadi65 above and I'm sure the science is correct but I have never found them to be useful in my experience. I think there are a lot more important things to get right in weight training and BCAA's are a minor effect. I daresay 99% all problems will be focused around calories requirements , finding the right personalised diet and macros, correct training style, motivation, and so on. Having said that, if one thinks BCAA's are useful for him/her, well I don't see any downside (apart from wasted cash)

I can not but agree with every word you wrote Sir. However (and this isn't a disagreement here), but an observation that there'll always be certain individuals who would see benefits in the ingestion of BCAAs, and yet more individuals who like (even from a psychological point of view), to have all bases covered, even though as you have correctly stated, the benefits are small in the larger scheme of things that go to make the whole picture that is the sport of bodybuilding.

Thank you for your input Johhny, I appreciate (as always) my dear friend.  

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I take BCAA first thing in the morning as i train fasted, normally BCAA, Leucine, Creatine and caffeine, been doing this for 4 weeks and i have noticed a slight difference. nothing to write home about, but any advantage is a good one.

 

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55 minutes ago, Fadi65 said:

I can not but agree with every word you wrote Sir. However (and this isn't a disagreement here), but an observation that there'll always be certain individuals who would see benefits in the ingestion of BCAAs, and yet more individuals who like (even from a psychological point of view), to have all bases covered, even though as you have correctly stated, the benefits are small in the larger scheme of things that go to make the whole picture that is the sport of bodybuilding.

Thank you for your input Johhny, I appreciate (as always) my dear friend.  

indeed, I could not say BCAA are unless. I kindof put these type additional supplements in the same category as multi-vitamins etc. They may indeed be very useful however I personally have never been able to tell if they are effective or not. Creatine now I can tell immediately 

One of the problems with taking extra BB supplements is that it becomes difficult to know when to draw the line. You can find that a keen life long interest starts to become a full time job. The marketing companies and BB promotional websites will naturally have an interesting in promoting these products. With BB we have a tendency to focus on products than enhance muscle growth often at the expense of other and arguably more important products. If you ever browse a runners forum or other health type forums, intake of flaxseed oil, vitamins, minerals, grounding various types of nuts and seeds, green tea extracts, discussion on fruits and veg etc become the most important aspect.  

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3 hours ago, ams_sxi said:

cheers guys. think im going to drop the bcaa and invest in a pre workout to keep me lifting the same amount of weight during workouts 

I know I mentioned PWO's, but personally wouldn't touch them. Would hate to feel I need to be buzzing off my tits to have a good workout. Just get some banging music in your ears and take a man up pill.

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4 hours ago, Fadi65 said:

In isolation, BCAAs have the ability to elevate your ATP levels.

Interesting. I must admit I'd never heard that before. Any idea how the effect compares to the same weight of carbs?

Quote

Not exactly sure what you mean here Sir. BCAAs as we both know are isolated. So when you mention the words "protein sources", I'm thinking protein foods/the whole if you like instead of the isolated parts. As I have written here before, we need to keep proteins refractory effect at bay if our aim is to maintain a high level, or a constant level of MPS (as much as humanly possible at least). And the eating of a full protein meal (including all the BCAAs of course), would not serve the purpose the way BCAAs in isolation do between meals. Hence, I mentioned the importance of the right amount of frequency/timing between meals in my earlier posts on MPS.

You understood what I meant - BCAAs from digesting whole protein sources as distinct from consuming isolated amino acids. For someone eating an adequately high protein diet are you aware of any evidence of additional benefit from further BCAA supplementation in terms of elevating ATP levels?

(The subject of periodically fluctuating amino acid levels to maximally stimulate MPS is a separate issue, so let's not mix the two here. This is a subject I am MUCH more familiar with BTW.)

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It's perhaps worth pointing out that if someone is looking for a supplement to hopefully allow them to do an extra rep or two, that creatine monohydrate and citrulline malate are probably the best bets.

I would always want to have had some form of protein before a workout, which if we're talking first thing in the morning something fairly quickly absorbed would be a good idea. Whether BCAAs are any better than just whey I'm unconvinced to be honest. (I've used both.)

For alertness caffeine is the most obvious for those wanting to stay away from stronger stimulants (although not a good idea for evening training). Some carbs may also help make someone feel more energetic, due to a direct effect of blood glucose levels on the brain rather than due to the energy content.

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It got confusing and muddled very quickly. Neither BCAA not caffeine 'give you energy' as such. BCAA can (as can any protein) be converted into carbs which in turn would provide energy but only under set conditions. The typical serving, take pre workout, would not. Caffeine is a stimulant. But, again there is next to no calories in a scoop of coffee and even less in a tablet.

BCAA, again in set conditions, would help you retain muscle. But if you're eating normally so will the meat in a steak and kidney pie.

One common issue with questions about supplements is asking a question in such a way as to ignore everything else you consume. Ergo being on a diet and somewhat depleted you'd find BCAA more useful than say me necking a shake and some chips.

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The thing with BCAAs is that while they do signal muscle proteins to retain mass and even to grow, that growth won't take place without all the other Essential Amino Acids also being present, so taking BCAAs without the other EAAs is akin to switching on a lamp that doesn't have a light bulb attached.

Lots of evidence now to suggest BCAAs as not being useful in real world settings.

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On 13/06/2017 at 0:34 AM, dtlv said:

The thing with BCAAs is that while they do signal muscle proteins to retain mass and even to grow, that growth won't take place without all the other Essential Amino Acids also being present, so taking BCAAs without the other EAAs is akin to switching on a lamp that doesn't have a light bulb attached.

Lots of evidence now to suggest BCAAs as not being useful in real world settings.

You still a fan of EAA's pre workout chief?

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