Effects of BCAA, arginine and carbohydrate combined drink on post-exercise biochemical response and psychological condition

Chin J Physiol. 2011 Apr 30;54(2):71-8. doi: 10.4077/cjp.2011.amk075.


This study investigated the effects of BCAA, arginine and carbohydrate combined beverage (BCAA Drink) on biochemical responses and psychological conditions during recovery after a single bout of exhaustive exercise. Fourteen healthy males were assigned to drink either BCAA Drink (BA trial) or placebo (PL trial) on two sessions separated by 2 weeks. Blood samples of each subject were collected before exercise, 0, 10, 20, 40, 60, 120 min and 24 h after exercise. No significant differences in the levels of lactate, ammonia, creatine kinase and glycerol between the two groups were observed at any of the time points. However, the levels of glucose and insulin were significantly higher in the BA trial as compared to those in the PL trial at the 40 and 60 min recovery points. Furthermore, the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio at the 120 min recovery point was significantly higher in the BA trial as compared to that in the PL trial. The results indicate the occurrence of anabolic response during the recovery period. The benefit of BCAA Drink was also performed by Profile of Mood States to assess the psychological condition. Fatigue score increased immediately at exhaustion in both groups, but the decrease in the fatigue score at 120 min recovery point was significant only in BA trial. These data indicate that a single bout of exhaustive exercise enhanced the feeling of fatigue. The detrimental consequence was reduced by an ingestion of BCAA Drink.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects
  • Affect / physiology
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / administration & dosage*
  • Arginine / administration & dosage*
  • Beverages*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Fatigue / drug therapy
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Tryptophan / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Hormones
  • Lactic Acid
  • Tryptophan
  • Arginine