Regarding products that contain BCAAs, and have no protein value, these BCAAs are free form amino acids and are not considered complete proteins by themselves. This means that there is no bond to break during digestion as compared to the digestion of a whole protein source, like chicken for example. Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids while BCAA products only contain three of these nine amino acids. Therefore, the traditional 4-4-9 calorie determination method in context to carbohydrate, protein, and fat calories per gram does not apply to BCAA products.
The reason amino acids are not considered protein is articulated within 21 CFR 101, which contains labeling information for dietary supplements. Individual amino acids, aka free form amino acids, are not labeled as protein. Products containing only individual amino acids shall not be declared on labels as protein.
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