Currently, there is more research that supports the consumption of BCAAs than most other supplements available. While BCAA supplementation may be beneficial for gaining skeletal muscle, BCAAs are especially helpful for maintaining mass while on a calorie-deficit diet.
Calorie Deficit Diet Can Cause Muscle Loss
Dieting is catabolic, which means it can lead to muscle breakdown, for several reasons. The leaner a body gets, the more likely it is to lose skeletal muscle as the body tries harder and harder to hold on to body fat stores. In doing so, a side effect is that the body will turn to muscle to satisfy its energy needs.
On the molecular level, muscle loss occurs because the body increases protein breakdown (catabolism) in order to liberate muscle amino acids for metabolic fuel. Muscle loss is compounded by the fact that levels of muscle protein synthesis will also decrease due to reduced energy intake if this isn’t bad enough.
The basic equation for muscle mass is:
Muscle mass = rate of protein synthesis – rate of protein breakdown.
If the rate of synthesis is higher than the rate of breakdown, you get muscle growth. If you’re dieting, you may be burning the candle at both ends: raising muscle breakdown and lowering protein synthesis.
The leaner you get, the more lethargic you can become. If you’re weak or too tired to lift as heavy as your body is used to, your muscles will adapt, and they won’t use as much energy to get the work done.
That leads to two metabolic problems: You won’t increase skeletal muscle, and your body could use the lean muscle you do have for energy because you aren’t using it to lift a heavy load.
How BCAAs Help You Keep Your Muscles
When you’re dieting, here are the ways branched-chain amino acids can help you stay extremely muscular.
Increase Protein Synthesis
Branched-chain amino acids (which are the essential amino acids valine, isoleucine, and leucine) stimulate muscle protein synthesis, potentially more than a normal protein on its own. Protein synthesis is the metabolic process when your body makes new muscle protein, also known as gains.
Reduce Protein Breakdown
Increased BCAA levels also work in your favor by reducing the rate of protein breakdown. They do this by decreasing the activity of the protein breakdown pathway, and also by decreasing the expression of several complexes involved in protein breakdown. (They decrease the amount of mRNA produced from the gene that codes for these components.).
It’s plain to see that increasing synthesis and decreasing breakdown will equate to muscle gain or maintenance if we revisit our original equation for muscle mass.
Have Better Workouts.
Amino acid supplementation could also help you get a more intense workout. Branched-chain amino acids compete with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
During exercise, serotonin levels rise and can make you feel more fatigued, meaning you won’t be able to push as hard.
BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of tryptophan that gets through the blood-brain barrier, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced. This might allow you to work harder, longer, and get more gains.
Taking Branched-Chain Amino Acids Pre-Workout.
BCAA supplementation should also be a regular part of your pre-workout routine. Since these amino acids bypass the liver and gut and go directly into your blood plasma, they can be used as an immediate energy source during high-intensity workouts.
How BCAAs Fit Into Your Supplement Stack.
– Use: Replenish amino acids to build and maintain muscles, avoid fatigue.
– Timing: Pre-workout & Post-workout.
– How Much to Take: 5-10 grams.
– Use: Assist muscle growth and pump, delay fatigue.
– Timing: Once daily.
– How Much to Take: 5 grams.
– Use: Get extra energy and focus for hard efforts.
– Timing: Pre-workout.
– How Much to Take: 5 grams.
Scientific Studies Prove The Effectiveness Of BCAAs.
Many studies have been conducted to monitor the safety and effectiveness of branched-chain amino acids.
– A study at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK found that supplementing with leucine during a resistance training program enhanced strength performance.
– A team of researchers from the University of Orleans in France found that during a long endurance trial, athletes who took high levels of mixed branched-chain amino acid supplements (including valine, isoleucine, and leucine) reported feeling less tired. Athletes who took the placebo reported feeling more tired and having more memory errors.
– Other reports found that proteins involved in muscle catabolism (exercise-induced muscle breakdown) appeared to be suppressed following BCAA supplementation. The researchers think this is an indirect function of muscle protein synthesis.
– The Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences at Nagoya University in Japan also tested the effects of BCAA supplementation. Their findings show that taking BCAA supplements before and after exercise is effective for reducing post-exercise muscle soreness.
Whether your goal is muscle building or weight loss, supplementing with branched-chain amino acids (isoleucine, valine, and leucine) can support the metabolic processes that make it happen. They can also make your gym workouts more effective.
You can get these amino acids from foods, but dietary BCAAs won’t hit your blood plasma as fast as BCAA supplements. Add a BCAA supplement to your routine!
Forget other supplements that are long on promises but short on results. Instead, check out the power of BCAAs.
Dieting is catabolic, which means it can lead to muscle breakdown, for several reasons. When the rate of synthesis equals the rate of breakdown, you don’t lose or gain muscle. If the rate of synthesis is higher than the rate of breakdown, you get muscle growth. When the rate of breakdown is higher than the rate of synthesis, you lose muscle. If you’re dieting, you may be burning the candle at both ends: raising muscle breakdown and lowering protein synthesis.
BCAAs do work and is a Very Effective Supplement when taken Correctly !!!