With Bcaa Supplementation

Piaul C. Henning PhD Candidate, CSCS

Overreaching is defined as short-term periods of greater than normal increases in training volume and/ or intensity followed by a tapering period. It is sometimes used by athletes to induce enhancement in performance. To attenuate risks associated with overreaching (Le, illness, injury) and maximize the desired performance rebound of overreaching, it may be crucial to enhance recovery methods with nutritional supplementation. Prior research demonstrates resistance training alone, while enhancing muscle protein synthesis (MPS), also increases protein breakdown (4). Although the net effect is an increase in protein synthesis, skeletal muscle remains in a catabolic state in the absence of an adequate nutritional intervention (4). It is also know that fluctuations in endogenous hormone levels strongly reflect both the catabolic and anabolic physiological state (1) during stress and recovery periods of training. Researchers from the College of Charleston in South Carolina and Ball State University in Indiana conducted a research study to examine the hormonal effect of branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on the overreaching resistance training induced hormonal stress response (5).

The major findings of this study were: 1) that an amino acid supplement high in BCAA is capable of decreasing Cortisol response of overreaching resistance training. 2) testosterone levels can be increased during overreaching resistance training accompanied by BCAA sup-pi cmentadon; and 3) train«! men consuming BCAAs can decrease markers of skeletal muscle damage (creatine kinase) while participating in high-intensity resistance training. Results of this study support previous findings indicating amino acid supplementation enhances recovery from overreaching by attenuating skeletal muscle breakdown, indicated by significant decreases in creatine kinase levels following exercise (2). An interesting finding in this study is that results were achieved with low relative and absolute amino acid supplementation. The do&age used was lower than that used io other studies showing improvements. ItTs known that insufficient plasma availability of BCAAs (i.e. low dosage and splanchnic and gastrointestinal use) may diminish their effects (3). Recent research indicated a minimum of 12 g of BCAA per day (2) is required to elicit an ergogenic effect; however, dosages of 40 g (6) have been used as a bolus ingestion postexercise. This current study provided 718 mg each of valine and isoleucine and 1,442 mg of leucine {i.e., total of2.878 g) per day! This dosage is much lower than that used in other research studies. Dietary analysis were done in this study and showed no subjects were consuming more than 0.7 g/kg per day of protein during the course of the study. It i.s encouraging that the small doses of BCAA consumed in this study may provide sufficient BCAA to attenuate skeletal muscle damage, increase testosterone, and decrease Cortisol during very strenuous periods of resistance training.

The outcome of BCAA supplementation is to increase amino acid availability, thus increasing substrate and energy availability for MPS and recovery while also decreasing the catabolic and increasing the anabolic hormonal profile. Supplementation with BCAA has been shown to increase plasma and muscular BCAA concentrations. Postexercise is an opportune time to enhance plasma and muscle amino acid substrate availability, thus increasing protein synthesis. If we increase MPS postexercise with optimum substrate and energy availability, we will enhance protein repair and maximize our adaptation to the exercise stress.

References:

1, Adlerereutz H, Harkooen M, Kuopposalmi K, Naveri H. Huhtanicmi I. Ttkkanen H. Remes K. Dessypris A, and Karvonen I. Effect of training on plasma anabolic and catabolic steroid hormones and their response during physical exercise. Int J Sports Med 7 Suppl 1:27-28.1986.

2. Coombes JS and McNaughton LR. Effects of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase after prolonged exercise. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 40:240-246, 2000.

3. Meguid MM, Matthews DE, Bier DM, Meredith CN. Soeldner JS. and Young VR. Leucine kinetics at graded leucine intakes in young men. Am J Clin Nutr 43:770-780,198$,

4. Phillips SM, Upton KD, Aarsland A, wolf SE, and Wolfe RR. Mixed muscle protein synthesis and breakdown after resistance exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 273: E99-107, 1997.

5. Sharp CP and Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res 24:1125-1130.

6. Sheffield-Moore M. Androgens and the control of skeletal muscle protein synthesis, Ann Med 32: 181-186,2000.

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Responses

  • donald
    When should i take bçaa and how much?
    2 years ago

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