Research shows that individuals with a higher intake of BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) have lower rates of obesity, lower body weight, and better body composition. Researchers conclude that leucine increases energy expenditure and improves glucose tolerance.
BCAA’s cause cells to absorb and burn more fatty acids. High levels of BCAA’s in the blood stream usually mean excessive muscle breakdown. In order to stop muscle breakdown the body will adapt by using more fat for fuel. You can trick your body into triggering this process by consuming supplemental BCAA’s. Significant amounts of BCAA’s also trigger an increase in leptin emission. This is the hormone that tells the body that it has consumed enough energy; it also increases energy burning and helps control appetite.
Supplemental BCAA’s can improve cognitive function by increasing production of neurotransmitters. BCAA’s have been shown to play a role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, which help generate energy when needed and can have a calming effect when you don’t.
BCAA’s can accelerate gains in strength from resistance training and reduce muscle damage.
BCAA consumption results in a better testosterone to cortisol ratio and can improve muscle building. BCAA’s will minimize the cortisol response that results from the stress of exercise. Lower cortisol means a more favorable testosterone to cortisol ratio that will result in faster recovery while making it easier to build muscle.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.