How Many Calories are in BCAAs? The ISSN's Dr. Doug Kalman Knows

How Many Calories are in BCAAs? The ISSN's Dr. Doug Kalman Knows


Originally published at:

The label says “zero calories” or doesn’t mention calories at all… so those BCAAs are calorie-free and guilt-free, right? WRONG. Yes, BCAAs Have Calories! But how many? Keep reading… Several studies have mathematically calculated the number of calories in the branched-chain amino acids, but nobody’s ever taken a tub of… …(Read more on the PricePlow Blog)

FLASH Contest: How Many Calories are in a Gram of BCAA?
How Many Calories are in BCAAs? More Than You'd Think! (Kalman / ISSN)

Brb kms :sob:


Good stuff man, this is actually beneficial for everyone


Someone said 5.23, you got the wrong winner



You’re absolutely right. Why is my Insta app not showing half of these???

Will hit up… that person. Might as well let the OG winner also win

Thanks Anthony! Contest maverick


Thanks. This is where I hope to take our YouTube more often. We have access to some really smart and well-connected people. It’s time to tap their minds!


Always working to double-check :wink:


Very interesting. I think it’s important to have this disclosed to consumers, but similar to how we treat our 5g of organic cane sugar in our natural pre/intra, I think it’s important to convey to customers what a significant amount of calories actually is.


Question, though: the body isn’t a bomb calorimeter… how are the BCAAs utilized by the body? Are they used as calories directly, or just as supplements to dietary protein, which would cause more protein to be broken down --> gluconeogenesis --> stored as fat? Definitely an interesting read, but more practical research needs to be done. As far as the FDA, they’ll never move quickly enough to make this change. But they only define protein as whole, intact chains of amino acids. And since BCAAs are not that, and therefore contain 0g of macros, 0 calories is an “accurate” callout.

Also, more than likely, the carbs and fats would be coming from lecithins, which are commonly used in BCAA blends.


Interesting, but I believe they used the unflavored BCAA 5000 from NutraBio. Here’s the label

Correction: Natural BCAA’s (fixed label)



In that case, the residuals may be coming from remnants of the fermentation process. Either way, like I said, the body isn’t a bomb calorimeter so I don’t think we should treat it as such


I tried asking this, and I think the answer is more complicated than anyone wants to deal with because calories are really “a human construct” of sorts, and are generally ‘close enough’ until you get insanely dialed in

I think that’s the problem. The research would be very impractical. There are probably so many variables that would affect how your body uses the energy from that blueberry. Man or woman? “Enhanced” or natty? In ketosis or not? Glycogen stores full or not? Food allergy? Amylase deficiency / forget to chew?

Etc etc etc… we have so many ‘modes’ of operation. With that said, I think calories are a “close enough” estimate for 98% of people. You get someone to be 100% consistent on MyFitnessPal with a food scale and they will see results, at least until they’re quite fit.


Perhaps free-form aminos need to be added to the list of accepted macros similarly to alcohol. Alcohol, I believe, is counted in total calories at 7/g.