The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BCAA supplementation on muscle recovery from resistance exercise (RE) in untrained young adults. Twenty-four young adults (24.0 ± 4.3 years old) were assigned to 1 of 2 groups (n = 12 per group): a placebo-supplement group or a BCAA-supplement group. The groups were supplemented for a period of 5 days. On day 1 and 3, both groups underwent a RE session involving two lower body exercises (hack squat and leg press) and then were evaluated for muscle recovery on the 3 subsequent moments after the RE session [30 min (day 3), 24 h (day 4), and 48 h (day 5)]. The following indicators of muscle recovery were assessed: number of repetitions, rating of perceived exertion in the last RE session, muscle soreness and countermovement jump (CMJ) during recovery period (30 min, 24 h, and 48 h after RE session). Number of repetitions remained unchanged over time (time, P > 0.05), while the rating of perceived exertion increased (time, P < 0.05) over 3 sets, with no difference between groups (group × time, P > 0.05). Muscle soreness increased (time, P < 0.05) and jumping weight decreased (time, P < 0.05) at 30 min post-exercise and then progressively returned to baseline at 24 and 48 h post-exercise, with no difference between groups (group × time, P > 0.05). The results indicate that BCAA supplementation does not improve muscle recovery from RE in untrained young adults.
Keywords: Essential amino acids; Muscle function; Muscle power; Muscle soreness; Strength exercise; Supplementation.