A Lean Body Performance Edge – Without Compromises

What could make serious muscle trainers looking to get jacked, endurance cyclists looking to recover faster, and middle aged women trying to look hot in their bikini’s this summer all get excited at the same time?

 

More to the point, what could help trainees get stronger, endurance athletes recover faster, and dieting Mummas (or anyone else) get leaner and sexier, all while sparing that valuable, performance inducing, fat-burning muscle?

 

The answer is so simple it hurts.

 

Enter Athletic Green’s first ever performance product.

 

 

 

February, 2012

 

 

“So are you saying these may not only help me with my cravings and my mood while under any form of caloric restriction, but may help me burn fat more easily?” Courteney asked me by phone.

 

“Yep,” I replied, with typical Kiwi verbosity.

 

“Why doesn’t everyone do this?” She sounded incredulous.

 

“Good question” – and it is a good question. The answer comes in a few parts.

 

1. You have to be doing nearly everything else right to get any kind of fat loss benefit. Surprise surprise, food, sleep, and intelligent exercise come first.

2. It is pretty hard to patent or charge a fortune for what are the most common amino acids found in human muscle (though plenty try by adding food coloring, chemical bonds and/or caffeine )

3. The differences are subtle, not magical. People want to buy magic pills, so that is what marketers prefer to spend money on trying to sell them.

4. Every elite trainer I know DOES do this, but they are generally in the business of making their clients superhuman, not advertising how they do it.

 

 

What supplement are we talking about?

 

******

 

Rewind through 17 years of training, reading, coaching and learning on exercise and nutrition, almost to the day…

 

February, 1995

 

“You want some aminos mate?” John asked me as we walked from the car park into the gym at the University of Auckland Recreation Center at 6.30am.

 

John Lythe, lean, athletic, and incredibly strong, was three years my senior in age and a class mate in the University of Auckland Sport and Exercise program, a program I had started just weeks previously. John had been the New Zealand Junior 400m sprinting champ – despite doing less than 1/10th the running volume of the other athletes (Charlie Francis and Tim Ferriss would be proud), played elite soccer, and who would go on to become the head Sport Scientist for New Zealand Soccer and the New Zealand Hockey Teams for the Beijing Olympics – he knew a thing or two about training, exercise, and recovery.

 

I looked at the bottle in his hand, it was silver and had a label something along the lines of Amino Fuel. “Sure, thank you”

 

“Knock yourself out mate,” he replied, filling my cupped hand with what seemed a bunch of horse pills.

 

And so beganeth my first day training with BCAA’s.

 

A few big gulps and a great workout later, and I had begun a practice that would continue right through to this day, 17 years on.

 

 

********

 

 

What do those two stories have in common? Well, other than the Kiwi mumbling his way through life?

 

 

BCAA’s baby!

 

 

A performance supplement to my mind needs to tick a few boxes.

 

1. It genuinely needs to improve performance

2. Both the science and the anecdotal evidence need to point in the same direction

3. It cannot do anything bad to you

 

 

Those who know our approach at Athletic Greens know that we think FOOD IS FIRST.

 

Those who are already customers, will notice that the orange bar on the label of our Athletic Greens, Omega 3, and Vitamin D3 bottles all say the same thing…

 

“Nutritional Insurance®”

 

Athletic Greens: insurance against nutrient deficiencies, gut health issues, and stacking the deck in your favor for optimum health – has been thoroughly covered.

Omega 3: simple, quality insurance against not getting enough good EPA/DHA in your diet.

Vitamin D3: insurance against not getting enough sun (and you know I prefer the sun!)

 

 

You should also know, that after (and only after) you get your lifestyle, eating, and exercise in order, you may find it fun to add in stuff I think is REALLY COOL!!

 

Our first ever performance supplement:   Athletic Greens – Performance: BCAA’s

 

 

BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids

 

 

 

Let’s talk BCAA’s and why they are cool then shall we?

 

 

At its most basic level, all “protein” is really made up of various amino acids, all joined together in the form of peptides.

 

amino acids – the single building blocks

peptides – groups of amino acids joined together

so protein = lots of amino acids and peptides

 

In a healthy gut, ingested protein needs to broken down to simple peptides, then into individual animo acids to cross the intestinal barrier into the blood. It is generally accepted that only animo acids, and some of the smallest peptides (some dipeptides and tripetides) can get through without being broken down first.

