[The efficiency of branched chain aminoacids (BCAA) in the nutrition of combat sport athletes]

Vopr Pitan. 2019;88(4):48-56. doi: 10.24411/0042-8833-2019-10041. Epub 2019 Jul 15.
[Article in Russian]


Balanced nutrition of athletes involves the usage of both ordinary products and complexes of functional food ingredients that contribute to improving the performance of athletes, strengthening the immune system. One of the main components of specialized foods that are widely used in sports' nutrition and food supplements are branched chain aminoacids (BCAA): valine, leucine, isoleucine. The aim of the work was to study the effect of the BCAA intake on the parameters of body composition and the immune status of combat sport athletes during the training period. Material and methods. The object of the study was 20 athletes (masters of sports and candidates for masters of sports in combat sports: sambo, judo) at the age of 17-18 years. Athletes were distributed into 2 groups. Athletes of the main group (n=10) for 4 weeks in addition to the main diet were supplemented with BCAA at a dosage of 5 g per day. The athletes of the control group (n=10) received the main diet without BCAA inclusion. Examination of athletes of both groups was carried out at the beginning of the research and after 4 weeks of the observation period. The actual nutrition of athletes and daily energy consumption have been studied, body composition, the quantitative composition of subpopulations of peripheral blood lymphocytes, cytokine profile and hematological parameters have been determined. Results and discussion. As a result of a comprehensive survey of athletes, the positive effect of BCAA intake on the phase angle value (7.35±0.28 vs 6.41±0.32 at the beginning of the study, p<0.05) and muscle mass (25.1±0.8 vs 23.4±0.6 kg, p<0.10) has been demonstrated. In the control group these parameters did not change statistically significantly (7.05±0.25 vs 6.78±0.42 and 24.1±1.7 vs 23.8±1.5 kg). The athletes of the main group showed an increase in erythrocyte hemoglobin content (30.0±0.3 vs 29.0±0.2 pg, p<0.05). The relative content of basophilic leukocytes in athletes of the main group decreased by the end of the observation period - from 0.69±0.05 to 0.54±0.05% (p<0.05), that indicated an increase of immune resistance. The biomarker of the immunotropic effect of BCAA was the suppression of IL-4 production (1.6±0.1 to 1.3±0.1 pg/ml, p<0.05) synthesized by Th2 lymphocytes, with switching response to cellular immunity. Conclusion. The results of this study provide evidence of the effectiveness of BCAA usage in sports' nutrition for maintaining sport performance, immunity, and the adaptive potential of combat sport athletes.

Keywords: BCAA; combat sport athletes; cytokines; immunity; lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / administration & dosage*
  • Athletes*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Sports*


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain