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Effects of oral branched-chain amino acids supplementation in bodybuilders



Effects of oral branched-chain amino acids supplementation in bodybuilders



Medicina dello Sport (Turin) 50(3): 293-303, Sept



The amino acids and particularly the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are used as alimentary supplements from the bodybuilders, for increase the muscular mass and the training effects. However the scientific studies that justify the use are few. The purpose of present study is identified effects of ingestion BCAA on body composition, on strength and on resistance in regional level natural bodybuilders, which do not use pharmacological substance such steroids or GH. Thirty-one males aged among 18 and 34 years, practising natural body building from at least two years, have been randomsly divided in two groups. A group of sixteen subjects has ingested a placebo (P) and a group of fifteen subjects has ingested 0.2 g/kg of body weight for day BCAA (AR), a half before training and a half after, for 8 weeks. No differences were noted in the analysed parameters between the groups. The body weight has significantly increased in both the groups. The absolute increase has resulted higher in the AR group (1.04 kg against 0.75 kg of the P group). The increased weight corresponded to an increase of same body circumferences, while no difference was noted in skinfold thickness. The body composition valued with double energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has allowed to verify a significantly increase of the lean mass of the superior and inferior limbs, while the values were unchanged for the trunk, as in the P group than in the AR group. At the beginning no differences between the groups were noted in RPE during training. At the end of the period of treatment the AR group has showed significantly reduction from 17.5 to 15.8 of Borg scale. The strength, valued by the dynamic dynamometer, increases as in squat than in bench press in the AR group and only in squat in the P group. Resistance, valued as number of repetitions performs in 1 minute with a load corresponding to 50% one-repetition maximum, increased in both the groups only in squat. Therefore we have concluded that the training promoted the more important modifications, as P group results showed. However the BCAA ingestion appears able to improve the functional adaptation to training with effects on the lean mass and on the perception of exercise intensity, in subjects normally fed. Therefore it appears justified the splitting up of the ingestion of BCAA in two doses, before and after training.

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