Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on recovery of power-producing ability following a strength training (ST) session.
Methods: Eleven resistance-trained males, performed baseline measures of a countermovement jump (CMJ) and a seated shot-put throw (SSPT). In a counterbalanced fashion, participants were provided with either 20-g of BCAA or a placebo. Each dose was divided into two equal quantities and consumed before and after a ST session consisting of various multi-joint barbell exercises. For both conditions, the CMJ and SSPT were repeated at 24-h post-ST, in addition participants attributed their perceived muscle soreness level via a 200-mm visual analogue scale.
Results: Following ST there were significant decrements in CMJ (baseline; 55.2±7.4-cm, BCAA; 52.8±5.9-cm placebo; 50.6±7.3-cm) and SSPT (baseline; 4.55±0.56-m, BCAA; 4.37±0.61-m, placebo; 4.22±0.64-m) for both conditions in comparison to baseline values (P<0.05). However, BCAA was shown to attenuate the decrements in CMJ and SSPT performance compared to placebo (P<0.05). Muscle soreness was significantly increased following ST for both conditions, however there were no differences in attributed values following BCAA and placebo ingestion.
Conclusions: BCAA administered acutely before and following intensive ST attenuates a decrease in power-producing ability experienced by resistance-trained males. The apparent small but significant effects on functional power suggest that BCAA is an effective ergogenic aid for athletes who require augmented recovery of power-producing ability following intensive ST.