/ Protein shake and BCAAs advice

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Exile - on 15 Oct 2017
Has anybody got any advice on quality protein and BCAAs supplements - there are a huge number of brands out there, which are the good ones?

Thanks
Shani - on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:
The advice is - if you re eating a nutritionally complete diet, both are a waste of money.

The brands to go for are egg, beef, oily fish and liver.
Post edited at 21:28
flaneur - on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

BBCA in isolation give poorer protein synthesis than the whole complement of amino acids. Don’t believe the hype.
https://theconversation.com/bcaa-supplements-are-just-hype-heres-a-better-way-to-build-muscles-84411

What Shani says, don’t let yourself be prey to the body dysmorphia industry.

alx - on 15 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

Shani and Flaneur have good points however everything is taken in context. I train very late at night and trying to eat then go straight to bed to get up at 7am and go to work means I can’t have a decent meal which would be the preferred option. I have it now down to a few BCAA’s tablets before and after along with a tin of sardines when I get home really stave off the aches. The drink I take whilst training (BCAA’s and beta alanine) contains a small amount. All MyProtein branded stuff.

In a Rocklands where the walk outs are 45-60mins with a further 60mins wait to a good meal I use BCAA’S to kick start the recovery as soon as I take off my rock shoes.
Neil Carruthers - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

I looked into this about 6 months ago and concluded that you don't need additional BCAA's if you take a good whey protein after training. I've found this one tastes ok and dissolves well:

https://cleannutritionco.com

slab_happy on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

If you can conveniently go and get a nutritious, high-protein meal within an hour or two of training or intense climbing, you're probably fine.

For those of us for whom that's not always possible, a protein supplement can be handy. Any decent whey protein is probably your best choice (I like Pulsin's whey isolate), unless you're vegan or strict paleo or one of the people who find that their stomachs get upset by whey.
guy127917 - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

I use MyProtein BCAA Plus tablets when I wake to give my body something before breakfast ~2 hours later.

I use SIS Rego for post workout carb + protein replacement followed by a quality meal.

Pure whey brands I like- MyProtein Impact Isolate and ON Gold Standard.

Ignore people who say you don't "need" it. Of course you don't- you don't need anything specific to survive. If you are talking about optimising recovery just look to what pros do in similar sports where there is more money/research. Climbing physiology isn't the same as cycling or body building, but the knowledge of the two isn't completely irrelevant.
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to slab_happy:

> If you can conveniently go and get a nutritious, high-protein meal within an hour or two of training or intense climbing, you're probably fine.

This 'window' is also open to lots of contention. Unless you are a top end athlete (where margins are fractional), or unless you are participating in consecutive days of training, I understand that if you get around 1.5g of protein per KG of lean body mass, in a 24hr period, you'll be fine. There are also advantages to occassionally staying fasted for several hours after training as celular autophagy is upregulated and 'degraded' proteins are preferentially used for fuel (ie you burn junk cells).

Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:
> Shani and Flaneur have good points however everything is taken in context. I train very late at night and trying to eat then go straight to bed to get up at 7am and go to work means I can’t have a decent meal which would be the preferred option. I have it now down to a few BCAA’s tablets before and after along with a tin of sardines when I get home really stave off the aches. The drink I take whilst training (BCAA’s and beta alanine) contains a small amount. All MyProtein branded stuff.

I'd agree to a point, but if your life is this hectic ( train very late at night ... get up at 7am ), your 'gainz' are probably being inhibited by lifestyle way more than a solution of BCAAs can compensate for.
Post edited at 09:15
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:
Eating protein within 20 minutes to half an hour of finishing exercise is one of the best ways to help muscle repair and recovery. A whey protein shake is a really effective, convenient and palatable way to do this. It's not a replacement for a good well balanced diet. There's plenty of evidence out there for this if you want to do a bit of research.

asteclaru - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

Unless you like popping pills, I find the Scivation Xtend to be the best tasting BCAA powder currently on the market. Flavour wise, Mango, Grape, Strawberry & Kiwi, Lemon & Lime and Blue Raspberry are all very good, but I would stay away from the Watermelon and the Orange ones as they are vile/tasting like chemicals.

For protein powder, I find that the Muscletech Phase 8 is very good. It is a mix of fast and slow releasing proteins that should keep feeding your body with amino acids for 8 hours (which is what you really want - a constant influx of amino acids into your system). Both Vanilla and Chocolate are good flavours

Lately I've switched to protein bars instead of shakes as it's less messy and you can always have one in your pocket to nibble on. Best tasting bars I've found are the Carb Killa from Grenade. White Chocolate Mocha, Chocolate Crunch and Caramel Chaos are really good - as good as a Mars Bar or Snickers, but you still get some protein in you
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:
> There's plenty of evidence out there for this if you want to do a bit of research.

