branched chain amino acids and weight loss

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss

It’s time to increase you knowledge of Branch Chained Amino Acids not only because of their impact with your weight loss goals but also because of all the benefits they can provide to those of you who are giving it your all with your training efforts.

Branch Chained Amino Acids are also known as BCAA’s and stimulate the body’s own recovery process by providing the essential amino acids that our bodies need to produce muscle and build immunity.

You see, proteins break down into smaller particles known as amino acids that are utilized in the body to produce new proteins (muscle) or to be stored and burned as energy. Thus, amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue.

The reason that BCCA’s are beneficial is because they are absorbed straight into the blood stream for more effective use by the muscles, rather than passing through the liver first. The more glycogen we have in our bodies, the less our bodies need to take away from our muscles. This therefore decreases recovery time after tough workouts or even illnesses.

There are five main ways that you and your weight loss and training plan can benefit from taking BCCA’s:

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss: Build Immunity
When you’re sick of course it makes it much harder to train or to keep up the intensity that you are used too. In these circumstances, when you fail to meet pushing yourself in your workouts it can severely limit muscle growth.

Taking BCAA’s will allow you to avoid tissue breakdown and also allow your system to fight infections more efficiently. It’s also important to note that when you are training hard you are putting stress on your body and your immune system is comprised by it so BCAA’s can help immensely in backing up your ability to recover.

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss: Increase Lean Muscle Mass
As mentioned before BCAA’s helps speed up recovery after intense training and recent research indicates that most of us are active are deficient in these amino acids because it is quite hard to get the right amounts in our diet (mostly found in meat).

Thus most athletes today make sure to supplement with BCAA’s to make sure they optimize their lean muscle mass and therefore continue to progress in their training plan.

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss: Increase Stamina
BCAA’s have been proven to reduce fatigue in both anaerobic (weight training) exercise and endurance exercises. This is in part due to BCAA’s role in supporting nitrogen breakdown in the body which in turn enables glucose to be utilized in the body more efficiently for energy.

In essence, supplementation with BCAA’s ensure your body has sustainable amounts of amino acids so that your muscle does not have to be broken down, taking away from all your hard earned work.

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss: Burn Fat More Efficiently
There is definitely some interesting research which points to BCAA’s helping people lose weight because unlike other supplements it helps break down the visceral body fat (which are deep layers that often do not respond readily to dieting and exercise).

Through the reasons listed above BCAA’s are thought to reduce abdominal fat in a case of 30 individuals after a 4 week double blind study where participants were given either a placebo or BCAA’s. Pretty fascinating if you ask me!

Branched Chain Amino Acids & Weight Loss: The Right Amount?

The recommended amount of BCAA’s in our diet really depends on your activity level. In general for those of us who are training more than 3 days a week it is recommended that we obtain about 9 grams per 100 pounds of lean bodyweight per day. Most diets which are rich in meats and legumes only provide about 2-3 grams of BCAA’s.

There has not been any evidence to show that taking more will have any more benefit or even have side effects as they are simply excreted in our urine.

Supplementing with Branched Chain Amino Acids

Without a doubt my highest recommendation of BCAA’s is by adding one scoop of Muscle Pharm Recon into your post workout protein smoothie. Recon is the best because it also contains Vitamin B6, C, E and electrolytes to maximize absorption. With an average user review of 9.1 out of 10 it is definitely the choice of those who are serious about their training.

One of my other favorites is the watermelon flavour of Scivation Xtend which has a great taste and is very easily mixable (sometimes I have it just blended with ice and water!).

Have any questions about BCAA’s? Please leave a comment below…