THE BEAUTY OF BCAAS
How do you defend against this three-headed monster of muscle loss? Attack all three heads!
It’s well established that branched-chain amino acids (particularly leucine) stimulate protein synthesis, and might do so to a greater extent than a normal protein on its own. BCAAs also increase synthesis of the cellular machinery responsible for carrying out the process of protein synthesis. Thus, BCAAs not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis! Yep, you read that right.
BCAAs also work in your favor by reducing the rate of protein breakdown. They do this (primarily) by decreasing the activity of the components of the protein breakdown pathway, and also by decreasing the expression of several complexes involved in protein breakdown. (In this case, they decrease the amount of mRNA produced from the gene that codes for these components.)
If we revisit our original equation for muscle mass, it’s plain to see that increasing synthesis and decreasing breakdown will equate to muscle gain/maintenance. And that, my friends, is how we fight the Cerberus of muscle loss.
New studies have shown that dieting groups supplementing with BCAAs (like leucine) increase muscle retention and maximize fat loss much more effectively than non-supplemented groups. That’s the bottom line, my friends: more muscle mass retained, and a greater percentage of lost body fat.