So you want to get shredded? You want to reduce your body fat without losing any muscle mass? This is a goal of many, many people, but it’s a tall mountain to climb. Losing body fat is a catabolic process – meaning the body is breaking down (and in essence consuming) fat and muscle stores for energy. BCAAs can help protect your muscles against the catabolic effects of dieting and help you keep your hard-earned muscle mass while shedding the fat.
It is a well accepted theory that branched chain amino acids can stimulate protein synthesis to a greater extent than a normal protein does on its own. BCAAs are also thought to increase synthesis of the cellular machinery responsible for carrying out the process of protein synthesis. BCAAs work for you by reducing the rate of protein breakdown.
Amino Acids are best used as Free Form and Branched Chain. These Amino Acids do not require digestion and go straight into the blood stream for immediate use by muscle cells. BCAA also provides 70% of the body’s Nitrogen requirement.
So What is The Difference Between Essential and Non-Essential Amino Acids?
Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. You must get them from complete protein foods or combinations of incomplete vegetable foods. There are 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. Your body can make non-essential amino acids by itself from vitamins and other amino acids.
So, is a “non-essential” amino acid ok to omit from my diet? NO. Eventhough it’s called “non-essential”, all amino acids are essential for proper metabolism. The 13 non-essential amino acids are alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, cystine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, hydroxyproline, proline, serine, & tyrosine.
The essential branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are very important for athletes and people who workout and train hard because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. After digestion, once protein is broken down into individual amino acids these aminos can either be used to build new proteins or be burned as fuel to produce energy.
So, What are the Benefits Of BCAA Supplements?
Research has shown us that BCAA supplementation can have positive effects in the body. Among These effects include:
Increased Recovery - Hard training athletes tend to see an increase in metabolic recovery that follows BCAA supplementation. Most athletes feel a substantial decrease in the amount of post exercise muscle soreness soon after beginning BCAA supplementation.
Increased Endurance - The BCAAs can serve as a donor of nitrogen in the formation of l-alanine, which provides the body with glucose after glycogen stores have been depleted.
Stimulation of Protein Synthesis - BCAAs by themselves have been shown to independently stimulate muscle protein synthesis meaning they have demonstrated the ability to promote muscle gains organically – that means muscle growth was observed even without lifting a single weight! Other studies have shown that BCAA supplementation increases the hormones: testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin.
Stimulation Fat Loss Processes - BCAA supplementation has been shown to trigger significant and preferential losses of visceral body fat. Located in the deeper layers of the body under the subcutaneous fat, this visceral fat tends to be resistant to dieting and is hard to lose.
BCAAs Improve Mental Function and Reaction Time
Reaction time has been shown to improve if you have higher BCAA blood levels. BCAAs have also been shown to reduce fatigue and heighten brain function after heavy training, highlighting their value in post-workout nutrition.
So, if you haven’t considered a BCAA supplement maybe now is the time. I say 30 days would be enough time to determine whether or not they work for you so give it a shot!