Supplements for improving athletic performance and recovery for are a hot topics for research today. Branch Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) supplements are widely touted by fitness enthusiasts to improve training, performance, decreasing muscle soreness, and aid in muscular repair. Branched-chain simply refers to the chemical structure of the acid, BCAA’s are considered essential amino acids. A new study examined the impact of BCAA’s on athletic performance and perceived exertion compared with a carbohydrate beverage.
Researchers assessed 9 inexperienced male athletes, who completed three 90-minute cycling sessions and 15-minute time trials. The rate of perceived exertion and performance measurements were taken every session, and each of the trials were separated by 8 weeks. Results indicated that BCAA supplementation did not influence aerobic performance and no difference was noted between the BCAA effected athletes and the placebo group. Additional research should be conducted to test BCAA among a wider demographic of athletes and conditions.