September – 2017
– During hypocaloric diets, research, including those by Stu Phillips’ and Stefan Pasiakos’ labs, point towards the significance of total daily protein intake in achieving weight-loss quality (a concept of maximizing fat loss while preserving lean mass)
– In my research (currently in peer review), we further demonstrate the importance of high volume periodized resistance training to maximize weight-loss quality
– Because of the complex interactions among protein intake, resistance training adaptation, and caloric restriction, it remains difficult to identify the optimum and systematic approach to achieving “ideal” weight-loss quality
– In a study by the Stu Phillips group (Longland et al. 2016), researchers attempted to examine the effects of 1.2g protein/kg BW/day vs. 2.4g protein/kg BW/day on body composition in subjects undergoing a concurrent caloric restriction and high volume resistance training + HIIT regimen for 4 weeks
– Continuing off the work of Pasiakos who suggested 2-3x the RDA for protein during caloric restriction, it appears approximately 3x the RDA renders the greatest outcomes for weight loss quality with caloric deficit and training, i.e. increased lean mass and greater fat loss

Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids – 2012

Howatson, Hoad, Goodall, Tallent, Bell, , French Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:20
– 12  trained competitive national league players (rugby and soccer) mean ± SD age, 23 ± 2 y; stature, 178.3 ± 3.6 cm; and body mass, 79.6 ± 8.4 kg;
– engaged in specific resistance exercise at least 2x/wk during the competitive season
– 10g, 2x/day (morning and evening) of either BCAA or placebo (aspartame based artificial sweetener); 2:1:1 leucine, isoleucine and valine;
– Following overnight fast, participants ingested a further 20 g bolus, 1hr pre-exercise and immediately post-exercise
– Players were injury free and were asked to refrain from any physical activity during the 12 day testing period
– and avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication, therapies and additional nutritional supplements.
– Players did a total of 100 drop-jumps from a height of 0.6 m.
– Upon landing, they immediately jumped vertically with maximal force;
– 5 sets of 20; height 0.6m; done with a 10sec interval between each jumps and a 2 min rest between sets.
(1) BCAAs before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces indices of muscle damage and accelerates recovery
(2) It seems likely that BCAA provided greater bioavailablity of substrate to improve protein synthesis and thereby the extent of secondary muscle damage associated with strenuous resistance exercise

Combined effect of BCAAs and Taurine supplementation on DOMS and muscle damage in high intensity eccentric exercise – 2013

Song-Gyu Ra12,et al7
– Since taurine has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, we investigated combined effect on DOMS and muscle damage
– A combination of 3.2g (9.6g) BCAA and 2.0g (6.0g) Taurine, 3x/day, for 2 weeks prior to and 3 days after exercise may be a useful nutritional strategy for attenuating exercise-induced DOMS and muscle damage

The effects of 8 wks of heavy resistance training and BCCA supplementation on body composition and muscle performance – 2012

Spillane M1, Emerson C, Willoughby DS.
– Determine effects of 8 wks of heavy resistance training combined with branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on body comp and muscle performance.
– Resistance training was performed by 19 non-resistance-trained males (3×8-10 repetitions) 4x/week, for 8 weeks
– 9 g/day of BCAA or 9 g/day of placebo (PLAC) on the exercise days only (one-half of total dose 30 min before and after exercise).
– Data were analyzed with separate 2 × 2 analysis of variance (ANOVA)
(1) For total body mass, neither group significantly increased with training and also, there were no significant changes in total body water
(2) No training- or supplement-induced changes occurred with fat mass or fat-free mass
(3) Upper-body and lower-body strength and upper and lower-body muscle endurance increased with training; however, these increases were not different between the groups
– When combined with heavy resistance training for 8 weeks, supplementation with 9 g/day of BCAA 30 min before and 9 g after exercise had no preferential effects on body composition and muscle performance.

NOTE: The numbers above are not consistent. Is it 9 grams per day divided into 2 doses or is it 9 grams 30 min before and 9 g 30 min. after exercise?

