It has been known for many years now that you need enough of all eight essential amino acids to be able to produce quality lean muscle, which speeds up your metabolism.
Research is now indicating that the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) isoleucine, leucine and valine are the most important and main drivers of new muscle growth. BCAAs are absolutely necessary as the building blocks for new muscle growth and repair, but they also provide energy to the muscles.
These 3 amino acids also help your body burn fat, improve your recovery and reduce your muscle soreness.
What was once just thought of as a muscle building supplement is now a vital tool for those that want to lose weight and build new lean muscle at the same time. This isn’t just for bodybuilders. BCAAs are for any man or women looking to get in better shape and lose weight.
Here are a few reasons why Branched Chain Amino Acids can help you reach your weight loss goals
I discuss the power of your hormones when it comes to weight loss and how you can manipulate them to your advantage through certain types of foods and nutrients. Ball State University researchers found that when strength training is combined with BCAA supplements that cortisol levels were reduced.
This is powerful because when your cortisol levels are elevated these things below start to happen.
• Your appetite increases
• Fat storage increases
• Protein stored in your muscle is broken down
• Your insulin becomes more resistant
• Your body uses glucose (sugar) less efficiently
High cortisol levels also lead to leptin resistance which when this happens the leptin resistance encourages higher cortisol levels. It becomes a vicious circle with weight gain being the result.
It is important that you feed your muscles the energy it needs because it can be challenging at times to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Generally you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat so a calorie restricted diet is the method used. There is a fine line with this though because if you restrict too much your body will go into your existing muscle and break down the protein in them to use the branched chain amino acids for energy.
The easiest way to prevent this is by supplying your body with a consistent infusion of new BCAAs. If you are in a calorie or energy deficit the BCAA supplement you take can supply your body with the energy it needs so that it does not have to go into the muscle and break it down to get to the BCAAs in your muscle.
This third reason is some very early science, but may be the most promising and powerful research with branched chain amino acids. There is something called nutrition partitioning that is very interesting and even mind boggling to some people.
Nutrient partitioning allows your body to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. In relation to the BCAAs they take energy from the stored fat cells and provide it to the muscle to be used for new growth. There have been some studies done with mice at the University of Illinois showing these results and the researchers are giving credit to the BCAA leucine content of the diet as the reason for this result.
The research has shown us how beneficial BCAA supplementation can be with achieving weight loss and building lean muscle to speed up your metabolism, but how do you apply this to your daily routine?
It is actually simpler than you think. Yes, you can try to eat lean protein foods, which you should be doing anyways, but 99% of you will not consume enough protein through food to get in the leucine, iso-leucine, and valine you need to see the benefits research has shown.
This is where BCAA supplementation comes in to complement what you are already doing and providing a therapeutic dose that allows your body to achieve the research results explained above.
How To Use Branched Chain Amino Acids
Take 3-5 grams with Breakfast
Take 3-5 grams before your workout
Take 3-5 grams before bed
NOTE: If you already consume a whey protein shake before your workout then you don’t have to take the 3-5 grams of BCAAs before your workout.
If you have a weight loss goal for the new year, a good source of BCAA’s should be added to your list.
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