BCAA SUPPLEMENTATION REDUCES MUSCLE SORENESS AND FATIGUE
Koba, T., Hamada, K., Sakurai, M., Matsumoto, K., Higuchi, T., Zhao, M., & Miyata, H. (2006). BCAA supplement attenuates muscle soreness and serum tissue damage markers during an intensive training program. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1988.
This study investigated the effects of a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on muscle soreness and activities of serum enzymes during a three-day intensive training program. Distance runners (M = 6; F = 6) participated in a double blinded cross over designed study conducted during two intensive training programs with a three-week interval. Either a drink containing BCAA (0.8% BCAA in a 3% carbohydrate solution; 10 g leucine, 5 g isoleucine, and 5 g valine per day) or an iso-calorie placebo drink was randomly provided to the Ss five times per day during each training period. All subjects completed the same three-day training program, consisting of 3 km jogging before breakfast, 15-20 km road running in the morning and 12-17 km cross-country in the afternoon per day, and ate a standardized diet during the training period. The degree of muscle soreness and fatigue over the whole body were measured by visual analog scale every morning three days before and during the training period. Blood samples taken at rest before and after the training period were analyzed for activities of serum creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, and plasma granulocyte elastase as indicators of muscle damage and inflammation.
Muscle soreness and fatigue were lower after BCAA supplementation than after placebo supplementation during the training period. BCAA supplementation also led to lower values of serum creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, and plasma granulocyte elastase after the training program.
Implication. BCAA supplementation during an intensive training program effectively reduces the degree of muscle soreness and fatigue. The perceived changes could be attributed to the attenuation of muscle damage and inflammation, as indicated by lower values of serum enzyme activities.
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