The essential branched chain amino acids BCAA’s include leucine, isoleucine, and valine are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. Theoretically, after digestion once protein is broken down into individual amino acids these amino acids can either be used to build new proteins or be burned as fuel to produce energy. If the athlete’s diet is adequate in nutrition then the above “essential” amino acids will be used for protein synthesis which is optimal for advanced human performance. It should also be noted that essential amino acids are not produced in the body such as non-essential amino acids, but rather obtained through proper nutrition. Therefore, it is often theorized that the supplementation of BCAA’s are of essential importance to athletes due to their ability to alleviate any deficiencies that the body alone cannot produce. BCAA’s have also been known in reducing fatigue in both anaerobic and endurance sports. It has also been noted that leucine may be the most critical BCAA because of its anti-catabolic properties and vital role in protein synthesis.
Personal training NYC say BCAA’s have a great deal of thorough and conclusive research surrounding them. Although there are a few studies which show mixed results it should be noted that most studies seem quite favorable in regards to the supplementation with BCAA’s. In a study performed by the results showed that the subjects who received BCAA’s had a significant increase in exercise efficiency due to the heightened levels of aerobic and anaerobic capacity as compared to the placebo group.
Personal trainer NYC Other studies of similar characteristics of supplementing with BCAA’s have also been consistent with the above results. For example, another study performed thorough before and after analysis concluded that markers for physical conditioning, fitness, and endurance greatly improved. In fact, only 2.2 g of the amino acid mixture three times a day significantly improved other physiological markers such as: red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum albumin, fasting glucose, and a decrease in creatine phophokinase , suggesting increased hematopoiesis and glycogenesis, and rapid alleviation of muscle inflammation by the amino acid mixture. All of these beneficial factors may be of huge significance in high performance athletes especially in terms of overall conditioning.
Personal trainers NYC Another study by Sugita et al demonstrated the effect of an amino acid mixture, mainly consisting of BCAA’s on recovery from muscle fatigue and damage after eccentric exercise training. Twenty-two male college students were given 5.6 grams of the amino acid mixture twice daily which resulted in a faster recovery of muscle strength than that of the placebo group. The oral ingestion of the amino acid mixture was proved to be effective for muscle strength recovery after the eccentric exercise.
Perhaps one of the most profound studies on amino acid supplementation to date was done by Kraemer et al in which 17 trained men randomly assigned to either an amino acid group or a placebo group underwent a 4 week training routine of total body resistance training. The first two weeks of training was an overreaching stage in which the total volume of training was relatively high which was then followed by a two week period of tapering or less total volume. Before any of the training took place there were base line measurements taken to determine strength such as 1RM bench press and squat as well as a ballistic bench press and jump squat to determine power output.
The results in this study were quite interesting. First of all it appears that both groups had significant increases in strength, power, and resistance to fatigue after the entire four week period which can be attributed to the training program. This would support the fact that overreaching can be very beneficial to athletes trying to improve performance. However the interesting results show that the placebo group experienced significant decreases in strength in the first 2 weeks of the training program where the subjects were in a stage of overreaching. However, the amino acid group did not have any change in performance during this period. This was obviously due to the anti-catabolic effects that BCAA’s promote in the body. Thus for athletes interesting in peaking performance through the use of strenuous and intense exercise where initial decrements of performance can occur these negative symptoms can be regulated and possibly negated by the supplementation of BCAA’s.
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