I have and there isn't evidence to support the claim that you need to eat 'protein within 20 minutes to half an hour of finishing exercise'. If you eat protein immediately after or several hours after, protein synthesis is about the same (as long as you get enough protein over 24hrs split anywhere between 2-4 meals).

If you have eaten 'normal' meal several hours before your workout your insulin, amino acid and glucose levels will still be high several hours AFTER a workout (a mixed meal _CHO, PRO and FAT), keep your insulin levels high enough to stop protein breakdown for up to 6 hours.)

It is worth bearing in mind that protein synthesis rises significantly 3-4 hours AFTER exercise, peaking 24hours after, and returns to normal 36-48 hours later. However, short term raises in protein synthesis does NOT predict long term gains.

The outcome of muscle growth from eating PRO and CHO around a workout is slightly more complex - with some conflicting evidence. If you have fasted overnight, then results *may* be slighlty more favourable (possibly to do with protein breakdown being higher after fasted training). Older athletes may also suffer from anabolic resistance, and might benefit from BCAAs - as *may* leaner and more experienced athletes, but it is a heavily contested area of research.

So after all that, if you still think it is worth spending money on powders, pills and potions, go for it. Don't think you can do so at the expense of eating *real* food, proper training programming, or getting quality sleep.

Before we enter in to a battle of Google-fu, my principle sources are Alan Aragon (Alan Aragon Research Review), and Armi Legge.
Post edited at 10:00
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:
The evidence is there that muscle recovery and repair is greatly increased if protein is eaten within half an hour of finishing exercise.
GreatApe - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

I've been a customer of bulkpowders for years.
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> The evidence is there that muscle recovery and repair is greatly increased if protein is eaten within half an hour of finishing exercise.

This narrative is so simplistic and analysis you are barely credible. It is way more complex than that (as I allude to above). There are so many confounders.

In summary, you are repeating the claim. Can you provide actual evidence?
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

I admit defeat, you've read one 2013 paper and you've used capital letters in your post. You are obviously an expert. Although the expertise seems to be on quotation rather than nutrition.
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> I admit defeat, you've read one 2013 paper and you've used capital letters in your post. You are obviously an expert. Although the expertise seems to be on quotation rather than nutrition.

I'm looking forward to the list of post-2013 research papers that you have read, which will convince me that your claims are valid.

For my own part, the latest research is still at best inconclusive and at worst, fails to support you, as Flaneur's link above alludes to. I'd recommned Alan Aragon's Research Review as a good way to keep up with the latest research but you obviously have your own robust source of knowledge.

So, I am happy to be persuaded of your claims. Let's see it.
flaneur - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

Play the ball not the man.

Take a read of this in case you have not already: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-53

Then tell us why Schoenfeld and colleagues are wrong and give us the evidence that timing of protien consumption is as crucial as you propose.
MikeSP - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

"In a Rocklands where the walk outs are 45-60mins with a further 60mins wait to a good meal I use BCAA’S to kick start the recovery as soon as I take off my rock shoes."

Isn't this what sandwiches are for?
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to flaneur:

> Then tell us why Schoenfeld and colleagues are wrong and give us the evidence that timing of protien consumption is as crucial as you propose.

+1 for Schoenfeld!

If the effect is real then it should be reasonably easy to identify, an it clearly isn't easy to identify. This means it is likely that the gains, if any, are likely to be fractionally small.

But if people want to be persuaded by advertising and hype, and can afford it, who are we to argue with them eh?
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to flaneur:

Yep read it many years ago as referred to in my previous post re - 2013. Are you another expert or another quoter?

This report is not definitive and is far more concerned with hypertrophy and strength gain than it is with muscle recovery, it quoted 4 reports that supported a very tight window and 3 that didn't. It concluded that there possibly wasn't such a tight window but added that their conclusions were 'in part a reflection of current methodological methods' ie not definitive.

The last paragraph sums it up

'In conclusion, current evidence does not appear to support the claim that immediate (? 1 hour) consumption of protein pre- and/or post-workout significantly enhances strength- or hypertrophic-related adaptations to resistance exercise. The results of this meta-analysis indicate that if a peri-workout anabolic window of opportunity does in fact exist, the window for protein consumption would appear to be greater than one-hour before and after a resistance training session. Any positive effects noted in timing studies were found to be due to an increased protein intake rather than the temporal aspects of consumption, but a lack of matched studies makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions in this regard.'

