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BCAAs reduce muscle soreness after intense exercise

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine have an important role in several aspects of recovery and may well be the most important of all the amino acids for athletes.

New research from the University of Birmington tested the effects of BCAA supplementation on the potential to ameliorate the negative effects associated with unaccustomed exercise in untrained men.

Healthy non-weight trained men supplemented with a placebo or BCAAs. The daily dose was 30g of BCAAs separated into four doses consisting of 3.5g of leucine, 2.1g of isoleucine and 1.7g of valine. On the exercise day a dose was taken 30 minutes before exercise and 1 hour after exercise. Both groups performed a bout of damaging exercise consisting of eccentric knee extensions. Ratings of muscle soreness in the quadriceps muscle were significantly lower 48 and 72 hours after exercise in the BCAA group. Despite reducing muscle soreness, BCAA supplementation did not prevent the loss in muscle function any more than placebo.

The results provide evidence for taking relatively large amounts of BCAAs before and after a bout of intense exercise for reducing post-exercise muscle soreness.

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