BCAAs are gaining popularity in the fitness industry quickly. Both professional athletes, in particular, bodybuilders, amateurs, and those who want to lose weight use this amino supplement with branched chain.
Unhealthy lifestyle patterns lead to rapid bulking and even obesity, as well as various heart diseases. The problem of adult obesity is urgent nowadays. However, this also creates a paradoxical demand for ways to lose weight through trendy diets and exercises in the quest of staying healthy and attractive.
Statistics show that at least 54% of Americans struggle with their weight. Half of them are struggling to just maintain a healthy number of the scale. Unfortunately, when trying to get rid of extra pounds, people pounce on opportunities like fad diets, which in most cases are helpless.
This article is about an incredibly efficient tool for helping you lose weight. We’re talking branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements. Should you use BCAA powder for weight loss? What’s the mechanism of its activity?
BCAA Consuming During Caloric Deficit
A caloric deficit, which implies eating fewer calories than you consume, is an integral part of the fat burning process—it’s a key aspect of many weight loss programs. However, if your target is to both lose fat and make your body attractive, a caloric deficit is not enough. Such deficits also burn away muscles, which will not contribute to a hard body.
Besides, if you have significant muscle mass, you will waste more calories, because muscles use them even at rest. Your metabolism increases.
Amino acids minimize the breakdown of protein, which is the main component of our muscles. Using BCAA supplements, you can increase your level of essential amino acids without adding calories, because BCAAs are a split protein—BCAAs go directly to the muscles. The time of absorption is about 15 minutes.
Why are amino acids are so important? They are building materials for our muscles.
The lack of a sufficient quantity of aminos inevitably leads to catabolism, which is the process of your muscles breaking down. To prevent this cascade from occurring, take BCAAs either before, during, or after your workout to recover and replenish all burned energy in the organism.
According to Dong-Hee Kim, Seok-Hwan Kim, Woo-Seok Jeong et al. (J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2013 Dec), the supplementation reduces the muscle damage associated with endurance workouts.
Appetite Control with BCAAs
It’s impossible to combat excess kilos when your appetite impulsions (cravings) are beyond control. All your diet plans can collapse in one moment if you consider the temptation to eat lots of food stronger than the desire to lose weight and look strong and bracing. Indeed, the temptation is powerful. Chocolate, pizza, and burgers are tasty comfort food, but they will never lead your body to desirable success. Moreover, if you cannot control your appetite, you can consume extra calories even eating balanced food.
So it’s crucial to keep your desires under strict control.
The hormone which controls hunger is called ghrelin, also known as lenomorelin (INN). In cases of stomach stretching, this hormone is blocked so you don’t feel hunger anymore. There is another hormone which can turn off the appetite. This is CCK (cholecystokinin), which is produced in the intestines under the stimulation of fat and protein. Despite CCK, some molecules are responsible for pushing signals to the brain to regulate hunger pangs.
You may be curious now—what is the connection with BCAAs? BCAAs, especially leucine, are those molecules, which activate hunger-controlling molecules—mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) and AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase).
In addition, BCAAs take part in decreasing cortisol rates and contributes to GLP (glucagon-like peptide 1) stimulation. GLP-1 is aimed at decreasing stress-induced cravings. BCAAs also stimulate glutamate and GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) activating, which are aimed at controlling our hunger.
The described effect has been proven in the following studies:
- Pedroso JA, Zampieri TT, Donato J (Nutrients. 2015 May 22)
- Li‐Qiang Qin, Pengcheng Xun, Deborah Bujnowski et al. (J Nutr. 2011 Feb)
- Thomas Laeger, Scott D. Reed, Tara M. Henagan et al. (Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014 Aug 1)
- Nicholas Heeley and Clemence Blouet (Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 2016)
- Skeie B, Petersen AJ, Manner T (Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 May)
Regular exercise and physical activity are wildly beneficial for your health. However, exhaustive exercises can also decrease infection protection. Moreover, your immunity may suffer, making you sicker, thus deteriorating the performance is sport activity. Losing weight is a kind of stress. So, you need to stay healthy if you want to protect from this stressful regimen.
