We Tested… Myprotein BCAA 4:1:1

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Myprotein just released their new BCAA 4:1:1 supplement. What are BCAA’s? Do they work?  Is it worth it?

Let’s figure this out…

What are BCAA’s?

BCAA stands for Branched Chain (of) Amino Acids, and this chain is made of three amino acids:

  1. L-Leucine
  2. L-Isoleucine
  3. L-Valine

These amino acids have a big anabolic potential (especially the leucine), which means they stimulate and enhance muscular growth. Several studies showed that leucine plays a critical part in the skeletal muscle growth as well as the protein synthesis, and this why BCAA are well known amongst athletes, always looking for the best performance in term of muscular gains.

Other studies showed BCAA ease the muscle fatigue during an high-intensity effort (nevertheless, other studies showed BCAA may be counter-productive in certain specific scenarios through the stimulation of ammonia ).

What are the BCAA 4:1:1?

These numbers express in fact a ratio, between the three amino-acids (in order: leucine, isoleucine and valine). A 4:1:1 ratio means you have in the final product 4 times much leucine than isoleucine and valine. We typically find three rations on the market for that compound:

  • 2:1:1
  • 4:1:1
  • 8:1:1

Leucine is the amino-acid that triggers a protein, the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycinand this protein activation enables inside the muscular cells the protein synthesis. Leucine is not the only amino acid which triggers mTOR, but we know the mTOR levels decrease when leucine concentration diminish. This explains why you find leucine in higher concentration into BCAA’s. They support a regular and optimum growth.

BCAA sources

BCAA are found into the dietary proteins, and both whey and casein contain the biggest amount of BCAA. I advice then to consume on a regular basis on of the two.

When you should take BCAA

It’s best to take them prior an intensive effort, because of the anti-catabolic effect they will have. You will be also able to recover faster as well.

Mix

This supplement doesn’t mix well, but it’s more related to the structure of BCAA rather than this one particularly. You can mix then with orange juice (wait 30 minutes for a complete dissolution).

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Conclusion

Verdict

  • Price 4
  • Taste 6
  • Miscibility 7
  • Composition 3
  • Efficiency 6
  • User Ratings (3 Votes) 2.8
    Your Rating:
Summary

Well... I must pinpoint that there is not a single study that proves this 4:1:1 ratio is better than a 2:1:1 or even a 8:1:1. Simply put, they came when leucine was cheap enough to produce, nothing more. 4:1:1 are simple not "better" than the traditional 2:1:1.

Moreover, BCAA remain relatively expensive, and if you make sure to have an adequate diet (especially an adequate amount of proteins), then BCAA are not really useful. All the studies performed, by measuring the muscular development through BCAA administration were done while dietary proteins were insufficient. BCAA are not a magic bullet...but they are interesting during competing periods, or during a cut ; when tissue degradation is often more pronounced.

5.2 Ok

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