 

This is a GREAT trick of nature, since this automatically makes life pretty hard for bacteria or viruses, both of which have outer layers consisting of proteins, to cross the intestinal barrier intact. Note I said HEALTHY gut. One of the largest problems with an unhealthy, overly permeable gut, is the ability of proteins to pass through intact that never should have been able to make it. These subsequently can cause havoc, both directly and in terms of our bodies own reaction to these “alien” invaders, as well as allowing nasties (particularly gram negative bacteria) to pass directly into the bloodstream. Not good.

 

Back to amino acids as the building blocks of protein.

 

There are 9 “essential” amino acids. They are called essential because we have to get them from the diet (non “essential” amino acids can be made in the body).

 

3 of those 9 essential amino acids are known as Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs. They are called this because of their SHAPE.

 

They are

 

l-leucine

l-isoleucine

l-valine

 

 

 

1. These also happen to be the most common amino acids found in muscle. They are considered major building blocks for muscle tissue (think building those little lego houses with lots of pieces of lego). The amino acids are the pieces of lego.

 

As such they have a critical role as substrates for protein synthesis, and it was for this function that BCAA’s first started to be used by the athletic community.

 

For a long time bodybuilders and athletes seeking muscle mass used amino acids supplements to help boost the circulating levels of the free form amino acids in their bloodstream (remember, these can cross the gut barrier directly, amino acids in food protein needs to be broken down into their distinct amino acid units or size limited peptides first). More BCAA’s in the bloodstream, more building blocks to help repair/make muscle.

 

 

2. Bodybuilders found that by ingesting BCAA’s specifically, especially before, during, and after training, they could greatly reduce the amount of catabolism (breakdown) of the muscle caused by training.

 

Less catabolism = less soreness + less breakdown of muscle for fuel + faster repair = greater training frequency = more muscle  (or so the theory goes).

 

It worked.

 

While BCAA’s DO have a critical role in protein synthesis, it began to become apparent that these animo acids are also important regulators of a variety of cellular functions.

 

3. Then other athletes got involved too once they found that supplementing with BCAA’s before, during, and after training greatly improved not only recovery time from training, but also their strength. They got stronger more quickly, and could train longer.

 

Now it was becoming very apparent that BCAA’s were more than “just” essential building blocks for muscle.

 

 

4. Research continued and broadened, and researchers found that BCAA’s could assist with mood, (and cravings) especially for people in a calorie restricted state, or under low carbohydrate dieting.

 

 

5. Then researchers began to find that supplementing with BCAA’s, especially when fasting or in a calorie restricted state, would help preserve MUSCLE, and signal the body to burn more fat (instead of breakdown the muscle for fuel, which is what often happens).

 

 

Since muscle is the big FURNACE in which your body burns fat for fuel, preserving muscle is a great idea.

 

Helping your body decide that it is flush with amino acids, and therefor not starving and therefore yes, it is ok to release FAT for fuel is also a GREAT idea.
Hence the headline on the BCAA page – Burn the Fat, SPARE the muscle. This last one is the area of the newest research, and is showing to be potentially one of the most exciting.

 

 

6. To make life even more enjoyable, BCAA’s have been shown to positively influence insulin sensitivity. 

 

I don’t need to say anything more on that one.

 

 

 

7. Of less import to me, since I am not an endurance athlete, but definitely of interest to those of you who do any endurance activity – hard training endurance athletes who supplement with BCAAs can expect: reduced soreness, improved recovery times, improved performance at same level of perceived effort.

 

 

8. How about improved reaction times and mental function, and improved cardiac health, and retention of muscle while aging (at least so far in mice for the last two)? This is some of the newest research. Exciting stuff!

 

 

Woohooo! Onwards and upwards I say!

 

 

Remember when I said that beyond being merely substrates for protein synthesis, BCAA’s are know thought to be important regulators of a variety of cellular functions?

 

“The key role of BCAA’s on mitochondrial biogenesis, cell energy metabolism, and ROS scavenging systems, through the modulation of the mTOR/eNOS pathways, may explain most of the beneficial actions of this supplementation”

– Valerio, A., D’Antona, G., Nisoli, E. Branched-Chain Amino Acids, Mitochondrial Biogenesis, and Healthspan: An Evolutionary Perspective. Aging. 2011. 3 (5), p. 464-478.