The authors are not prepared to give a firm conclusion but you are and are claiming that this report is definitive.



Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> Are you another expert or another quoter?

Oh the irony!
Paul Tanner - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

Don't stop the debate now, I've just finished making my popcorn.
ripper - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Paul Tanner:

> Don't stop the debate now, I've just finished making my popcorn.

Me too, just beginning to enjoy this one - all it needs now is for someone to inject an element of religion v. science, the death of trad ethics, or Bob Pettigrew and we'll be on for a classic UKC humdinger!
planetmarshall on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> Yep read it many years ago as referred to in my previous post re - 2013. Are you another expert or another quoter?

Which are you?
davidbeynon on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Paul Tanner:

How much protein is there in popcorn?
krikoman - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

Milk
krikoman - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

> How much protein is there in popcorn?

Depends who makes it
davidbeynon on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to krikoman:

That thought is quite disturbing.
ripper - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

> How much protein is there in popcorn?

more to the point, how much is there in a pint and a packet of peanuts?
alx - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

It’s not hectic, I work 9-5, come home have dinner, sleep until 7.30, gym 8-10.30 home and bed by midnight. I train late mostly as I prefer the gym to be quiet. Seems to be working out for me, no climbing in 5 months, not even a fingerboard session due to a blown A2 and still dragged myself up a new 7C at the weekend.

Sleep is definitely the key, a silent dyson fan keeps the room cool, eye mask and ear plugs stop disturbances waking me and I have a natural daylight alarm clock that helps me get up in the morning, I use the sunset mode to go to sleep.

I don’t like a meal right before bed, for some reason makes me heat up and makes for an uncomfortable restless nights sleep. All this has come from years of tinkering, it will most definitely not be for everyone.
alx - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to MikeSP:

Normally I do in the UK. The walk ins for Rocklands can be a ball ache and solid up hill walk. All food tends to get demolished halfway through the day, a small handful of fruit and nut, some BCAA’s, the last of the water then the big hike out with all the kit.

I am a big guy, my BMR is 2000kcal with a long day of sunshine and hard exercise it’s more like 5000kcal, taking that much food with me is impractical.
Shani - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

You sound like you've got a grip on things. My comments weren't meant to be critical - and obviously were made without complete knowledge of your situation. Good luck with the A2!
Lamb - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

http://www.climbingnutrition.com/

Very good website worth checking out rather than reading a lot of tosh on here.
mark s - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to Exile:

I have recently slowed on the weights. I was training 5 days a week and was benching 140kg and my opinion of amino supplements and shakes is they are not needed
planetmarshall on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to Lamb:

Good resource.
galpinos on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to Lamb:

Great resource!
Shani - on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to Lamb:


> Very good website worth checking out rather than reading a lot of tosh on here.

I don't know, you know. That guy references Alan Aragon's research. Some might dismiss him as a 'quoter'....
Shani - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to arunkumar22:

I didn't know Yoda climbed.
stp - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> Eating protein within 20 minutes to half an hour of finishing exercise is one of the best ways to help muscle repair and recovery.

I've heard that too but apparently it's just a myth which helps support the supplement industry. What I read was that the only tests that found this a benefit was for people training in a fasted state. So if you train first thing in the morning before eating it may be worth taking into consideration. If not it won't make any difference.
stp - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Exile:

From my understanding protein is protein and as long as it's complete protein your muscles won't know the difference between the different brands.

There a lot of good stuff on climbingnutrition.com about protein. A key point is that firstly you have to have enough calories overall. If you're not getting enough then a lot of the protein just gets burned for energy. Secondly you need to get between 20 and 30 grams each meal. And interestingly that's regardless of body size. You can do that 5 or 6 times a day.

With protein powders I suppose checking the amount of protein per 100gms is important from an economic perspective if nothing else. Though plant based protein powders are naturally lower than something like whey.

Beyond that it probably just comes down to taste and how well they will work in recipes or however you plan on taking them. I don't think any of them taste particularly great.

A possible cheap alternative is milk powder. Less protein by weight than whey (something like 30g per 100 vs 80g for whey) but if its that much cheaper to buy it could save you money. Also tastes much better too. Some protein bars are made using milk powder.
MischaHY - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Exile:

I used to use protein powders after every training session and thought it made a big difference.

I've recently become Milk/Soy intolerant (think norovirus every time you eat it) and have experienced no difference whatsoever having cut it all out. Seems I was wasting my money!
Murderous_Crow - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

> …there isn't evidence to support the claim that you need to eat 'protein within 20 minutes to half an hour of finishing exercise'. If you eat protein immediately after or several hours after, protein synthesis is about the same (as long as you get enough protein over 24hrs split anywhere between 2-4 meals).

