Recently, branched-chain amino acid supplements have become popular with many people looking to improve their workouts, including bodybuilders and others. One of the reasons for this is that research has found more positive attributes of BCAAs than other types of supplements.

They’re excellent for gaining skeletal muscle while also helping maintain mass for individuals who are limiting their calorie intake. This is why bodybuilders often use these supplements to develop the best possible physique.

Combating Muscle Loss When on a Diet

While dieting is often done to look and feel great, it can also cause muscles to break down over time as the body tries to retain stored body fat by using muscle to provide more energy. At the same time, muscle protein synthesis levels will decrease as a result of the reduced level of energy intake.

Ultimately, if you manage to increase the rate of protein synthesis to the point where it’s higher than the rate of breakdown, you can actually gain muscle mass. When both rates are the same, muscle mass is neither gained or lost. If breakdown is higher than synthesis, however, this will result in the loss of mass. When dieting, both the latter is more likely to occur.

However, the use of BCAAs can help not only maintain but increase muscle mass.

Combating Muscle Loss When on a Diet

Branched-chain amino acid supplementation can give your body what it needs in several ways.

Reduction of Protein Breakdown

BCAAs decrease the protein breakdown pathway’s activity while also decreasing the levels of mRNA produced from complexes involved in the breakdown process. In other words, it literally stops protein breakdown in its path.

Higher Rates of Protein Synthesis

BCAAs also stimulate the synthesis of protein, even more so than traditional protein intake. This way you can gain muscle rather than simply maintain the same mass.

Improved Workouts

Amino acid supplementation also improves workouts by preventing the amino acid tryptophan from entering the brain and converting into serotonin, which could otherwise make you feel more tired during your exercises. Subsequently, BCAAs effectively reduce these serotonin levels to give you more stamina and help you get the most from your workouts.

Relying on Whey

While whey protein does contain BCAAs, it can take the body a long time to ingest and process them, making this a more inefficient way to introduce them into your system. This is because BCAAs in whey are bound to other amino acids via peptides, which means that the body has to free them through digestion over the course of several hours before they can make it into the plasma.

BCAA supplements, on the other hand, skip this process entirely by avoiding the digestive system, allowing for rapid absorption. Whey protein is excellent to help increase protein intake, but you may want to consider incorporating both whey and BCAA supplements in your diet to get the best results.

Introducing BCAAs Into Your Diet

With these benefits, BCAAs can help give you the body you want even as you diet. Your body will be able to continue gaining muscle mass while allowing you to stay healthy and naturally fit.

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