Are Amino Acids Good for Weight Loss?
When trying to lose weight, every little bit helps. The process is often so difficult for so many people that those looking to shed some pounds try and find anything that makes their goal easier to obtain, from herbal supplements and natural compounds to dangerous drugs and unhealthy diets. Although doing so may put a person’s life in danger, depending on what product is used, more often the issue is simply that the products that claim to induce weight loss fail to live up to their promises. Fortunately, there are some effective options out there that can help people lose weight safely and efficiently. One type of product that you may have heard helps with weight loss is amino acid supplements, but are amino acids good for weight loss? To find out, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL® discusses the science behind how these natural compounds can help you shed unwanted pounds.
Can Amino Acid Supplements Help with Weight Loss?
Where scientific support is concerned, amino acid supplements for weight loss excel. There is a large and growing body of evidence showing that a particular type of amino acids – the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs – can cause the body to use up more fat, in addition to their other fitness-related benefits. Below, we’ll look at some of the science behind taking amino acids, and especially BCAAs, for weight loss.
Weight Loss from Amino Acids and Exercise
One 2009 study1 published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition took 36 men with strength-training experience and had one group take supplements with 14 grams of BCAAs over the course of an eight-week training program; a second group took 28 grams of whey protein instead, while a third group took 28 grams of carbs. At the end of the study, the group that took BCAAs saw a reduction in percent body fat that was “significantly more” than what the other groups experienced, plus they developed more lean muscle mass.
Weight Loss from Dieting with Amino Acids
In addition to the reported weight-loss effects of amino acids taken with exercise, further studies have demonstrated that an ability to enhance the loss of pounds induced by a calorie deficit. A study2 published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine in 1997 looked at the effects of BCAAs and a restriction in calorie intake in 25 competitive wrestlers; at its conclusion, the authors of the study reported that the combination of energy restriction and BCAAs led to the “significant and preferential” loss of visceral fat while helping the wrestlers in the study maintain their intense training regimen.
Amino acid-related weight loss isn’t limited to athletes, however. In 2018, a study3 was published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research; this one involved 42 overweight and obese women. The participants in the study cut their energy intake by about 500 calories per day and were given either a supplement with 6 grams of BCAAs and vitamin B6 or a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, the participants who received the supplement had leaner legs and an improved hip-to-waist ratio, according to the researchers involved.
Amino Acids and Lower Overall Weight
Even in cases where dieting and exercise were not factors, researchers found that the overall rates of obesity were lower among populations that ingested greater amounts of branched-chain amino acids. Two particular studies highlight this point well: In the first4, 948 young adults in northern China were asked about the amount of BCAAs in their diets. The results of this study indicated that a higher ratio of dietary BCAAs was linked to lower rates of obesity, lower levels of blood sugar after eating, and less inflammation in the body.
In the second, even larger study5, researchers took 4,429 healthy, middle-aged participants from the United States, United Kingdom, China, and Japan and compared their intakes of BCAAs; those who ingested greater amounts of these amino acids in their diet were less likely to be overweight or obese. If the results of these studies hold true across the board, it would mean that amino acids may help people avoid needing to lose weight in the first place.
When to Take Amino Acids for Weight Loss
Although there’s reason to believe that amino acids may help with weight loss and weight management many individuals, the best results come to those who use amino acids in conjunction with exercise. That’s because, along with their ability to encourage fat loss in the body, amino acid supplements can help protect muscle tissue during exercise, so more of the weight that’s lost is fat instead of muscle, even in those who cut calories.
If you want to use amino acids for weight loss, your best bet is to take them around the time that you’re exercising, either as a pre-workout supplement for energy, a mid-workout supplement to protect muscles and improve endurance, or a post-workout supplement to promote recovery. By ensuring that your body has plenty of BCAAs, you can supply it with the resources it needs to build new muscle tissue, keep you energized, and improve your weight loss efforts.
Try an aminoVITAL® Amino Acid Supplement for Weight Loss and Fitness Support
To ensure that your weight loss efforts are as effective as possible, consider amino acid supplements like the Action mid-workout mix from aminoVITAL®. Not only are these products backed by study after study, but they also contain few calories and little to no sugar, so they won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts. To learn more about the benefits of amino acids, visit aminoVITAL® online or call us today at (888) 264-6673.