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This placebo-controlled study examined if supplementing trained cyclists with branched amino acids during training season affected select body composition, performance, and immune variables. Cyclists received either 12 g/day (6 g/d L-Leucine, 2 g/d L-Isoleucine and 4 g/d L-Valine) of either branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, n = 9) or a maltodextrin placebo (PLA, n = 9) over a 10-week training season.
A significant interaction existed for body mass-normalized relative peak power (19% increase in the BCAA group pre- to post-study, p=0.01), and relative mean power (4% increase in the BCAA group pre- to post-study, p=0.01).
A significant interaction for neutrophil number existed (p=0.04), as there was a significant 18% increase within the PLA group from the pre- to post-study time point (p=0.01). Chronic BCAA supplementation improves sprint performance variables in endurance cyclists.
Pre-study (pre) and 10-week post-study (post) Wingate variables.
panel a: A group × time interaction was observed for peak power (p = 0.02), and the BCAA group increased peak power by 20 % compared to the pre-study time point (**p = 0.01) .
panel b: A group × time interaction was also observed for relative peak power (p = 0.01), and the BCAA group increased relative peak power by 19 % compared to the pre-study time point (**p = 0.01) .
panel c: A group × time interaction was observed for mean power (p = 0.01), and the BCAA group increased mean power by 4 % compared to the pre-study time point (**p = 0.01) .
panel d: No group × time interactions was observed for relative mean power (MP).
Given that BCAA supplementation blunted the neutrophil response to intense cycling training, BCAAs may benefit immune function during a prolonged cycling season.
Kephart WC, Wachs TD, Mac Thompson R, Brooks Mobley C, Fox CD, McDonald JR, Ferguson BS, Young KC, Nie B, Martin JS, Company JM, Pascoe DD, Arnold RD, Moon JR, Roberts MD. Ten weeks of branched-chain amino acid supplementation improves select performance and immunological variables in trained cyclists. Amino Acids. 2016 Mar;48(3):779-89.
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