Amino Acids V.s. BCAA?

  • fitginger

    Posts: 64

    Sep 15, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    Whats the difference and whats the benefits?
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    Oct 21, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein.

    BCAAs are a subset of amino acids, "Branched Chain Amino Acids", of which there are three. These BCAAs have a special role in human muscle metabolism.

    Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine in a 2:1:1 mix seem to be the best for promoting muscle anabolism.

    Other (non-BCAA) amino acids that should be considered are L-Glutamine and L-Arginine which seem to help avoid or reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

    IANAD/IANAN DISCLAIMER: Hopefully this will tide ya over until someone with a medical background chimes in.

  • nic_m3

    Posts: 123

    Oct 30, 2012 1:55 AM GMT
    BCAA are basically key if you wanna get ripped faster. They are essential because your body needs them but it cant make them. You have to intake them from food and or supplements. Take 5-10g a day to see faster results.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 30, 2012 1:57 AM GMT
    Why are BCAAs so valued for muscle production when human myosin and actin (the primary muscle motor proteins) are not rich in BCAAs? Are they just really rare in diet and help fill a gap, or are they used in energy metabolism? They don't seem to be high in demand for construction...
  • nic_m3

    Posts: 123

    Oct 30, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    its been proven that BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis. Especially leucine. They help synthesis in 2 ways

    1: BCAA's increase the rate of protein synthesis.
    2: BCAA's increase the cells capacity for protein synthesis.

    They also reduce the amount of mRNA produced from the gene that codes for protein breakdown.

    Lastly body builders or people looking to build muscle are usually trying to stay as lean as possible and may cut calories by dieting. Dieting is catabolic. BCAA's allow you to burn fat while minimizing the muscle breakdown from dieting.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 30, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    snwbordnick saidits been proven that BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis. Especially leucine. They help synthesis in 2 ways

    1: BCAA's increase the rate of protein synthesis.
    2: BCAA's increase the cells capacity for protein synthesis.

    They also reduce the amount of mRNA produced from the gene that codes for protein breakdown.

    Lastly body builders or people looking to build muscle are usually trying to stay as lean as possible and may cut calories by dieting. Dieting is catabolic. BCAA's allow you to burn fat while minimizing the muscle breakdown from dieting.


    Studies? I'd like to see how they actually found that info out, and what metabolic pathways allow amino acids to act as messenger molecules, when that is not their purpose at all, and I've never heard of anything like that occurring.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Oct 30, 2012 2:33 AM GMT
    BCAA's are associated with a lot of aspects of metabolism, most notably insulin response. Thus builders often actively eat them, but older people are often trying to drop them (increased diabetes type 2 risk).

    Here's a study abstract that gives a decent quick review.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22961720
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 30, 2012 1:43 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Medjai saidWhy are BCAAs so valued for muscle production when human myosin and actin (the primary muscle motor proteins) are not rich in BCAAs? Are they just really rare in diet and help fill a gap, or are they used in energy metabolism? They don't seem to be high in demand for construction...


    Myosin and actin are filaments within muscle the allow for contraction and expansion. These are proteins on a molecular level associated with movement, not with anabolism. They're not one in the same.


    I'm aware, but when constructing muscle, that's what you're making more of. So they aren't popular in building new muscle. What pathways are they involved in and how is what I'm asking. If people are making all these claims about them being energy sources, messenger molecules, factors in feedback loops, etc. there must be studies backing it up, and I'd like to read them. Otherwise it's all hearsay.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 30, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    No one has anything to back up claims? I'm not really calling bullshit, I'd just like verification of these claims, as they're pretty widespread, and could easily be propaganda and hearsay.
  • purdont4

    Posts: 37

    Oct 30, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    Agree with most of the above.

    Remember that there are some 20 AAs. BCAAs are a subset (branched chain amino acids) so the three that have side chains with branches. There are then 17 other AAs that you need and some that are essential (ie. you HAVE to get from diet).

    So the point is get some BCAAs but do get some plain AA mixtures. A lot of products will have some sort of blend (either by design or naturally).
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 30, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    purdont4 saidAgree with most of the above.

    Remember that there are some 20 AAs. BCAAs are a subset (branched chain amino acids) so the three that have side chains with branches. There are then 17 other AAs that you need and some that are essential (ie. you HAVE to get from diet).

    So the point is get some BCAAs but do get some plain AA mixtures. A lot of products will have some sort of blend (either by design or naturally).


    Yes, but why are BCAAs specifically so important for muscle production when they are not heavily used in motor protein construction?