 

I like it when people smarter than me agree with me… or I agree with them…. or they phone me at home….. or…. you get the picture.

 

I have referenced a whole host of research at the bottom of this page. Feel free to cut and paste any of those into google to have a read (of at least the abstract – you will need access to read many of the studies in full). What I have given you here in this post should be considered a very basic summary.

 

 

Let me be very clear.

 

 

You can absolutely get all your protein and therefore amino acid requirements from food you eat.

 

 

Food IS first. Always will be. Food WILL get you there.

 

I would place food, sleep, exercise, and the nutritional insurance family WAY ahead of any pure performance supplementation.

 

 

However, for anyone looking to preserve muscle while leaning out, get leaner faster, reduce cravings, improve mood while on low carb or calorie restriction, and recover faster from training (er, everyone!) then supplementing with BCAA’s CAN be a very good idea.

 

 

Purely elective, for athletic or dietary performance.  And the house must be in order: so food, sleep, exercise are FIRST.  Got it? Ok good.

 

 

There are two formats we recommend people play with who want the fat loss/muscle sparing angle.

 

1. Take 10 grams of BCAA’s per day (13 of our capsules gives 10.6 grams) either in one dose between meals, or in two doses of 6 or 7 capsules between meals.

 

So, take 6 capsules between breakfast and lunch. Then take 7 capsules between lunch and dinner.

 

 

OR (and it is really an “AND”)

 

2. Take 10 grams of BCAA’s just prior to working out (about 10-15 minutes prior)

 

 

I personally think either of those two options are more than enough for most people who want to play with BCAA’s.

 

 

Here are two more alternative, much more aggressive options:

 

3. Take 30-40 grams per day, between meals. This would be for people looking for the absolute preservation of muscle mass while weight training training consistently and trying to lose a lot of fat quickly in a calorie restricted state.

 

4. Take 30-50 grams per day, before, during, (in between sets of lifting weights, pop a few capsules and continue) and after your workouts. This would be for those athletes looking to absolutely maximize strength performance and recovery.

 

You can do any or all the above, if you wanted to.

 

As mentioned, a performance supplement to my mind needs to tick a few boxes.

 

1. It genuinely needs to improve performance – CHECK

2. Both the science and the anecdotal “in the trenches” evidence need to point in the same direction – CHECK

3. It cannot do anything bad to you – CHECK CHECK

 

That is it. Purely elective. Make your call and give it a shot.

 

Athletic Greens® – Performance: BCAAs

 

Fire away with any questions in the comments below.

 

 

“100% Focus On Happiness”

 

That is my mantra, and it starts with phenomenal health.

 

 

Best,

 

 

Chris “the Kiwi”

 

 

—-

 

 

What is in – and what is NOT in – our BCAA’s?    Why are they “better”?    

 

RESEARCH

 

1. We have these in a 2:1:1 ratio in the order (leucine, isoleucine, valine), since that is where the absolute bulk of the research is. (There is some research suggesting that even higher ratios of l-leucine could be better. We will change if the research backs this up, at the moment, the bulk of the research is 2:1:1 and the pendulum would appear to be swinging away from super high leucine, towards a more balance profile such as ours).

 

 

QUALITY

 

2. We used the purest form of each ingredient we could find. There are some very cheap and nasty suppliers out of Asia that are not very pure and full of contaminants, many of whom are supplying leucine made from HUMAN HAIR with limited quality controls and testing! Yummy.

 

We went with top of the line in each of the three.

 

 

PURITY

 

3. We then tested and retested to ensure that our BCAA’s were free of all allergens, all nasty chemicals, and were free of any nasty microbials (bacteria) – we tested this to extremely aggressive levels. It costs us a lot of money. But this is why we can say guaranteed “NO ALLERGENS” when others cannot.

 

 

NO COMPROMISES

 

4. Companies that use tablets use tableting agents (chemicals that bind the tablets together) which can cause havoc with the human gut in many people, some people have problems absorbing the tablets since they can’t break down the tablets correctly (this is why many doctor’s nickname big tables “bed-pan bullets” since they can go right through you). So not only are the tableting agents not good for people, people are less likely to absorb what they are paying for. There is nothing in the tableting agents that is good for people. Further, most companies will put artificial coloring agents in their tablets. These coloring agents are VERY bad for people, and can cause cancer.

