New research from the Sport & Exercise Physiology Research Group at St Marys University, Twickenham has found that supplementation with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), the building blocks of protein, can help speed up and improve recovery from resistance exercise.
The study, led by Dr Mark Waldron, is the first to assess acute supplementation with BCAAs immediately following resistance exercise. Previous research has focussed on supplementation over a number of weeks prior to an exercise bout or following severe muscle damage.
This is the first study of its kind to assess recovery following conventional strength training in individuals with a training background. The participants were split into two groups, one receiving either BCAA supplement, the other a placebo matched supplement.
Following a bout of resistance training, the athletes in the BCAAs group found that their strength and power recovered quicker to pre exercise levels and soreness was reduced, 24 hours following the exercise.
Before our research was published, it was known that BCAAs could be used for recovery purposes by athletes but it was not known how little supplementation was needed and over what period of time. Our findings indicate that a 100 kg athlete could supplement BCAAs twice daily, using as little as 17.2 g/day and need only begin supplementation on the day of training.
Dr Mark Waldron, Senior Lecturer in Strength & Conditioning
The study, entitled “The effects of acute branched-chain amino acid supplementation on recovery from a single bout of hypertrophy exercise in resistance-trained athletes” was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism.