This study investigated the effects of acute branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage, among experienced resistance-trained athletes. In a double-blind matched-pairs design, 16 resistance-trained participants, routinely performing hypertrophy training, were randomly assigned to a BCAA (n = 8) or placebo (n = 8) group. The BCAAs were administered at a dosage of 0.087 g/kg body mass, with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine. The participants performed 6 sets of 10 full-squats at 70 % 1RM to induce muscle damage. All participants were diet-controlled across the study. Creatine kinase (CK), peak isometric knee-extensor force, perceived muscle soreness and counter-movement jump (CMJ) height were measured immediately before (baseline), 1-h, 24-h and 48-h post-exercise. There were large to very large time effects for all measurements between baseline and 24-48 h. Between-group comparisons, expressed as a percentage of baseline, revealed differences in isometric strength at 24-h (Placebo ~87% c.f. BCAA ~92 %; moderate, likely), CMJ at 24-h (Placebo ~93 % c.f. BCAA ~96 %; small, likely) and muscle soreness at both 24-h (Placebo ~685 % c.f. BCAA ~531 %; small, likely) and 48-h (Placebo ~468 % c.f. BCAA ~350 %; small, likely). Acute supplementation of BCAAs (0.087 g/kg) increased the rate of recovery in isometric strength, CMJ height and perceived muscle soreness compared to placebo after a hypertrophy-based training session among diet-controlled, resistance-trained athletes. These findings question the need for longer BCAA loading phases and highlight the importance of dietary control in studies of this type.
- amino acids
- muscle damage