From Athletic To Diabetic: BCAA's

January 20, 2020

Written by

Lucas Aoun

Founder @ Ergogenic Health

Whether you’re a bodybuilder, gym goer, athlete or simply train to stay healthy, there is no doubt you have come across BCAA supplements. They have efficacy to improve recovery, enhance muscle growth and improve sports performance. But did you know the dangers of super-loading your body with BCAAs? Let’s take a look.⁣

Higher intakes of dietary total branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), may increase incidence of insulin resistance more than 60% in adults and play an important role in development of diabetes (Asghari et al., 2018). Just remember, it’s unlikely to be overloading your BCAA through diet alone, this mainly applies to mega dosing supplements.⁣

Now, it is also true that BCAA’s blunt an increase in Serotonin synthesis in the brain (-48%;) with a concomitant -25% decline in hypothalamic Dopamine (the "get going neurotransmitter") after ~30mins. This sheds light on the anti-fatigue mechanism of BCAA supplementation…via a reduction in serotonin synthesis. However, some people may notice worsened MOOD after high dose BCAA supplements.⁣

BCAA’s may be safe for those not at risk with Diabetes/Insulin Resistance, and possibly during states of caloric/protein deficits and fasted workouts. Instead, opt for EAA's or eat real food protein. If you currently use BCAAs with a high caloric diet, it may be risky. ⁣

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