Sports / athlete

Sport performance and ingestion of BCAA
Due to absence of standardized models to evaluate the impact of a diet component on athletic performance, as well as due to plethora of confounding factors (gender, age, previous training, basal diet, altitude, liquid intake …); controversy remains about the effect of key amino acid groups on sport performance. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), arginine and glutamine are the most frequently evaluated amino acids. A brief look at the recent findings from four different sport categories tells a lot…

Among recent studies, researchers in Taiwan few well-trained handball players of both genders with app. 12 g BCAA and 3 g arginine before training sessions on two consecutive days. BCAA and arginine supplementation improved performance in handball sprints on the second consecutive day of simulated handball game

In athletes trained for strength performance, BCAA (20 g) administered acutely before and following intensive gym training attenuated a drop in power-producing ability. The apparent significant effects on functional strength suggested that BCAA made for an effective ergogenic aid for athletes who required augmented recovery following intensive exercise

In trained endurance cyclists, 12 g of BCAA given daily for several weeks before and during long-term cycling trainings had broad positive effects on select body compositions, performance, and immune variables. Specifically, this chronic BCAA supplementation improved not only sprint performance variables, and protected lean body mass, but also blunted the neutrophil response to intense cycling training, thus benefiting immune function during a prolonged cycling season Very similar effects were observed in a study that used a combination of BCAA and glutamine in active rowers .

Not all clinical tests revealed produced positive effects of BCAA in exercise and some older studies suffered with problems of design and interpretation. Yet, the summarized clinical evidence from the last decade points to a strong positive correlation between performance/recovery on one hand and BCAA intake on the other. The optimal dose of BCAA (10 – 20g?) remains unclear and there are too many variables to make this conclusion stronger and applicable to all sub-groups of sports-men and -women.

Supplementation of branched-chain amino acids before squat and before late onset muscle soreness

This study examined the effects of branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on delayed muscle pain (DOMS) caused by squat exercise in 12 healthy young women who were not specifically trained.
The experiment was conducted in a crossed double blind test.
On the morning of the exercise session, participants took 100 mg / kg (body weight) of BCAA (isoleucine: leucine: valine = 1: 2.3: 1.2) or dextrin before doing squats.
The exercise consisted of 7 sets with 20 squats = 1 set, and the interval between each set was 3 minutes.
Peaks of late onset muscle pain (DOMS) were observed on days 2 and 3 of the experiment, but the pain level was lower on the side taking BCAA than on the side taking placebo.
Leg muscle strength during maximum voluntary isometric contraction was measured 2 days after exercise (day 3), and 80% of the muscle strength declines were seen on the side taking the placebo on the side taking BCAA Was suppressed.
Plasma BCAA concentrations decreased after exercise on the placebo side, but increased 2 hours after exercise on the BCAA side.
Serum myoglobin concentration increased with exercise on the placebo side, but not on the BCAA side.
After both squat exercises, plasma elastase concentration appeared to increase as an indicator of neutrophil activation, but only significant changes in elastase values ​​were observed on the placebo side.
These results indicate that BCAA supplementation can reduce muscle damage.


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