In the fitness community, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are as ubiquitous as protein powders. And for good reason. BCAAs are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they are called “essential” because the body can’t manufacture them. Because of that, you need to get them through outside protein sources like meat, yogurt, legumes,and nuts. You can also make sure you’re getting enough through supplementation. Numerous studies show a direct link between BCAA intake and improved strength and recovery after exercise.
But what about outside the gym? It turns out BCAAs are effective at helping combat weight gain and should maybe even be a part of your beauty regimen.
5 BCAA Benefits
- Beautiful Skin: Collagen is found naturally throughout the body but is most abundant in the skin, bones, and connective tissues. Every collagen molecule in your body is made of about 20 amino acids. These amino acids support collagen production; help maintain moisture in the skin; supply nutrients to the skin, hair, and nails; and strengthen connective tissue.
- AntiAging: Your body’s ability to produce collagen naturally declines as you age, so supplementation with can be a beneficial addition to any antiaging regimen.
- Weight Loss: Taking a BCAA supplement post-workout can help you replace lost nutrients, stave off hunger, reduce food cravings, and support weight loss. It’s not just not being hungry, but also not feeling sluggish or depleted that can make BCAAs an effective weight loss aid.
- Carb Utilization: More BCAAs in your bloodstream means a better ability to process carbohydrates for fuel. When carbohydrates are converted more easily in the body, it helps to preserve lean muscle.
- Hormone Regulation: BCAAs can help you decrease the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when you are under stress and is responsible for increases in abdominal fat.