 

5. Companies that use powder normally use artificial flavoring, coloring, and sweeteners to make it taste ok (the raw powder doesn’t taste good at all!). Artificial flavoring is bad for you. Artificial coloring is bad for you. Artificial sweeteners are bad for you.

These companies are selling “health” and “solutions” but are really selling something that is unhealthy for everyone who takes it.

 

We don’t do compromises at Athletic Greens, not for any of our products. That means nothing artificial, nothing bad you, and definitely NO ALLERGENS!

 

CAPSULES for CONVENIENCE

 

6. We used capsules since it is the easiest way for the majority of people to take their BCAA’s, later we may offer a plain powder as well if enough people ask for this. The powder does NOT taste very good. We shall see.

 

 

VALUE

 

7. As you can see from our chart on the Athletic Greens BCAA Page, we stack up the best in terms of quality, research, purity, and NO compromises.

 

Since our entire company operates on a “direct from manufacturer” “no middle man” “no retailers needing their margins and rent paid” basis, we are able to offer our customers a quality product that would normally retail for $59.95 in a store, for a very discounted DIRECT price of $29.95 to $39.95 – depending which option the customer takes at checkout.

 

As you can see from the chart, when you price out all the products at the PRICE per 10 grams of BCAA (which is to say, an “apples to apples” direct comparison) you can see that we win on VALUE as well. Our price per 10grams of BCAA’s is easily the best of the bunch.

 

Those on multiple email lists may find it amusing to note that a certain competitor’s product is over 320% more expensive than ours per 10 grams of BCAAs! OUCH.

 

You can rest assured that we have the best product on the market, and the best price. We could have charged more for this product, we elected not to to keep it in line with our pricing policy on Athletic Greens and Omega 3.

 

 

Hope that helps!

 

 

REFERENCES:

Gran, P., Cameron-Smith, D. The Actions of Exogenous Leucine on mTOR Signalling and Amino acid Transporters in Human Myotubes. BMC Physiology. 2011. 11(10).

 

Norton, L., Layman, D., Wilson, G., Moulton, C., Rupassara, S., Barlick, P. Leucine Contents of Isonitrogenous Protein Sources Predict Changes in Body Composition and Muscle Mass in Rats. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology. 2010. April. 24 (97.5).

 

Qin, L., Xun, P., Bujnowski, D., Daviglus, M., Van Horn, L., Stamler, J., He, K. Higher Branched-Chain amino Acid Intake is Associated with a Lower Prevalence of Being Overweight or Obese in Middle-Aged East Asian and Western Adults. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010. 141(2), p. 249-254.

 

Gualano, A., Bozza, T., Lopes De Campos, P., Roschel, H., Dos Santos Costas, A.,Marquezi, M., Benatti, F., Lancha, A. Branched-Chain Amino Acids Supplementation Enhances Exercise Capacity and Lipid Oxidation During Endurance Exercise After Muscle Glycogen Depletion. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2011. 51(5), p. 82-88.

 

Glynn, E., Fry, C., Drummond, M., Timmerman, K., Dhanani, S., Volpi, E., Rasmussen, B. Excess Leucine Intake Enhances Muscle Anabolic Signaling but Not Net Protein Anabolism in Young Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010. 140 (11), p. 1970-1976.

 

Sharp, C., Pearson, D. Amino Acid Supplements and Recovery from High-Intensity Resistance Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010. 24 (4), p. 1125-1130.

 

Ipoglou, T., King, R., Polman, R., Zanker, C. Daily L-Leucine Supplementation in Novice Trainees During a 12-Week Weight Training Program. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 2011. 6 (1), p. 38-80.

 

Qin, L., Greer, B., White, J., Arguello, E., Haymes, E. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation Lowers Perceived Exertion but Does Not Affect Performance in Untrained Males. Journal of Strength and Conditioning. 2011. 25 (2), p. 539-544.

Thomson, J., Ali, A., Rowlands, D. Leucine-Protein Supplemented Recovery Feeding Enhances Subsequent Cycling Performance in Well-Trained Male Cyclists. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2011. 36 (2), p. 242-253.

