April 10, 2014
Do BCAAs really help us? Or should we just eat some keep pounding down protein like we've always done?
What are the benefits of BCAAs, and SAAs? Who should take BCAAs, and when? Is it worth your money to buy these products?
Hey all, I've been given the chance to try out the new Neon Sport BCAA/SAA supplement called Kinetic. Firstly, let me say that I've been skeptical about the benefits of branch chain amino acids. Nevertheless, I've tried to come at this product from an open mind.
Taste: Let's start this off with a bit of a taste test shall we? After all what's the point if a drinkable amino acid supplement doesn't taste good? I got the lemon berry flavor, and I gotta say It tastes pretty darn good. It's always a good thing when a supplement tastes good. Compared to other BCAA supplements, such as, Amino energy and Blox by BPI I'd put it right in the middle of the lineup. Also, it mixes very easily in 8oz of water. The biggest point about it is that it doesn't taste to watered down when you put it into about 12-14oz of water. When allot of us get done doing cardio, or a brutal leg day we don't want to drink just 8oz that's just... well not enough. So, I do like that it takes more water than the standard 6oz mix that allot of other amino acid supplements use. In the future I would really like to see some BCAA supplements be able to taste fantastic with more water because I'd rather not use more servings to have a satisfying reward after doing cardio in the morning.
A little research?: I've been doing alot of reading on these so called studies done on amino acid supplements. From what I've gathered from sites, such as examine.com, scholar.google.com, and my own GVSU database search. BCAA's particularly leucine can potentially promote skeletal muscle protein synthesis (Shimomura, Y). However, in a study done on rats it was more appropriate to have a balanced ratio of 2:1:1 (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) in order to not offset the balance of the BCAAs within the body. The purpose in taking this supplement would be to reduce muscular fatigue, late onset muscle soreness, and possible fat oxidation. On examine.com much of studies done on BCAAs are of people who participate in prolonged exercises, and not weight lifting for 45minutes-1hr like me. I believe that BCAA amino acids would benefit those people who take them consistently in larger doses (30g+) of a 2:1:1 ratio. That said, Kinetic has a 5g blend (3:1:1) with a 8g blend of SAAs. I think this product is underdosed in terms of BCAAs.
In terms of SAAs acids studies done on rats showed that over time progressively got better in a forced swim test (examine.com). This was done over a 2 week period with dosages of 500mg/kg of body weight. Now I weigh 160lbs... that's 72.6 kg multiplied by 500mg = 36.3grams. compared to the 8grams per suggested serving of SAAs in Kinetic. I believe both the BCAAs and SAAs are underdosed in many supplements. In order, to get the effect that allot of these studies. Do we need much more BCAAs and SAAs to see similar effects?
HOW'D you actually feel?? After a few weeks of using it simply as a post-workout drink taking 2 scoops close to the end of my workout, or just before cardio I noticed I was excited to get on the treadmill. Just thinking check out this uh-mazin lemonade drink I've got that's helping me get results. Screw muscular fatigue I've got my BCAAs, is a potent combo. I'd say for forty dollars I would rather buy 4 packs of quality protein at meijer for $2.00s a pound when it goes on sale. Bottom line, focus on the macro things you take in. Much of our foods are packed with a diversity of amino acids. We've been on this earth a long time, and our bodies know how to drain nutrients out of food. All those Villi in your intestines are designed to suck those proteins up. As a result, we're very adapt at taking in amino acids; otherwise, there wouldn't be a point in weight lifting because we'd never put on muscle. Why all the sudden do we NEED BCAAs? If you can afford it the tagible benefits are there just I'm a college student, and I'd rather spend my money on more important things like ramen, and tuna? You can't replace food with a powder (lookin' at you whey protein). I mean it's a nice mental affect of it, but I think most of my experience was tainted with my readings. All things considered, suck it up princess get a podcast and do your cardio, 400lbs is still 400lbs BCAAs don't make superhuman.
The people who would benefit the most from this supplement would possibly be those deprived of said BCAAs, and SAAs; such as, long distance runners, swimmers, and possible those who like to do intermittent fasting. In many of those cases the bodies skeletal muscle tissue has been relatively depleted on glycogen. The last thing those people want is to have their bodies catabolize themselves, and turn to skeletal muscle tissue as an energy source. So, BCAAs may provide a benefit to those individuals who would like the extra edge a supplement like Kinetic may provide. As well as, the added benefit of protein synthesis spurred by the leucine, and assisting valine/isoleucine.
In the future, I'd like to see companies focus on the things like just a solid BCAAs supplement with the appropriate dosages, or close to them. yet, that would be a very expensive product. As a result, the placebo effect may have given me the extra edge, and happier disposition to my workouts.
*a side note* I try to eat about 2,700 calories a day 50% carbs, 25% protein, 25% fats which gives me over 1g per pound of body weight of protein in a day. I weigh about 153-154lbs in the morning. I train in a push, pull, legs off routine, with 30 minutes of low intensity cardio post workout 3 days a week. Trying to put on weight slowly, and not feel hungry all day when I study for school. my incline bench is 160 for sets of 5x8, deadlift 245 4x8, and squat 225 5x7.
Shimomura, Y., Murakami, T., Nakai, N., Nagasaki, M., & Harris, R. A. (2004). Exercise promotes BCAA catabolism: Effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during Exercise1. The Journal of Nutrition, 134(6), 1583S-1587S. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/197447484?accountid=39473