BCAAs will help you in staying healthy. This supplement is contributed to enhancing the immune system. Moreover, studies show that BCAAs make the lymphocytes synthesize faster. Using BCAAs, you will stay healthy and reasonable abuse of the physical activity will not make your immune system sicker.
BCAAs Use for Better Training
Efficient weight loss is not only a matter of physical activity. Your mental condition also plays a significant role. While dieting and training, your body is affected by stress. BCAAs minimize the power of this stressful fact.
One study shows that runners who have taken BCAAs during distance running performed much better. Experts prove that BCAAs influence both physical and mental characteristics.
BCAA for Fast Recovery and Growth
The food you eat after your workout plays a fundamental role in the recovery process. Besides, it influences the efficiency of your training. Most people dieting try to avoid whey protein because of the caloric capacity of such products. Absence or lack of this building block can cause muscle catabolism after your workout.
BCAAs avert this process because of the anabolic properties, which enhance the synthesis of protein. In addition, the caloric capacity of BCAAs zero, which is the best choice for those who are cutting their weight.
According to Sarah R. Jackman, Oliver C. Witard, Andrew Philp et al. (Front Physiol. 2017), ingestion of these aminos stimulates muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis after resistance workouts. However, according to Robert R. Wolfe (J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017), the claim that consumption of dietary BCAAs stimulates muscle protein formation or produces an anabolic response in people is unwarranted. So, the reality lies somewhere in the middle.
The aminos act almost immediately after taking. It goes straight into skeletal muscles wasting no time for absorbing.
BCAAs are used by athletes for preventing fatigue—consequently performing better in any sport. If you’re seeking greater efficiency for your gym sessions, BCAAs should help. Appropriate quantities of carbs and fats before and after training (you can use gainers) give your body energy. BCAAs, in turn, transform your muscles, making them grow faster.
According to some experiments, BCAAs show their efficiency in increasing aerobic endurance of muscles. It means an improvement of your strength and endurance in both aerobic and anaerobic complexes.
However, as stated by Imanipour Vahid, Banaiifar Abdolali, Mahdi Fatemeh et al. (Interv Med Appl Sci. 2018 Dec), BCAA administration has zero effect on the reduction of lactate (lactic acid) and ammonium (NH₄⁺) indices as indicators of fatigue in human volunteers. So, the evidence base is somewhat controversial.
The List of the Best BCAAs for Weight Loss
Should you search for the best BCAA for weight loss? We’re here to help. Check out this list of top BCAA supplements for getting lean:
- Scivation Xtend
- Betancourt Plus Series BCAA
- Cellucor Alpha Amino
- Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200
- BCAA-XS by Ronnie Coleman
- Ladyboss Recover
- CELLUCOR ALPHA AMINO
- SASCHA FITNESS BCAA
- Transparent Labs BCAA
- Xplode Olimp
- In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel
- MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel
- Amino Build Next Gen Energized
- Gaspari AminoLast
- Performix ISO 9:2:2
- Giant Nutrition Giant
- Sheer Strength Labs Sheer Strength BCAA
- Legends Body Sports Smart Recovery
In addition, you can use CrazyBulk products. These natural steroid alternatives also contain BCAAs.
BCAA Powder for Weight Loss—the Conclusion
It is worth remembering that the process of efficient weight loss requires a multidimensional approach. A low-calorie diet is not enough. You need to train hard and take the right supplements. The combination of all these tools will make the process as effective as possible and your efforts will be visible.
Apart from muscle growth, these products will help you burn fat. As distinguished from whey protein, branched-chain amino acids do not pack on those evil calories, which you’re trying to escape from. You can take them and not worry about possible weight gain. Besides, BCAA helps to keep your appetite under control.
BCAAs should not be overestimated and considered some magical pills which relieve you from any efforts. Follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Still, their power should not be underestimated either. The supplement contributes to fat burning and muscle growth. It helps you to perform better and recover quicker after the training. If you’re obsessed by the desire to have a set of six-pack abs, take BCAAs.
In online shops, you can find BCAAs of high quality at affordable prices.