 

Jackman, S., Witard, O., Jeukendrup, A., Tipton, K. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Can Ameliorate Soreness From Eccentric Exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010. 42 (5), p. 962-970.

 

Shimomura, Y., Inaguma, A., Watanabe, S., Yamamoto, Y., Muramatsu, Y., Bajotto, G., Sato, J., Shimomura, N., Kobayashi, H., Mawatari, K. Branched-Chain amino acid Supplementation Before Squat Exercise and Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2010. 20 (3), p. 236-244.

 

Jakobsen, L., Kondrup, J., Zellner, M., Tetens, I., Roth, E. Effect of a High Protein Meat Diet on Muscle and Cognitive Functions: A Randomized Controlled Dietary Intervention Trial in Healthy Men. Clinical Nutrition. 2011. 30 (3), p. 303-311.

 

Rondanelli, M., Opizzi, A., Antoniello, N., Boschi, F., Iadarola, P., Pasini, E. Effect of Essential Amino Acid Supplementation on Quality of Life, Amino Acid Profile and Strength in Institutionalized Elderly Patients. Clinical Nutrition. 2011. 30 (3).

 

D’Angona, G., Ragni, M., Cardile, A., Tedesco, L., Dossena, M., Bruttini, F., Caliaro, F. Branched-chain Amino Acid Supplementation Promotes survival and Supports Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Middle-Aged Mice. Cell Metabolism. 2010. 12 (4), p. 362-372.

 

Valerio, A., D’Antona, G., Nisoli, E. Branched-Chain Amino Acids, Mitochondrial Biogenesis, and Healthspan: An Evolutionary Perspective. Aging. 2011. 3 (5), p. 464-478.

 

Kawaguchi, T., Nagao, Y., Matsuoka, H., Ide, T., Sata, M. Branched-Chain Amino Acid-Enriched Supplementation Improves Insulin Resistance in Patients with Chronic Liver Disease. International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2008. 22 (1), p. 105-112.

 

Norren, K., Kegler, D., Argiles, J., Luiking, Y., Gorselink, M., Laviano, A., Arts, K., Faber, J. Dietary Supplementation with a Specific Combination of High Protein, Leucine, and Fish Oil Improves Muscle Function and Daily Activity in Tumor-Bearing Cachetic Mice. British Journal of Cancer. 2009. 100, p. 713-722.

 

Burd, N., West, D., Moore, D., Atherton, P., Staples, A., Prior, T., Tang, J., Rennie, M., Baker, S., Phillips, S. Enhanced Amino Acid Sensitivity of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis Persists for up to 24 Hours After Resistance Exercise in Young Men. The Journal of Nutrition. 2011. 141 (4), p. 568-573.

 

Borgenvik, M., Nordin, M., et al. Alterations in Amino Acid Concentrations in the Plasma and Muscle in Human Subjects during 24 Hour of Simulated Adventure Racing. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

 

Da Luz, Claudia, Nicastro, H., et al. Potential Therapeutic Effects of BCAA Supplementation on Resistance Exercise-Based Muscle Damage in Humans. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2011. 8 (23).

 

Crowe, M.J., J.N. Weatherson, and B.F. Bowden, Effects of dietary leucine supplementation on exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2005. p. 1-9.

 

Norton, L.E. and D.K. Layman, Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006. 136 (2), p. 533S-537S.

 

Lang, C.H., Elevated Plasma Free Fatty Acids Decrease Basal Protein Synthesis but Not the Anabolic Effect of Leucine in Skeletal Muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2006.

 

Koopman, R., et al., Combined ingestion of protein and free leucine with carbohydrate increases post-exercise muscle protein synthesis in vivo in male subjects. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2005. 288 (4), p. E645-53.

 

Jackman SR, Witard OC, Jeukendrup AE, Tipton KD., Branched-chain amino acid ingestion can ameliorate soreness from eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2010. May; 42 (5), p. 962-970

 

Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY., Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997. Jan; 18 (1), p. 47-55.

 

Schena F, Guerrini F, Tregnaghi P, Kayser B., Branched-chain amino acid supplementation during trekking at high altitude. The effects on loss of body mass, body composition, and muscle power. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1992; 65 (5), p. 394-8.

