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Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food

, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids. People use branchedchain amino acids for medicine. Branched-chain amino acids are used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), brain conditions due to liver disease (chronic hepatic encephalopathy, latent hepatic encephalopathy), a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia, a genetic disease called McArdle's disease, a disease called spinocerebellar degeneration, and poor appetite in elderly kidney failure patients and cancer patients. Branched-chain amino acids are also used to help slow muscle wasting in people who are confined to bed. Some people use branched-chain amino acids to prevent fatigue and improve concentration. Athletes use branched-chain amino acids to improve exercise performance and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise. Healthcare providers give branched-chain amino acids intravenously (by IV) for sudden brain swelling due to liver disease (acute hepatic encephalopathy) and also when the body has been under extreme stress, for example after serious injury or widespread infection. How does it work? Branched-chain amino acids stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown. Branched-chain amino acids seem to prevent faulty message transmission in the brain cells of people with advanced liver disease, mania, tardive dyskinesia, and anorexia.

05). The oral ingestion of the amino acid mixture was proved to be effective for muscle strength recovery after the eccentric exercise. and a decrease in creatine phophokinase (p<0. serum albumin. and valine are of special importance for athletes because they are metabolized in the muscle. . only 2. rather than in the liver (26). and endurance greatly improved. In a study performed by Ohtani et al (27) 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. 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. 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.2 g of the amino acid mixture three times a day significantly improved other physiological markers such as: red blood cell count. In fact. a thorough before and after analysis concluded that markers for physical conditioning. Other studies of similar characteristics of supplementing with BCAA's have also been consistent with the above results.6 grams of the amino acid mixture twice daily which resulted in a faster recovery of muscle strength than that of the placebo group. 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. For example. Theoretically. fitness. suggesting increased hematopoiesis and glycogenesis. Therefore. 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. 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 (83). It should also be noted that essential amino acids are not produced in the body such as nonessential amino acids. hemoglobin. Perhaps one of the most profound studies on amino acid supplementation to date was done by Kraemer et al (30) 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. hematocrit. Another study by Sugita et al (28) demonstrated the effect of an amino acid mixture. another study performed by Ohtani et al (29). mainly consisting of BCAA's on recovery from muscle fatigue and damage after eccentric exercise training.The essential branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) include leucine. 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. 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. but rather obtained through proper nutrition. BCAA's have also been known in reducing fatigue in both anaerobic and endurance sports. and rapid alleviation of muscle inflammation by the amino acid mixture. isoleucine. BCAA's have a great deal of thorough and conclusive research surrounding them. fasting glucose. Twenty-two male college students were given 5. All of these beneficial factors may be of huge significance in high performance athletes especially in terms of overall conditioning.

Of further interest. Coombes et al (84) examined the effects of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on serum indicators of muscle damage after long periods of exercise. and burns (33). Dosage recommendations for BCAA's vary widely and more research is needed before finalization is made for the best supplementation dosage of BCAA's. power. the amino acid group did not have any change in performance during this period. or ALA. BCAA's may aid in recovery after surgery (34). Third. BCAA's may help support health and recovery in patients who have experienced trauma. and valine daily (35). From numerous studies it is clear that BCAA's have a significant role in . may show improvement after using BCAA's (32). There were 16 healthy males randomly assigned to either an experimental group in which they supplemented with 12 grams of BCAA's a day or a control/placebo group. the most recent research indicates that dosages typically range from 200-300mg of each BCAA daily to 2-5 grams of each daily. BCAA's may support liver health in patients with liver disease (31). 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. isoleucine. have been correlated with increased levels of fatigue and reduced markers of physical performance (85). However. Another interesting function of BCAA's is their profound effect on clinically diagnosed patients with specialized diseases or health problems. Also. The results of this study clearly show that BCAA supplementation played a significant role in reducing levels of plasma markers associated with muscle tissue damage after intense endurance exercise. Both groups participated in a two hour cycling activity at an intensity of 70% VO2. patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. They hypothesized that BCAA supplementation would reduce serum indicators of muscle damage. This would support the fact that overreaching can be very beneficial to athletes trying to improve performance. It however seems that the smallest beneficial dosage of BCAA's is 150mg of each leucine. extreme physical stress. 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. Summary and Recommendation Although there may be slight contradictions in pre-existing research regarding BCAA supplementation there is enough positive scientific evidence to warrant its usage in high performance athletes.The results in this study were quite interesting. First. specifically leucine. However. kidney failure. Finally. This was obviously due to the anti-catabolic effects that BCAA's promote in the body. First of all it appears that both groups had significant increases in strength. there have been many other studies similar to this in which plasma levels of specific compounds indicating muscle damage were reduced with BCAA supplementation. and resistance to fatigue after the entire four week period which can be attributed to the training program. Low amounts of BCAA plasma levels. BCAA's have a positive effect on reducing fatigue and help in maintaining plasma levels of BCAA's in the body.

http://www. and may aid in the healing of injuries. AST BCAA. However. Precision Engineered BCAA. sickness. Optimum Nutrition BCAA. Controlled Labs Purple Wraath. a decrease in creatine phophokinase. MRM BCAA+G. According to consumerlab. According to consumerlab. There may also be strength and muscle mass increases accompanied by BCAA supplementation. serum albumin. and even rapid alleviation of muscle inflammation. alleviation of short term decrements in performance commonly associated with overreaching. and trauma. hemoglobin. Beverly International Muscularity. BCAA's should be taken with water before and after training with any other pre or post workout supplement. further research is needed to determine whether this is a direct or indirect effect of BCAA supplementation. and Ultimate Nutrition BCAA. 25% isoleucine. The typical ratio of BCAA's is 50% overall conditioning factors such as aerobic and anaerobic capacities. increased glycogenesis. improvements in plasma levels of BCAA's (often linked with fatigue). This also lines up with the most current research on BCAA supplementation. by improving physiological markers such as: red blood cell count. Essential Liquid Amino there is no apparent toxicity or danger associated with BCAA supplementation. Other positive attributes associated with BCAA's as shown by current scientific literature includes: increased muscle recovery especially after intense eccentric and other valid sources some of the best BCAA products include: Iron-Tech.html . ConsumerLab also recommends anywhere from 1-12 grams. hematocrit. and 25% valine. fasting glucose levels.