Some fuel to the BCAA debate… To BCAA or not BCAA?!
BCAAs seem to be a topic of debate over the last couple years. I would like to throw some fuel to the fire here.
this is the study
The claim by the industry is that ” BCAAs alone produce an anabolic response in humans driven by a stimulation of muscle protein synthesis,” but when you actually get into the details. It does not. Big words, I know.
The pitch is that essentially leucine is the building block of contractile muscle and the other aminos in BCAAs (isoleucine and valine) all help in muscle protein synthesis. Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) is something you will see talked about it many other articles in many other places, it’s a good abbreviation to know!
This study would appear to show a pitfall to thinking like this. The study shows that adding simply an excess of BCAAs does not help move along MPS at all. BCAAs are not the limiting factor in the turnover of muscle protein, so supplementing with them does not gain you anything.
Imagine that BCAAs are the building blocks of muscle, like plywood to a home builder. Just because I have lots of wood on hand does not mean that my house builds any faster. I would need to hire more workers to build the house faster. This is exactly the problem with just adding extra BCAAs to the mix. Wood without a builder is pretty useless.
So here’s my pitch that you’re not going to like to hear – because the other thing about most BCAA supplements, is they taste good! That taste almost always comes from some shitty chemicals.
So my advice to the average gym goer who has been sold to believe BCAAs in some way help build muscle, it’s time to stop buying BCAA supplements. In my opinion the shitty colourants and flavourings in most BCAAs aren’t worth it when the BCAAs aren’t really doing anything for you anyways!
Instead spend that money on a complete protein of some form.
As always, I want to hear your thoughts!