Isoleucine, leucine and valine are the three most important BCAAs to keep in mind if you’re interested in losing weight while maintaining lean muscle mass. In fact, these can very much be your ‘secret weapon’ when it comes to building a lean and shredded physique. But what exactly are these mysterious additions to our diet and how can you use them to the maximum effect? Read on to discover why this might be the missing piece of your diet puzzle.
What Are BCAAs?
Your body is made of carbon. More specifically, your body is made of carbon combined in specific ways to create amino acids. When those amino acids are combined, you get ‘branch-chained amino acids’ or ‘BCAAs’. And when BCAAs are combined, you get protein.
As you likely already know, protein is what makes up your muscles. But it’s also what makes up your skin and many other tissues in your body. This is why it’s so important for us to eat lots of lean protein when we’re building muscle – our bodies break that protein down and then essentially ‘recycle’ it to use to rebuild themselves. Essentially then, we are made of the animals that we consume!
And it really is animals that are the key word here. Protein from animals is much closer to the protein our bodies can use, which makes sense when you consider that it is used in a similar way in the animal – to create muscle and to create flesh.
If you get protein from plants then, your body actually has to work harder in order to reuse that protein and build muscle and tissue. If you get protein from animals, it will be more ‘bioavailable’ and thereby our bodies will be more readily able to use it.
And this is where the BCAAs come in. This is a type of amino acid that is much closer to what our bodies need and that we can thereby use more effectively to build muscle.
For Weight Loss
Also important to note though, is that amino acids and BCAAs also perform a number of other specific tasks around the body. Leucine in particular is used to help send satiety signals to the brain – in other words telling us that we’re full.
And at the same time, because BCAAs are so close to what we need to repair tissue, they can be a great substitute for a snack when you’re trying to build lean muscle. In fact, you can use BCAAs in the place of a protein shake and while they’re not quite as effective for building lean mass, they can nevertheless be enough to help you build some muscle without adding too much extra fat or calories into your diet – or any!
The best way to use BCAAs is to keep consuming them throughout the day. This will help to keep you feeling fuller, allowing you to reduce the number of snacks you consume. At the same time though, it will also enable your body to continue building muscle without you needing to add unnecessarily to your caloric intake. This might just prove to be the answer to the question of how you can possibly build muscle while maintaining a calorie deficit!
And finally, be sure to consume BCAAs before and during workouts as part of your pre and peri workout nutrition. This will protect the muscles from being broken down, allowing you to train with more intensive cardio without losing that mass![ajax_load_more post_type=”post” category=”diet-and-nutrition”]