Theoretical question on BCAA's & Whey & Food.
I'm a little confused here. Just a food for thought. As I know, bcaa's are the building blocks of protein. So, we consume protein such as meat and whey for example, to breakdown the protein and retrieve the bcaa's in them right? The protein from meat/whey will be broken down into bcaa's right?
Well, theoretically speaking, assuming disregards of costs and such, as long as we consume bcaa's, we wouldn't need foods such as whey and meat and protein foods in those complex forms right? Furthermore, bcaa's in free form would allow the body to absorb almost the full nutritional value and less risks on losses via digestion(we may not fully digest foods 100% and get the 100% nutritional value) and such, and bcaa's are absorbed almost right away, plus it is caloric efficient.
So, the question here is why do most of us still consume whey instead of just downing our bcaa supplements? I know a lot of people take both, but why get whey to break them down to bcaa's when you can get the bcaa's directly? What am I missing on this bcaa and protein info? Is there something more in-depth about whey (and maybe protein whole foods) compared to free form bcaa supplements? What are your knowledge, opinions and inputs regarding this? Whatever I know and stated may probably be an incorrect or inaccurate info or I may have probably misunderstood the science behind it, but well, if I do, please correct and enlighten me on this, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.
BCAA's are great, but there are other essential amino acids (EAA) that your body needs as well.
They are called essential because your body cannot produce them on its own and must get them through dietary means. Thus, it is wise to consume good quality protein such as whey, eggs, beef, chicken, etc.
Furthermore, there is the issue of satiety, BCAA's won't do anything to make you feel like you've actually eaten something. Whether bulking or cutting, most people enjoy feeling satisfied after a meal (and that is all the more important when cutting).
Cost is an issue as well. Granted, in terms of BCAA's, buying a BCAA powder will be "cheap" in the per gram sense. But when weighted across multiple categories; such as EAA content, Calorie content, Satiety, then it becomes an expensive way to get your nutrients.
BCAA's are a great supplement and I use them to ensure I am getting quick amino acids peri-workout to help support protein synthesis and prevent breakdown, but during the rest of my day I eat whole foods.
A couple of other strategies to use BCAA's:
1. See Layne Norton's article for between meal spiking of protein synthesis (I don't do this when bulking, but I have spiked between meals when cutting to help preserve mass)
2. If you are eating a crap meal and the leucine content is low, add a teaspoon of BCAA to help get that meal up to the leucine threshold (typically around 3.2 grams) to help that meal stimulate protein sythesis. (I actually do this when my wife makes spaghetti and meatballs, tastes great, but I know I am not getting much protein or leucine either)
I see. That clears a lot of things and I wasn't really aware of the threshold of leucine either. That's something new, at least for me! And the link you gave is really informative! Thanks a lot Commander!
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