 

Pasiakos SM, McClung JP., Supplemental dietary leucine and the skeletal muscle anabolic response to essential amino acids. Nutr Rev. 2011; Sep; 69 (9), p.550-7.

 

 

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About the author
Chris 'The Kiwi'
So named because he comes from a little country in the Pacific called New Zealand where a small, fat, quasi-blind, and largely defenseless bird by the name of “Kiwi” is the national animal, and what we are called when we land in other countries. He is focused on using what he can remember from his studies for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and his cumulative years as a nutritionist and strength coach to help other people enjoy amazing levels of health and energy. He enjoys ticking through his list of life goals and meeting new people.
  • Alicia

    Hi Cris! So I have just begun following your fat loss plan for a week and already see results. I kettle bell train about 4-5 days a week pretty intensely. Strength wise, for a 24 year old girl I’m pretty happy with my strength. I can swing 88lb KB for 4 rounds on the clock. However, my training is for my own health and longevity, I’m not an athlete of any sort. Was wondering, if I took the BCAA, this would strictly help my performance during my training and help me to burn fat? Or will it cause me to “bulk” up? I guess my main concern is not looking feminine and looking to “bulky” ha! So thought Id inquire before I purchased them Thank you!

  • annuaire escorte

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. … regards!

  • Nick Hanson

    Hi Chris,

    Clarification question. I work out 3-4 days a week (Strength training program). What would you say is preferred, taking more BCAA’s on the days I train (i.e 30ish grams) 3-4 days a week or taking 10 grams right before my workouts and then 10 grams throughout the day on the days that I don’t work out.

    Thanks,
    Nick

    • Anonymous

      Hey mate,

      Load up on the workout days, for sure.

      If chasing fat loss, load up on the rest days, if not, I wouldn’t sweat that at all.
      Hope that helps!

      C

      http://www.christhekiwi.com

  • Richard Flanders

    hello chris, i am hoping you can help me because no doctors i have asked seem to have any knowledge in this area. i am constantly dealing with injury and pain. i am currently undergoing prolotherapy and PRP treatments. i would love to find some supplements that could help me recover from and/or prevent injuries. i eat healthy most of the time, but i have not gotten away from gluten. i have been taking Athletic Greens for almost a year, vitamin D for a few months, and fish oil for the last couple years. what are your thoughts on l-glutamine, BCAA’s and cissus quadrangularis for dealing with injuries? can you recommend anything else? thanks for any help you can give me.
    richard

    • Anonymous

      Hello!

  • Anon

    Kiwi —

    I recently discovered the following protocol for immediate focus. It’s too simple to be called a protocol, really. Here’s what you do:

    Dynamic wamup movement
    Finish one task
    Next movement
    Finish one task
    ..and so on

    before you know it, you’ll be in the zone and your body will be happier!

    • Anonymous

      I LIKE IT :)

  • Pspilk

    Also, I meant to ask, do they have any effect on one’s heart rate? i.e. speed up heart rate?

    • Anonymous

      No. They should not increase heart rate per se. But taking them and expecting getting hyped up to go the gym will increase heart rate!

  • Pspilk

    Hi Chris,
    I have started a weight loss regimen (again). I work out about 5 times a week alternating between cardio and yoga. My house is in order except for maybe the sleep part. (i’m working on that.) I will check out your food for fat loss as well. will the bcaa’s help me loose the weight faster?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Pspilk,

      You need some resistance training my friend! Have a read of the MED workout post on this blog as a good starting point.

      C

  • JR

    Chris-
    What are these BCAAs derived from and how?

    • Anonymous

      Hey JR,

      Leucine – by extraction from duck feathers
      Valine/Isoleucine – by microbial fermentation

      At the industrial production level, those are the mainstays across the board. The differences mainly come down to who does these processes as there is a wide variety in quality control and standards.

  • Sara

    I have been following your blog for about a month. I started strictly following you food for fat loss plan somehwere in the middle of that month. I am down 9 inches total. I dont know how many inches I still have to lose, but I know I still have a lot of fat to burn – enough to take me down another two clothing sizes. Your information and approach is refreshing. I do have some BCAA (Prograde) and based upon this article I will start taking them. If I experience the benefits that you describe, then I will replenish my stock from Athletc Greens.