This pretty much reflects the current best evidence.

> The advice is - if you re eating a nutritionally complete diet, both are a waste of money.

I disagree with you here. Whey and casein powders can certainly represent value for money.

The literature is now pretty clear: daily protein intakes of circa 1.6-2.4g per kg bodyweight are necessary for lean mass gains (and at least 1.2g/kg/day is required for maintenance of muscle mass when dieting). This is conveyed in the JISSN’s latest position statement on protein intake, for which Mr Aragon was the lead author:

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y

People training in any meaningful way thus need to support recovery with a surprisingly large daily protein intake – far greater than current Reference Intakes. Circa 150g PRO for a 75kg male for example.

1x 150g sirloin steak provides only around 40-45g PRO. Cost £2-3.00 depending on source. Roughly £5.00 per 100g PRO.
1x 120g drained tinned tuna provides around 30-35g PRO. Cost £0.80-1.20 depending on source. Roughly £3.00 per 100g PRO.
3x large eggs provides around 18g PRO. Cost £0.27-0.90 depending on source. Roughly £3.20 per 100g PRO.

If you’re mixing such sources as most people will, daily protein intake is going to cost around £5.50-7.50.

Contrast that with a decent protein powder (at least 75g PRO/100g):

1x 30g serving provides around 22-26g PRO. Cost £0.40-0.65 per serving depending on source.

Roughly £1.35-1.50 per 100g PRO, around half to two-thirds the price of the cheapest whole food sources.

(A 2.3kg tub provides 75 servings. Cost of such a tub is around £50.00 at the higher end, which makes the cost per 100g PRO around £1.75. But you can buy 3 such tubs for £100.00 on what they cheekily call an ‘offer’ at most chains like H&B or GNC. You can save even more by shopping around online.)

As such yes, people should eat as much whole-food quality protein as possible, but supplement any extra required with a reputable, but comparably inexpensive protein powder. The benefits in terms of convenience and cost are significant.

I like Mr Schoenfeld’s perspective on this subject. It’s simple and common sense:

‘The evidence is compelling that all the essential amino acids are needed for maximising muscle development – BCAAs are suboptimal in this regard. As an alternative to whole foods, quality protein powders such as whey or casein make good choices.

Luke
Hay - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to flaneur:
I am yet to see anyone actually climbing at such a level of intensity that they would require a supplemented recovery regime. It's just not nearly hard enough work to dig that far into the body.
I've seen some folk train hard but actually climbing...? Nah.
stp - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Interesting working out and for getting pure protein seems like protein powder is a good deal.

However since we don't just want protein I don't think it represents the best value. Once you've got your protein powder you'll certainly want to add something to it to make it edible if for no other reason. That will add to the price.

Milk powder (£2 for 340g in Tesco) is a pretty good deal. With 36g protein per 100g this works out at about 40p for a 20g serving. But it also has plenty of carbs of in the form of lactose and it's edible/drinkable just by adding water.

Another interesting option is cheese. In Lidl you can get a 350g of sliced gouda for £1.79. This is 23g protein per 100g. If you eat a quarter of the pack you'll get 20g protein for 45p. This is far cheaper and healthier than the typical 20g, sugar laden protein bars that usually cost over a pound each. And it's tasty and convenient enough to each straight from the pack. It might work out a little more than the best priced protein powder but then you're getting much more than just the protein. You don't need to add anything else. So when everything is taken into consideration it will probably work out cheaper plus there's zero preparation time.
stp - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Hay:

I think that's a really good point. Seems to me that most climbing is limited by finger strength which as a weak link thus limits stress to the larger muscle groups. I can't imagine that even a thorough tearing down of the relatively small forearm muscles would require much extra protein. As this is on the training forum I'm assuming this is related to supplemental training and not just climbing though.
Murderous_Crow - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to stp:
> However since we don't just want protein I don't think it represents the best value.

You've actually hit on something really crucial there, particularly for climbers: calories.

Protein-to-calorie ratio is actually a key advantage of protein-dense powders. Very few if any whole foodstuffs contain protein in that kind of fraction (>75%). This means that inevitably when you consume whole foods, you are concurrently getting extra, non-protein calories, from carbs and / or fat.

The whole foods with the highest protein densities are cheeses, lean dried meats and fish. Taking something like gouda for example, consuming enough cheese (around 100g) for a reasonable 'dose' of PRO (around 25g) will net you 350kCal. That's a lot! And it's a lot of cheese...

