Supplementing with BCAAs can help optimize your bodies ability to lose fat and keep as much muscle as possible. Here are some of the major benefits of using a BCAA Supplement.
Do you really need a BCAA supplement? Well, it depends on your specific goal. If your aim is maximum fat loss while preserving muscle mass, then BCAAs can be a powerful weapon if combined with the right dieting and training principles.
If you take supplements at all, then a good BCAA product should make up part of the foundation of your supplementation; it will do your body good in more ways than one.
Despite being such an integral product, very few people take BCAAs simply because they don’t know what it does and haven’t taken the time to read what the scientific literature has to say about it.
This post will get straight to the point about BCAAs and their benefits.
Benefit #1: BCAAs Help You Preserve Muscle
Helping you preserve muscle mass is what BCAAs are all about. This is especially the case when on a fat loss phase.
When you cut calories to lose fat, a bit of muscle mass will inevitably take a hit as well.
While the way you exercise can determine the ratio of fat to muscle mass burned, there is no method of training that completely burns 100% fat while leaving your muscles 100% unscathed.
This is where BCAAs enter the picture. The three essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are needed for protein synthesis.
Scientific explanation aside, all you need to know about protein synthesis is that it plays a pivotal role in the building and repair of muscle cells.
When you train on a calorie deficit, amino acids in the muscles are broken down and used for fuel. The net effect is catabolism, or the breakdown of the muscles you pushed yourself so hard in the gym to earn.
BCAAs improve protein synthesis while reducing the rate of muscle breakdown. Put another way, calorie deficits and fasted training lowers protein synthesis while increasing muscle breakdown.
BCAAs help reduce the difference so that the rate of protein synthesis and muscle breakdown are on a more equal footing.
This is made possible through the presence of hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB), which is produced when leucine is metabolized. HMB is believed to inhibit the breakdown of protein into amino acids, which occurs when the body attempts to target the muscle for usable energy.
Benefit #2: BCAAs Help You Lose Fat (but It’s not a Fat Burner)
Just to be clear, BCAAs are not a fat loss supplement and should not be taken as such. You’re not going to get a metabolism spike out of it, or not directly at least.
With that being said, though, BCAAs just might help you lose the extra pounds and keep it off.
How does it do this? As mentioned, BCAAs help you retain muscle. That additional muscle, in turn, burns additional calories on a daily basis. In this way, BCAA does help raise body thermogenesis indirectly.
BCAAs also act as an appetite suppressant, though again in an indirect manner. Most people are familiar with the harmful effects of too much cortisol production. Cortisol in excess encourages the body to hold onto its fat stores. It’s also linked too increased appetite.
Well, BCAAs are believed to reduce cortisol, thus preventing the weight gain ultimately associated with the hormone.
While the revelations of BCAAs having some fat loss benefits are a definite plus, don’t go taking the supplement thinking that it’s going to drastically burn a ton of calories off your body.
Remember, the effects work more indirectly; you should still take a fat burner like Tea Rexx if weight loss is your primary aim.
Benefit #3: BCAAs Help Reduce Muscle Soreness
If you’re training to muscle failure, which you should be doing regardless if you’re trying to build muscle or lose fat, then you can expect your body to feel absolutely beat the next day or two after the workout.
If you’re training frequently and alternating between strength training and cardio, then a sore body can hamper your performance in either or both types of workouts. A diminished performance equals diminished results.
BCAAs have been shown to combat the effects of achy muscles. This was proven in a Japanese study where subjects administered BCAA reported less soreness over a placebo group. This is believed to be attributed to less inflammation and a faster recovery period.
Benefit #4: BCAAs Increase Workout Performance
Do you know what really makes muscle grow? It’s getting in that 11th rep when using a weight that’s supposed to be your 10-rep max..
In other words, muscle grows when you push yourself harder than before..
The same goes for fat loss. Your metabolism is raised through the roof if you can perform 15-20 minutes of cardio done close to the threshold of your physical limit..
Of course, getting in that final rep or additional 10-seconds of cardio when you’re absolutely depleted is easier said than done. Will power alone won’t always get you there.
This is another area where BCAAs may help. This study demonstrated the efficacy of BCAAs for offsetting muscle fatigue during strenuous exercise.
For endurance athletes who are more concerned about performance than body composition, they may benefit from BCAAs as well.
One study demonstrated the positive effects BCAA supplementation had on endurance cyclists. This is certainly food for thought for all athletes whether they compete recreationally or professionally.