    Also, as an academic librarian, I want to state that I really appreciate that you provide the research references. There is so much unsubstantiated information on the Internet, it refreshing to be able to see some valitidy behind your statements.

    • Anonymous

      Hello Sara. Way to go on the progress! I am proud of you.

      Remember the BCAA’s are a performance product, you have to have the rest of your house in order. If you are training intensely I think you will thoroughly enjoy them. Please keep me posted with your updates!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/3PWWGCWH2CUAZ2HGR25AHCE3IE STEFF

        I’m new to you..I’m purchasing the Athletic Greens and Vitamin D this week. Where do I find the food for fat loss program Sarah is following?

        • Sara

          Hi Steff, this is Sara.

          Chris answered your question abouve by providing the link. Just go that link and start reading. You will find all the Food for Fat Loss articles right there. Good luck! It is working for me so I encourage you to give if a fair chance.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/3PWWGCWH2CUAZ2HGR25AHCE3IE STEFF

            Thank you Sara..do you use the Athletic Greens? I’m going to try it along with the Vitamin D. Congratulations on your progress!

      • Sara

        Chris –

        I get as much sleep as possible including naps. I exercise intensely, probably not as intensely as you, since I was coming from almost point of NO exercise except riding my horse. But now I exercise with free weights 3 times per week, am up to average 15,000 steps/day on pedometer just being active, do 2 miles/day HIT on either treadmill or eliptical, do circuit training regularly, ride my bike (outdoors), and ride my horse. I am following your FFFL eating plan. Loving all of it and cannot believe how great I feel.

        Thanks so much for your help!!!

        • Anonymous

          Wow!! Way to go Sara! Just make sure you don’t go too hard out the gate, I would rather you kept at it long term and enjoyed long term (amazing) results.

          Huge two thumbs up!

          C

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3PWWGCWH2CUAZ2HGR25AHCE3IE STEFF

      where do i find the food for fat loss plan you are following?

      • Anonymous

        Hey Steff,

        WELCOME! Go to christhekiwi.com/start-here/ and read them in order. Make sure you read all the comments as well.

        Cheers,

        C

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/3PWWGCWH2CUAZ2HGR25AHCE3IE STEFF

          Thank you Chris, I will am on my way..I will keep you posted on my results..thank you for writing back so quickly.

  • Max

    Wouldnt bcaa help more with strength work than endurance?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Max. I think overall yes. However, the endurance research was pretty interesting, in that it allowed for greater sustained work output, and lower perceived exertion at the same output. In other words, go harder longer. That is during training. In terms of recovery and muscle damage, I think the endurance lads would be wise to ensure the working elements (in cycling, your legs) recover as fast as possible. Be curious to hear how you find it!

  • Clarkham2001

    Why do you recommend so many more grams than everyone else? Could those of us on a budget take half, make it last 2 months, and still see results?

    • Clarkham2001

      Goal is fat loss. Exercise is simply two days a week of brief yet intense and exhaustive eccentric resistance. Diet is no grain and mostly paleo.

      • Anonymous

        Just read this. If you are training heavy to exhaustion then absolute yes on the BCAAs

    • Anonymous

      Hey Clarkham,

      I recommend you take either one of the first two options:

      a) 10 grams between meals (or on waking)

      b) 10 grams just prior to your workout

      If I had to pick one, I would pick B. That will cost you less than $1 per day.

      If budget forces that one out, I wouldn’t worry, just focus on food. You will do great.

      C

      • Clarkham2001

        Did you see my follow up that I only workout twice per week? And it’s really more like once every five days. Option B would be more like 25 cents per day. Would that suffice? Even for a quarter, would it really be worth it?

        • Anonymous

          Hey mate,

          I would really depend how hard you work out. I think so, personally, but then I train pretty hard. As always, to see any benefit at all, you need to have your ducks ALL in a row: eating, sleeping, training, lifestyle etc

  • Test

    How large are the capsules?

  • Keepthingsnew

    You can rest assured that they have the best product on the market, and the best price. We could have charged more for this product, we elected not to to keep it in line with our pricing policy on Athletic Greens and Omega 3.

    Chris, I don’t think you meant to say(that they have the best product on the market) did you?
    We all know you have the best product on the market ; )
    Just wanted to point that error out to you.
    Best
    Susan

    • Anonymous

      Susan, thank you so much for spotting that. Somehow the cut and paste didn’t work as I planned (that paragraph was originally for our CS team and was a bit longer). I appreciate you pointing it out!

