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REVIEW  BODY COMPOSITION, NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 November;61(11):1478-89

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11843-2

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Intake of branched chain amino acids favors post-exercise muscle recovery and may improve muscle function: optimal dosage regimens and consumption conditions

Alejandra ARROYO-CEREZO 1, Isabel CERRILLO 1, Ángeles ORTEGA 1, 2, María-Soledad FERNÁNDEZ-PACHÓN 1

1 Area of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemical Engineering, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain; 2 Biomedical Research Networking Center in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), Madrid, Spain



INTRODUCTION: Numerous sportspeople consume nutritional ergogenic aids, including branched chain amino acids (BCAA), considered to favor post-exercise muscle recovery. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of BCAA on recovery from muscle damage produced by high-intensity exercise and muscle function. This allowed to define the optimal dosage regimen and consumption conditions taking into account the combination of BCAA with other products.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review of the scientific literature published over the past 15 years using the PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus and Web of Science databases was carried out. Nineteen articles were selected.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The most optimal regimen for post-exercise muscle recovery and/or muscle function after high-intensity resistance exercise was 2-10 g BCAA/day (leucine: isoleucine: valine at 2:1:1), consumed as a supplement alone or combined with arginine and carbohydrates, 3 previous days before exercise, immediately before and after exercise, regardless of training level. This treatment can improve perceived muscle damage, fatigue, circumference of arm/leg, counter movement jump, maximum muscle strength and maximum voluntary contraction, and reduce creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels, mainly in young males.
CONCLUSIONS: Intake of BCAA favors post-exercise muscle recovery and may improve muscle function. The present review can serve as a guidance for high intensity endurance athletes who need to reduce post-exercise muscle damage and maintain or improve muscle function, especially in training periods and competition events planned with short rest periods.


KEY WORDS: Sports nutritional sciences; Resistance training; Branched-chain amino acids; Performance-enhancing substances

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