Effects of squat exercise and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on plasma free amino acid concentrations in young women

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Jun;55(3):288-91. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.55.288.


The present study was conducted to examine alterations in plasma free amino acid concentrations induced by squat exercise and branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation in young, untrained female subjects. In the morning on the exercise session day, participants ingested drinks containing either BCAA (isoleucine:leucine:valine=1:2.3:1.2) or dextrin (placebo) at 0.1 g/kg body weight 15 min before a squat exercise session, which consisted of 7 sets of 20 squats, with 3 min intervals between sets. In the placebo trial, plasma BCAA concentrations were decreased subsequent to exercise, whereas they were significantly increased in the BCAA trial until 2 h after exercise. Marked changes in other free amino acids in response to squat exercise and BCAA supplementation were observed. In particular, plasma concentrations of methionine and aromatic amino acids were temporarily decreased in the BCAA trial, being significantly lower than those in the placebo trial. These results suggest that BCAA intake before exercise affects methionine and aromatic amino acid metabolism.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / blood*
  • Amino Acids, Aromatic / blood
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / administration & dosage*
  • Beverages*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methionine / blood
  • Placebos


  • Amino Acids
  • Amino Acids, Aromatic
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Placebos
  • Methionine