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Nutrition, Diet and Supplements Discuss nutrition, diet, cutting and weight loss. Supplement discussions as well.

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Glutamine/Arginine/BCAA?

I have heard some folks talk about supplementing with glutamine and/or arginine. I looked up some of the benefits of them and they seem like they may be logical choices to supplement with.

My questions are: 1- should I supplement with one or both of these?
2-should I just take a bcaa supplement instead?
3-should I have just left it alone and do I need to quit asking stupid questions?

In case it has any relevance to my questions, the supplements I am currently taking are; protein powder, fish oil, flaxseed oil, men's one a day pro edge multivitamin, glucosamine/chondroitin, and a pre workout combo consisting of the wally world "nos" stuff and a caffeine pill. Oh, and I just started taking creatine.

Thanks for any helpful input or suggestions you may have.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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I do all three and have had pretty good results but my goals may be different than yours....
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #3
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I take L-Glutamine to aid in digestion, as ordered by my Gastro Doc years ago. Most people will likely tell you they are useless for our sport, but depends on your perspective. Proper digestion of your food is important for successful lifting.

While your at it, get a top quality probiotic as well.

BCAA's are a wise choice to take intra workout, especially on an empty stomach. If you take BCAA's during the day or before your training, don't sip on them over any amount of time. Drink the shaker full all at once.

Don't know anything about Arginine.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Personal recommendations (and based on lots of research review by Kurtis over at Examine.com)

1.) Skip glutamine
Quote:
It is generally touted as a Muscle Builder, but has not been proven to enhance muscle building in healthy individuals; only those suffering from physical trauma such as burns or muscular wounds (knife wounds) or in disease states in which muscle wasting occurs, such as AIDS. In these individuals, however, glutamine is effective at building muscle and alleviating a decrease in muscle mass typical of the ailment.
http://examine.com/supplements/Glutamine/

2.) Skip arginine
Quote:
Arginine is commonly used as a pre-workout supplement, said to increase muscular blood flow and protein synthesis secondary to converting into Nitric Oxide; both muscular blood flow and protein synthesis are indeed increased with nitric oxide, but arginine very unreliably increases nitric oxide (despite almost always increasing arginine concentrations).
http://examine.com/supplements/Arginine/

3.)Take BCAAs pre-workout for fasted training, intra workout for recovery (and if you have the cals to spare), and/or between meals if you're eating a diet relatively low protein (<0.8-1g/lb of bw) diet while cutting fat

Quote:
Of these three amino acids, leucine appears to be an important player in muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle protein breakdown (via its metabolites HICA and HMB) while isoleucine appears to be a fairly potent amino acid to induce glucose uptake into cells. The combination of the two potentially aids muscle cell growth. Valine is under-researched relative to the other two, and the role valine plays in a BCAA supplement is not ascertained.

When a diet is fairly low in BCAAs, whether due to a low amount of dietary protein or a preference toward protein sources with a low BCAA content, such as a vegetarian diet, then supplemental BCAAs are able to promote muscle protein synthesis and aid in muscle growth over time. Since this is not reliably seen in those with a protein sufficient diet (1-1.5g/kg or higher) it is likely that dietary protein sources or protein supplements that confer BCAAs are also able to be used.
Quote:
BCAAs are very important compounds to ingest on a daily basis, but supplementation is not required if the diet is sufficient in BCAAs. If the diet is insufficient and cannot be modified easily, then BCAA supplementation is a simple solution.
http://examine.com/supplements/Branc...n+Amino+Acids/
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:51 PM   #5
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BCAAs are a fad supplement. Anyone eating enough protein is already getting more than enough BCAAs. L-arginine aids in NO production thusly increasing 'the pump'. Idem to BCAAs glutamine has to my knowledge not been shown to aid in building strength and/or muscle in any way.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #6
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I have taken L-Glutamine and noticed no difference in recovery.

If you are taking a quality protein supplement, it should be loaded with BCAA's. No need to take extra just to flush down the toilet. IMO.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:37 PM   #7
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I like BCAA powders. They give me something to drink other than water, and have no downside. I prefer them intra-workout to whey. I like to keep them handy for later at night when I am eating dinner and while having a snack.

The issue is do they have value?

They have value for me. Some days I have a harder time than others reaching my protein levels so I like to have them around to sip on at night. Some days I want a healthier alternative to soda, something with taste.

Also, with a quality amount of muscle mass I find that intermittent fasting by itself did not work well without morning BCAAs or whey. When I added either of these to my morning underfeeding windows I stopped losing muscle.

There are also times in life where I can't eat protein for extended periods of time for whatever reason, such as driving, so I like to keep them around for these times as well.

Decide for yourself if they have value. They are merely a nutritional supplement. They carry value for me, and are quite cost effective. There is no downside to their use.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:51 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for all of the information so far, especially the recommendations for using them in regards to protein intake and fasting. I hadn't even considered that as an option.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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I sip on BCAAs over ice man, it's a tasty drink at the minimum.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I like BCAA powders. They give me something to drink other than water, and have no downside. I prefer them intra-workout to whey. I like to keep them handy for later at night when I am eating dinner and while having a snack.

The issue is do they have value?

They have value for me. Some days I have a harder time than others reaching my protein levels so I like to have them around to sip on at night. Some days I want a healthier alternative to soda, something with taste.

Also, with a quality amount of muscle mass I find that intermittent fasting by itself did not work well without morning BCAAs or whey. When I added either of these to my morning underfeeding windows I stopped losing muscle.

There are also times in life where I can't eat protein for extended periods of time for whatever reason, such as driving, so I like to keep them around for these times as well.

Decide for yourself if they have value. They are merely a nutritional supplement. They carry value for me, and are quite cost effective. There is no downside to their use.
I agree 100% with this^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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