Run Everything Labs, the brand behind DTE, EWP, and STW, has announced yet another supplement, BTG. BTG, which stands for Bridge The Gap (thanks to Stack3d for the clarification), is a BCAA driven amino supplement which is primarily designed to encourage muscle growth and enhance recovery.
Leucine is the most potent of all amino acids when it comes to stimulating muscle protein synthesis. For this reason, it is often included in BCAA supplements at higher doses than the other BCAAs, Isoleucine and Valine.
Leucine is potentially quite effective for encouraging muscle growth in situations when muscle protein synthesis would otherwise be compromised. Such situations would be certain disease states characterized by muscular atrophy or during a diet when optimal protein intake isn’t being met.
For athletes, Leucine can encourage muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown, especially during long duration training with no food intake when catabolism would likely come into play.
BTG contains 2.5g of Leucine per serving, a standard dose as far as most BCAA supplements are concerned, but not one that can considered clinically effective. Ideally, we like to see 3-5g of Leucine per serving in BCAA supplements.
Isoleucine, though not capable of stimulating muscle protein synthesis and encouraging muscle growth to the same degree as Leucine, does have a function that makes it of interest to athletes.
Isoleucine has been shown to stimulate glucose uptake in muscle tissue, an inherently useful characteristic for those who train regularly and can use all the energy (glycogen) they can get.
BTG contains 1.25g of Isoleucine.
Valine is often considered the “least valuable” of the BCAAs, but to be fair, not much research has been conducted on Valine alone. There is some preliminary research indicating that Valine may help reduce fatigue by competing for the same transport into the brain as Tryptophan (effectively blocking Serotonin production), but whether it is more effective at this than the other BCAAs remains uncertain.
BTG contains 1.25 of Valine per serving.
HICA is a metabolite of Leucine which appears at least somewhat effective at reducing muscle soreness and encouraging muscle growth, but these alleged benefits are based on one study. Until more studies are conducted, specifically to test the effects of HICA on these measures, it’s still somewhat of a speculative ingredient.
Furthermore, HICA is almost always under-dosed relative to the 1.5g/day that was used in the above mentioned study. Unfortunately, BTG is no exception, with just 500mg per serving.
The Bottom Line
There isn’t really anything special about the BTG formula. It contains a standard 5g dose of BCAAs in a standard 2:1:1 ratio, with a little HICA thrown in there as well. There are many other BCAA-based supplements out there which are far superior when it comes to encouraging muscle growth and optimizing recovery, so we can’t really recommend BTG.
Still not sure which BCAA supplement is right for you? Check out our Best BCAA/Amino Acid Supplements List!