A lot of individuals are now turning to BCAAs when it comes to effective and fast weight loss.
If you are a regular gym goer, you might have noticed that a good number of your ‘colleagues’ are accompanying their work outs with the intake of BCAAs.
Perhaps you want to join in but are not quite sure whether or not ingesting BCAAS is a good idea.
This article is a breakdown of the most important facts regarding BCAAs and weight loss.
So, what exactly are BCAAs? How will they help you achieve your weight loss goals? Let’s get started!
What are BCAAs?
Branched-chain amino acids, aka BCAAs, are made up of three essential amino acids; isoleucine, leucine, and valine. 1
Given that the body is not capable of naturally producing them, they can only be gotten from other external sources and ingested if you wish to enjoy their great benefits.
They are naturally available in foods, particularly protein-filled lentils and lean proteins such as fish and chicken.
Apart from food sources, BCAAs are also available in powder or tablet form basically for easy ingestion.
In supplement form, BCAAs are absorbed into an individual’s bloodstream quicker, and this makes them a great pre-workout routine.
How do BCAAs promote weight loss?
As mentioned earlier, BCAAs are simply a combination of three major essential amino acids. 2
Their structure, just as suggested in the name (branched-chain) allows the body to easily acquire energy from each and every amino acid when working out.
And that is precisely why they should be taken pre-workout, to provide the needed energy required to exercise.
The greater the quantity of BCAAs in your muscles, the higher the energy levels will be throughout your workout.
Apart from increasing your energy levels, BCAAs will also prevent any breakdown and loss of muscles.
Simply put, you get to shed off the excess body fat whilst maintaining muscles.
Advantages of using BCAAs for weight loss
Unlike most other workout supplements, BCAAs have been found to be very effective with regards to aiding weight loss.
Not only will they help you realize your weight loss goals, but they also have other added benefits that are associated with their use.
Some of these advantages include:
- Reduction of sugar cravings and binges
Ensuring that your consumption of branched-chain amino acids is at a nice level is one effective way of controlling your blood sugar as well as glucose levels.
When present in the body when training, BCAAs promote the bulk of production of blood sugar.
This is particularly quite helpful for those working out while in a low-carb diet.
BCAAs are continually being produced by the liver and they are vital in maintaining the stability of blood sugar levels in the body.
What this does is that it helps to evade any dips in blood sugar, which will prompt cravings for sweet and sugary foods and drinks.
- Helps you to train harder and for extended durations
As BCAAs help in the reduction and prevention sugar carvings and binges, their control of the blood sugar levels also assists in truly maximizing your training sessions. 3
In ensuring that your body’s muscles have an ample supply of energy, branched-chain amino acids fuel your performance to ensure that you actually meet your set goals.
It is through their control of blood sugar that your body will capable of handling prolonged workout sessions without any issues.
This flash of power will significantly help you burn more calories and fat.
Additionally, they have also been scientifically proven to help in the reduction of serotonin levels in the human body.
This will make sure that the brain is always alert and ready to focus on your training.
- Allows you to shed off fat whilst maintaining muscles
As per numerous scientific studies 4 conducted on BCAAs, it has been found that they prevent the loss of muscle mass whilst promoting weight loss.
This is good news especially for those looking to lose weight but still retain muscles.
In most scenarios that involve weight loss, part of the muscles are usually lost because of the restricted intake of calories, and the more time that allocated to cardio in comparison to weight lifting.
Nonetheless, have been found to prevent loss of muscles even in the above situations.
You can cut some weight without the fear of losing your curves, particularly in ladies.
Eradicates muscle pain when exercising
Branched-chain amino acids encourage promote synthesis, which is simply the formation of new muscle cells in the body.
Apart from the maintenance and growth of muscles, BCAAs also help in accelerating the muscle tearing and gaining process that results to soreness.
Scientific studies have also found BCAAs to be very useful with regards to increasing the body’s growth hormones 5 and helping to sustain the cortisol and testosterone levels (two crucial hormones in the process of recovery from muscle soreness).
This means that you can now go hard in the gym without any worries of muscle pain later on.
How to use BCAAs
In order to get the most out of BCAAs, try combining its use with your workout regimen and the results will speak for themselves.
They should be taken before your workout so as to reduce muscle pain and retain muscle mass when involved in workouts such as running or swimming.
They are also helpful in high repetition exercises involving lighter weights to ensure that you are shedding fat without losing muscle mass.
You could also replenish your BCAAs during training to boost your energy levels and avoid muscle fatigue.
And once you are done with your workout, ingesting them is also important as this will help with the recovery, growth and maintenance of your muscles.
Simply put, your BCAA supplement should be taken pre-work out, during the workout, and even after the work out in order enjoy the full benefits.
Who should avoid the use of BCAAs?
- Alcoholics: The usage of BCAAs by alcoholics has been connected to a liver disease that ultimately lead to brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy).
- Children with low blood sugar levels: Leucine has been proven to cause a drop in blood sugar in kids with a condition called idiopathic hypoglycemia.
- Patients scheduled for or are recovering from surgery: BCAAs might affect your blood sugar levels, and this might interfere with blood sugar control both during and after a surgical procedure.
Scientific studies and research have proven that BCAAs are indeed quite effective in aiding weight loss whilst retaining muscles.
Additionally, BCAAs also reduce sugar cravings help in getting rid of muscle soreness after those tough workouts.
They are certainly a good supplement choice for anyone looking to shed some weight, and still look masculine in men, and curvy in ladies.
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