Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sparing Muscle

One great advantage of BCAAs is that they spare muscle under hard-training conditions

In an experiment that used swimmers as subjects, one group received BCAA supplements, while another group got a placebo. Those in the BCAA group experienced decreased muscle breakdown following intensive exercise.2 Elsewhere, researchers who observed the behavior of rat skeletal muscle found that BCAAs block catabolic pathways in muscle by activating ubiquitin lysosome enzymes.3

Recent studies show that taking essential amino acids, including BCAAs, before exercise kick-starts anabolic processes. That's because the increased blood flow you get from training promotes greater amino acid entry into muscle

One study showed that BCAAs help diminish muscle damage during exercise and block what is called delayed-onset muscle soreness following intense training.4

Sixteen women and 14 men took five grams of BCAAs prior to doing seven sets of 20-rep squats, resting two minutes between sets. Some of the subjects got a placebo. Those who took the BCAA supplement had significantly less soreness than the placebo group, the effect being more pronounced in the male than female subjects.

The authors suggest that the mechanism may be a combination BCAAs' blunting muscle breakdown and leucine's stimulation of muscle protein synthesis

BCAAs Help Diminish Muscle Damage During Exercise
And Block Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness.