BCAAs and Fat Loss Transformation

With regards to fat loss, you need every source of real help you can get. While there is much anecdotal evidence of BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) consumption contributing to increased fat loss while dieting, there is some actual research to back up the claims.

First, let’s define what BCAAs actually are.
Branched-chain amino acids are three essential amino acids with a special branched structure (hence the name) – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs can make up one-third of skeletal muscle, of which leucine appears to be the main player in most of the benefits seen from BCAA consumption.



When on a very low calorie diet, it has been shown that supplemental BCAA consumption can help limit lean body mass loss as well as increasing visceral fat loss. 


Visceral fat is the deadly fat that accumulates around your central organs, it is metabolically active and it can wreak havoc on your health. It is one fat that you definitely want to get rid of.

It has also been shown that consuming BCAAs around your training results in significantly less muscle breakdown. 


Adding just 12 grams of BCAAs per day was all that was needed to achieve this effect. This can be incredibly important while dieting, as maintaining lean mass is vital to maximizing fat loss, as well as to achieve the body composition you began dieting for in the first place!

Recently, it has also been shown that leucine is one of the key igniters of protein synthesis.
 


It seems that leucine itself can stimulate insulin production, increase protein synthesis, and modulate blood sugar. This may partly explain why BCAA supplementation while dieting is so effective at maintaining muscle mass, as they stimulate the muscle building components even while in a caloric deficit.

One of the most common recommendations of BCAA supplementation is to consume it before early morning training sessions. If you are someone who simply can’t train after eating, or prefers to train on an empty stomach, BCAA supplementation could be incredibly important for you.

Many people exercise first thing in the morning and no one wants the potential gastric distress that can come from training on a full stomach. It has also been postulated that due to low glycogen levels upon waking, fat oxidation will be increased when training on an empty stomach, but no one wants the potential increase in muscle breakdown that can accompany fasted training.

BCAAs are a perfect compromise as they do not inhibit the oxidation of carbohydrates and fats, yet they will work to maintain your lean mass as well provide some blood sugar via gluconeogenesis if necessary.


Conclusion:



It is clear that BCAAs can help you retain lean mass and increase fat loss, especially visceral fat loss when dieting.  They can help to ignite protein synthesis and can be especially beneficial during early morning training sessions. If you are looking to slim down for summer while maintaining the muscle you built over the winter, supplemental BCAAs can help maximize your results.

About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.