A 1997 study of competitive wrestlers found that those who were supplementing with BCAAs while following a low-calorie diet experienced greater overall weight loss and bodyfat reduction, particularly in the abdominal area, as compared to test subjects who took a placebo.
Of the three BCAAs, it may be leucine that provides the majority of the fat-loss effects. A 2006 study by Brazilian researchers reported that leucine supplementation for six weeks significantly reduced bodyfat. They proposed that the increase in protein synthesis stimulated by leucine likely increased energy expenditure, which could help to burn more bodyfat.
Leucine also appears to directly influence the brain to decrease hunger, as University of Cincinnati researchers reported in a 2006 issue of the journal Science. After injecting leucine into the brains of rats, they found that the animals ate less and gained far less weight than those receiving a placebo. They theorize that in the brain, leucine levels are an indicator of amino acid levels in the bloodstream. Therefore, supplementing with leucine throughout the day may trick the brain into thinking that you have ample energy (in the form of amino acids) available and therefore don’t need to consume as much food. This can lead to a significant reduction in hunger when you are dieting.
With all the benefits of BCAAs, adding them to your regimen should be an easy choice. Yet knowing how and when to add them to your day can make all the difference in the benefits you experience. FLEX recommends about 5-10 grams of BCAAs per dose. We also recommend at least four doses per day. These four doses should be taken first thing in the morning, within 30 minutes of working out, within 30 minutes after working out and with your last meal of the day.