Potential therapeutic effects of BCAA supplementation on resistance exercise-based muscle damage in humans – 2011

da Luz CR1, Nicastro H, Zanchi NE, Chaves DF, Lancha AH Jr.; J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2011 Dec 14;8:23
– The aim of this short report is to describe the potential therapeutic effects of BCAA supplementation on RE-based muscle damage in humans.
– Resistance exercise (RE)-derived biochemical markers of muscle soreness (creatine kinase (CK), aldolase, myoglobin), soreness, and functional strength may be modulated by BCAA supplementation in order to favor of muscle adaptation
– The main point is that BCAA supplementation may decrease some biochemical markers related with muscle soreness but this does not necessarily reflect on muscle functionality.

BCAA supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness – 2010

Shimomura Y1, Inaguma A, Watanabe S, Yamamoto Y, Muramatsu Y, Bajotto G, Sato J, Shimomura N, Kobayashi H, Mawatari K.
– 12 young, healthy, untrained female participants;
– on the session day, they took either BCAA (isoleucine:leucine:valine = 1:2.3:1.2) or dextrin at 100 mg/kg body weight before the squat exercise
– Squats consisted of 7 sets of 20 squats/set with 3-min intervals between sets.
– DOMS showed a peak on Days 2 and 3 in both trials, but the level of soreness was significantly lower in the BCAA trial than in the placebo.

BCAA ingestion can ameliorate soreness from eccentric exercise – 2010

Jackman SR1, Witard OC, Jeukendrup AE, Tipton KD.
– 24 non-weight-trained males; 12 x 10 reps of unilateral eccentric knee extension exercise at 120% concentric 1RM
– On the day of the exercise, supplements were taken 30 min before exercise, 1.5 h after exercise, between lunch and dinner and before bed; On the following 2 days, 4 supplements were consumed between meals
– BCAA supplementation may attenuate muscle soreness, but it does not ameliorate eccentric exercise-induced decrements in muscle function or increases in reputed blood markers of muscle damage, when consumed before exercise and for 3 d after an eccentric exercise bout.

Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training – 2010

Sharp CP1, Pearson DR
– Investigate whether short-term amino acid supplementation could maintain a short-term net anabolic hormonal profile and decrease muscle cell damage during high-intensity resistance training (overreaching), enhancing recovery and decreasing the risk of injury and illness
– 8 previously resistance trained males were randomly assigned to either a high branched chain amino acids (BCAA) or placebo group
– Subjects consumed the supplement for 3 weeks before commencing a 4th week of supplementation with concomitant high-intensity total-body resistance training (overreaching) (3 x 6-8 repetitions maximum, 8 exercises)
– Short-term amino acid supplementation, high in BCAA, may produce a net anabolic hormonal profile while attenuating (reducing) training-induced increases in muscle tissue damage

Branched-chain amino acid ingestion can ameliorate soreness from eccentric exercise – 2010

Jackman SR1Witard OCJeukendrup AETipton KD.
– Examine the role of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation during recovery from intense eccentric exercise.
– 24 non-weight-trained males were assigned to one of two groups:
(1) one group (supplementary, SUP) ingested BCAA beverages (n = 12)
(2) the second group (placebo, PLA) ingested artificially flavored water (n = 12).
– Diet was controlled throughout the testing period to match habitual intake.
The eccentric exercise protocol consisted of 12 x 10 repetitions of unilateral eccentric knee extension exercise at 120% concentric 1RM
– On the day of the exercise, supplements were consumed 30 min before exercise, 1.5 h after exercise, between lunch and dinner, and before bed.
– On the following 2 d, four supplements were consumed between meals.
– Muscle soreness, muscle function, and putative blood markers of muscle damage were assessed before and after (1, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h) exercise
(1) Muscle function decreased after eccentric exercise, but degree of force loss was unaffected by BCAA ingestion (51% +/- 3% with SUP vs -48% +/- 7% with PLA)
(2) A decrease in flexed muscle soreness was observed in SUP compared with PLA at 48 h (21 +/- 3 mm vs 32 +/- 3 mm) and 72 h (17 +/- 3 mm vs 27 +/- 4 mm)
(3) Flexed muscle soreness, expressed as area under the curve, was lower in SUP than in PLA
– BCAA supplementation may attenuate (reduce) muscle soreness, but it does not ameliorate eccentric exercise-induced decrements in muscle function or increases in reputed blood markers of muscle damage, when consumed before exercise and for 3 d after an eccentric exercise bout


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