Alan answers questions about BCAA supplements on JP Fitness Forums.
Is it worthwhile to buy BCAA?
No need to supp with BCAA unless you a) are insistent on maintaining a low-protein diet, or b) you enjoy wasting money. High-quality protein sources in your diet already contain roughly 18-25% BCAA.
What happens if I’ll try to use BCAA on high protein diet?
Unless you’re specifically planning on going on a low-protein diet, all it will do is either a) stimulate appetite, since BCAA has been successfully used for this purpose to treat anorexic patients, b) give your body a little bit of extra work in processing it & whatever flavoring & other compounds it might contain, c) add extra calories to your diet, or d) all of the previous. Don’t forget that if your diet has sufficient protein, it has sufficient BCAA; 18-25% of the high-quality protein in your diet is BCAA. I suppose you could take it for a placebo boost if you really want that.
I always come up short on my protein even with a post-workout shake and now going to play with some IF (intermittent fasting). Can I take some BCAA before and after workout until I truly break my fast?
If you’re coming up short on protein, I’d choose whey over BCAA. 1st off, whey is 25% BCAA. 2ndly, whey contains the rest of the EAAs. Third, whey is more satiating (BCAA has appetite-stimulatory properties). 4th, whey contains beneficial biofractions such as lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, lactoperoxidase, glycomacropeptide, and bovine serum albumin. All of these goodies are missing from isolated BCAA supps. I look at whey as “BCAA-Plus”. Why buy only part of the spectrum of benefits when you can get the whole thing for the same price or less?
But an important question before bothering with supplementation is how much protein are you getting in total (relative to your bodyweight & your goals), & why you think it’s insufficient.