  • KG

    Chris, 13 tablets! You guys need to reformulate this so that you don’t have to take so many pills!

    • Anonymous

      Hey KG

      That is the catch unfortunately. The only other way is powder, there is no concentrate option. If we get enough interest we will do straight powder as well as capsules in our next batch (I like adding it to my Athletic Greens) but it does NOT taste nice.

  • Harsh Batra

    Hey Chris, so if I understand correctly you are suggesting that 10g on non-exercise days is recommended. And 20 grams on workout-days. How much do you chug down personally?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Harsh,

      10 grams on either is more than fine in reality for most people. I take 10 grams just before training, or anytime I find myself going a long time between eating. I split between mid meals like the first two approaches. Since I frequently train not long after waking up, I often take 10 grams with my Athletic Greens and march off to the gym. If you are going to do ANY fasted exercise (exercise before eating that day) then I would always always always take the BCAA’s first.

      When training hard and consistently with big weights workouts I play with taking the higher dose right through my workout. This takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do it (if you are training like that) then it definitely works.

      So – 10 grams is actually the least I take on any given day. 40-50 grams is the most but only on big weights days and the majority gets taken between sets. I don’t think everyone needs to do that by any means, either of the first two approaches will work fine for most people. (Hence the servings per bottle is about 1 month for most)

      I think if you were to take 10 grams before your workout pretty much religiously, and 10 grams between meals anytime you felt like it, kind of like you have suggested you do here, you would be rocking.

      Remember, all the BCAA’s in the world aren’t going to do anything if the rest of the house is not in order. So train hard (and heavy) and live clean and try it for a month and I think you will become a fan just like I did back in 1995!

      Let me know how you go mate

      C

  • Ci Mac

    Recover this message when selecting the link above:

    “Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/agus/public_html/v2/bcaa/index.php:12) in /home/agus/public_html/v2/bcaa/index.php on line 25″

    • Anonymous

      Hey mate,

      That is very strange. All links working for me on chrome. Could you please try refreshing the page and see if it happens again? As we have updated this page again this morning. Please let me know how you get on, and I apologize for the inconvenience. C

  • Harvey

    Are there any consequences to taking high doses of BCAA. Some other companies only have 1g per serve but you suggest up to 50g.

    As a side note, when will we be able to get your products in you homeland – NZ!

    • http://www.facebook.com/shanestarcher Shane Starcher

      Harvey,

      My understanding is that most protein is made up of 25% BCAA. So If you consume 200g of protein in a day you are already getting 50g of BCAA. So another 50g is not a huge increase, but I’ll leave it to someone more knowledgeable to answer.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Harvey and Shane. (thank you Shane)

        Remember that BCAA’s are something that you add in in supplement form when the rest of your “house” is in order.

        Shane is pretty much on the money, our bodies are very well equipped to handle a serious protein intake, and nearly every meat source you eat will have some BCAA’s in them.

        In terms of 1 GRAM of BCAA, that is a bite of steak. I prefer you make sure you are eating a few big steaks and/or some eggs as a priority, since BCAA’s in capsule form, should NOT be considered as food, or as part of your daily eating regime. Food is first.

        Absolutely must be treated as a supplement to be added in once you are doing everything right.

        In terms of side effects, none that I am aware of in this ratio as given. I remember a comment by a researcher called Michael Colgan in the 90’s who stated that some athletes he worked with who really cranked up the dose found that they had an increase in oral herpes outbreaks, which were treated by coming back off the BCAA’s and increasing l-lysine intake (another amino acid, which you would have read about in my Host Resistance Ebook). However, I have never seen this happening with people I work with at and under the 40-50 grams per day mark, so I can only guess they were using REALLY high doses, or more likely, the fact that Colgan used to have them wake up all night to take amino’s every two-three hours (an approach that has since been thoroughly kicked in the teeth) my guess is their immune systems were smashed.

        Aim for 9 hours straight plus in my humble opinion. Make food quality your first priority, then try adding in some BCAA’s and see how you go. If you are used to training hard and heavy in the gym, you will notice a difference at the high doses during your workout.

        C

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