Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reserach Update Dec: BCAAs and Athletic Performance

A newer study for all of ya. While BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) did not direct enhance athletic performance they may reduce muscle soreness. I was not able to get a full copy of the study, so I don't have any details to share and just more questions about the study.

Whey protein is a great source of BCAAs, so be sure to include some around your training time. Check out the other posts on below:

International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing

Performance Research for August: Protein Synthesis

Charles Saley Seminar: Dave Barr and Supplements

If you are interested in the effects of the immune system and inflammation, be sure to check out the guest blog post from Dr. Lonnie Lowery HERE.

Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system.

Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.Links

Since the 1980's there has been high interest in branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) by sports nutrition scientists. The metabolism of BCAA is involved in some specific biochemical muscle processes and many studies have been carried out to understand whether sports performance can be enhanced by a BCAA supplementation. However, many of these researches have failed to confirm this hypothesis. Thus, in recent years investigators have changed their research target and focused on the effects of BCAA on the muscle protein matrix and the immune system. Data show that BCAA supplementation before and after exercise has beneficial effects for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle-protein synthesis. Muscle damage develops delayed onset muscle soreness: a syndrome that occurs 24-48 h after intensive physical activity that can inhibit athletic performance. Other recent works indicate that BCAA supplementation recovers peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation in response to mitogens after a long distance intense exercise, as well as plasma glutamine concentration. The BCAA also modifies the pattern of exercise-related cytokine production, leading to a diversion of the lymphocyte immune response towards a Th1 type.

According to these findings, it is possible to consider the BCAA as a useful supplement for muscle recovery and immune regulation for sports events.