Regardless of how you train, you want to be zoned in physically and mentally. A product like Revolt was created with this in mind.
Aside from the BCAAs, caffeine is also included, which has also been shown to enhance physical performance. In this sense, you get a double whammy effect that enhances your performance better than taking either BCAA or caffeine alone.
Benefit #5: BCAAs Increase Testosterone
Muscle gains ultimately come down to testosterone. If you’re not producing enough, then your muscles aren’t going to get bigger; it’s that simple. This is another area where BCAAs may be useful.
This study shows that BCAAs, or leucine more specifically, has been linked to higher testosterone production among test subjects. The same study also showed that subjects had lower cortisol levels. Excess cortisol, of course, increases fat stores. Too much cortisol also reduces free testosterone.
It is common knowledge that testosterone increases during workout. The testosterone surge, though, is temporary and eventually returns to baseline levels after exercise.
Supplementing with BCAAs have been shown to keep T levels elevated for up several hours after leaving the gym. A sustained testosterone release plays a key role in protein synthesis long after the workout has ended.
It should also be noted that a calorie deficit diet has also been linked to lower testosterone. When you consume less food, the body uses the limited nutrients for bodily functions necessary for survival.
Everything else, including the production of anabolic hormones, is considered nonessential and practically takes a back seat. BCAA supplementation may be able to offset some of these negative impacts of a low calorie diet.
On a related note, BCAAs are also recommended for older men suffering from age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia).
It’s an unfortunate fact that testosterone naturally decreases with age. This inevitably leads to decreased strength and muscle dystrophy. Doctors may recommend testosterone replacement therapy for men with sarcopenia to counteract the effects of muscle loss. However, repeated TRT use is known to diminish the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone naturally.
Performing strength training, consuming a high protein diet, and supplementing with BCAAs are a more natural solution for keeping age-related muscle loss at bay.
Benefit #6: BCAAs Play an Important Role with Cholesterol
Most people are aware of the difference between HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Even so, the word “cholesterol” has always had a negative connotation. Nevertheless, BCAAs may have a positive impact on HDL cholesterol, as proven in this study.
BCAAs’ role on good cholesterol is actually quite important in the bigger scheme of things. HDL cholesterol is linked to higher testosterone. It’s also linked to heart disease prevention, not to mention it lowers high blood pressure.
You know what food is associated with higher HDL levels? Eggs! That’s right, the food that has unfairly been demonized for its high cholesterol content is actually linked to higher good cholesterol levels. Eggs just also happen to be one of the best sources of BCAAs.
What about LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol? Well, as it turns out, leucine has been demonstrated to decrease LDL by 27% as shown in a study published under the American Diabetes Association.
High LDL levels are associated with increased risk of pulmonary disease. It’s important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep LDL cholesterol low even if you don’t particularly care much for acquiring rock-hard abs.
Benefit #8: BCAAs Promote a Positive Nitrogen Balance
If you read bodybuilding magazines, then you may be familiar with the term “positive nitrogen balance.”
One way protein differs from carbohydrates and fat is the addition of a nitrogen molecule in its molecular structure. Being in a positive nitrogen balance just means taking in more nitrogen than your body eliminates through excretion.
Here is a more in-depth explanation of the importance of being in a positive nitrogen balance as explained by bodybuilding legend LeRoy Colbert.
A state of positive nitrogen balance is a key component to muscle anabolism. BCAAs help the body remain in this much needed state. This was proven in this study.
Too much nitrogen, though, can be hazardous. The amino acid valine has specifically been shown to prevent nitrogen toxicity in the liver by shuttling nitrogen away from the organ and to other areas of the body where it can be put to good use.
Too much nitrogen creates ammonia in the body, which can cause liver and kidney failure in the worst case scenario. More typical symptoms include lethargy and muscle weakness.
Take BCAAs for an Optimal Muscle Mass/Body Fat Ratio
BCAAs make up the bulk of muscle tissue, hence their importance as a building block for muscle growth and repair.
They’re highly recommended if you’re about to begin a fat loss phase and an absolute must if your workout regimen includes training in a fasted state.
You don't wanna lose muscle that could have been preserved with supplementation of a proven product.
Not all BCAAs are created equal, though. Many, in fact, contain less than optimal ratios of the three amino acids, contain filler ingredients, or unproven proprietary blends.
None of that is the case with Revolt..
With this no nonsense BCAA supplement, you know the exact dosage you’re getting. For good measure, a heaping of caffeine is added for an extra energy kick if taken before a workout.