Proper diet and exercise are the key players in burning excess fat and building muscle. But if you want to amp up your weight loss regimen, especially if you're on a calorie-restricted diet or a fasted training regimen, you'll want to start taking BCAA supplements.
What is BCAA?
Using BCAA supplements for weight loss and building lean muscle are common among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. To understand how they work, let's go back to the basics first: what is BCAA?
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids— the building blocks of protein, consisting of three of the essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three are crucial for muscle mass retention. BCAA can be found in meat, eggs, whole wheat, nuts, and dairy products.
Benefits of BCAA Supplements
BCAAs used to be a niche dietary supplement to improve athletic performance. Many athletes and bodybuilders take these supplements for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Accelerating the muscle-building process
- Decreasing muscle soreness
- Limiting workout fatigue
- Improving endurance and focus during exercise
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Suppressing hunger and cravings
- Burning unwanted fat
How BCAA Helps with Losing Weight
Supplementing your healthy lifestyle and hypocaloric diet with BCAAs will provide a tremendous boost to your fat-burning efforts. In particular, they aid in reducing fat, normalising visceral fat, and building more muscle. A study revealed that the combined effects of a calorie-restricted, protein-rich diet and BCAA supplements showed greater weight loss in competitive wrestlers than those who consumed another type of supplement.
Additionally, with the ability to prevent hunger pangs and sugar cravings, BCAAs can support people to stay on their diet and manage their food intake. How this works is that BCAA supplementation activates the secretion of cholecystokinin (CCK), which is the gut satiety hormone.
Best BCAA for Weight Loss
There are three factors to consider when determining the best BCAA supplement for you:
- Its leucine, isoleucine and valine ratio. To get the best results for weight loss, opt for a BCAA supplement that has at least a ratio of 2:1:1, which is the case for most products on the market. This is two parts leucine per one part isoleucine and valine. Among the three, leucine plays the primary role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis and suppressing protein breakdown.
- It has no artificial sweeteners, colourings or fillers. Like other health supplements, the fewer ingredients it contains, the better. You'll want to go for as natural a supplement as you can get.
- It is trusted and recommended by healthcare professionals. Additionally, while BCAAs are safe, it's best to consult your doctor first to check whether a supplement can interfere with any existing medical condition. They may even recommend a brand that best suits your needs.
If you want to find a supplement that ticks off all three criteria, check out our BCAA supplements and other aminos, formulated for maximum efficacy and potency, no fillers or sweeteners, and made with high-quality ingredients. As one of Australia's leading sports nutrition experts, we at MAX'S work hard to uphold our reputation for quality and great taste.