A 75kg person with reasonably normal body composition (i.e. not morbidly obese) who is training meaningfully, requires around 6 times this amount of protein daily. Of course you're not suggesting gouda as the only source of protein, but even mixing the food sources up means you will consume an awful lot of extra calories if you're trying to obtain all protein from whole-food sources. Take turkey, a widely accepted lean source of protein. 100g will net 29g PRO, and about 190kCal.

Even if you could hack eating half a kilo of dry turkey meat daily, you'd still be taking in around 1200kCal. That's presumably in addition to a normal-ish diet containing carbs, fats and essential micronutrients. Given a lean-ish 75kg person looking to gain lean mass will require around 2000kCal daily, even the turkey means cutting back a lot on other essential dietary intake.

Some trainees don't give a stuff about calories. Certain old-school approaches to bodybuilding and strength sport advocate bulking, in which the extra calorific value of foods is considered an advantage in supporting higher training volumes. The implication of course is increased non-lean body mass i.e. fat. Climbers however are of course highly dependent on power-to-weight ratios and body composition, so excess calories must be avoided as far as possible while supporting muscle growth.

The point I'm trying to make is that, if one accepts the research on what's required to support muscle maintenance and growth, concentrated protein powders such as whey, casein and even soya, offer a solution in three key areas: cost, calories and convenience.

Disadvantages are that they generally taste pretty rubbish, particularly if (as I do) you mix them only with water, and they can also lead to excess gas. I've found daily kefir fixes the latter problem.

In reply to stp and Hay:

As to whether climbers 'need' these levels of protein, the research bears out the physiological facts as regards muscle maintenance and growth, climbers are no different to anyone here. However climbing is a deeply complex activity, and even at the most athletically rigorous extremes of the sport, is also massively skill-dependent. One could theoretically see excellent progress even while losing muscle mass, as many climbing moves will be made significantly easier with good technique, improved core strength, and increased flexibility and mobility.

Climbing is not strength-dependent in the way that powerlifting is. And much of the brute strength required for many individual moves can be found with increased neural efficiencies (recruitment and motor unit firing rate). Think for example of a handstand. Plenty of very strong folks cannot do one to save their lives, yet more advanced yoga practitioners can do them with ease. That's not because the yogis are light (some aren't): it's because they are using their muscle mass efficiently, and have practiced the skill i.e. the neural element repeatedly.

Also, as you rightly point out, climbers tend to find themselves limited by finger strength. I'm not aware of any research into the specific protein intakes required to support forearm muscle maintenance and growth, however again much of the strength required here is built with existing muscle. And yes, limitations in such will absolutely limit the stress on the larger muscle groups: simply by preventing further progress and limiting overall volume. If a climber was concerned about that they could of course do laps on jugs using big, powerful or awkward moves at the end of a session.

Specifically as relates to climbing, efficiently-utilised lean mass, particularly in the core and upper body, will certainly help an technical and mobile climber to progress much, much further. Someone who is letting their protein intake slip, and thus becoming chronically catabolic may see OK progress thanks to skill acquisition, however ultimately the sliding scale of strength to skill will meet in the middle and the climber will plateau.

In brief, if you're tired or sore at any point after a climbing session, you need to recover. Recovery is supported by rest, regeneration of energy substrates, and muscular anabolism (growth) using amino acids from dietary protein.

Climbers also need to support their body composition for the exact same reasons humans do in general: lean mass is protective and enabling in a multitude of ways in daily life. The research is moving toward a consensus on this:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101102846.htm

And protein supplementation may be key in preventing excessive oxidative stress, a massive factor in biological ageing. Abstract from a paper published in the Royal Society B:

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/360/1464/2355.long

'In several clinical trials, cysteine supplementation improved skeletal muscle functions, decreased the body fat/lean body mass ratio, decreased plasma levels of the inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor ? (TNF-?), improved immune functions, and increased plasma albumin levels. As all these parameters degenerate with age, these findings suggest: (i) that loss of youth, health and quality of life may be partly explained by a deficit in cysteine and (ii) that the dietary consumption of cysteine is generally suboptimal and everybody is likely to have a cysteine deficiency sooner or later...'


Post edited at 09:09
Ramon Marin - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Exile:

On busy periods I take vegan protein shake and BCAA pills fro My Protein, and it does help for sure. Of course if can get home not too late and have a great meal then yes, there isn't a real need for it. Having said that, since my diet is mostly vegetarian now, I add a scoop or vegan protein in my breakfast regularly, there's only so many eggs you can have in a day.

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