Background:Sports nutritional supplements containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) have been widelyreported to improve psychological and biological aspects connected to central fatigue and performance inendurance exercise, although the topic is still open to debate. The aim of the present study was to determinewhether the intake of a commercially available BCAA-based supplement, taken according to the manufacturer’srecommendations, could affect the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and performance indexes at the beginning(1d) and end of a 9-week (9w) scheduled high intensity interval training program, with an experimental approachintegrating the determination of psychometric, performance, metabolic and blood biochemical parameters.Methods:This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Thirty-two untrained, healthy young adults(20 males and 12 female) were enrolled. A high-intensity endurance cycling (HIEC) test was used to induce fatigue inthe participants: HIEC consisted in ten 90 s sprints interspersed by ten 3 min recovery phases and followed by a finalstep time to exhaustion was used. In parallel with RPE, haematological values (creatine kinase, alanine, BCAA,tryptophan, ammonia and glucose levels), and performance indexes (maximal oxygen consumption - VO2max,powerassociated with lactate thresholds - WLT1,WLT2and time to exhaustion - TTE) were assessed. All subject took thesupplement (13.2 g of carbohydrates; 3.2 g of BCAA and 1.6 g of L-alanine per dose) or placebo before each test andtraining session. Dietary habits and training load were monitored during the entire training period.Results:The administration of the supplement (SU) at 1d reduced RPE by 9% during the recovery phase, as comparedto the placebo (PL); at 9w the RPE scores were reduced by 13 and 21% during the sprint and recovery phase,respectively; at 9w, prolonged supplement intake also improved TTE and TRIMP. SU intake invariably promoted a rapidincrease (within 1 h) of BCAA serum blood levels and prevented the post-HIEC tryptophan: BCAA ratio increase foundin the PL group, at both 1d and 9w. There was no difference in dietary habits between groups and those habits didnot change over time; no difference in glycemia was found between SU and PL. VO2max,WLT1and WLT2valuesimproved over time, but were unaffected by supplement intake. Conclusions:On the whole, these results suggest that i) the intake of the BCAA-based commercially availablesupplement used in this study reduces RPE as a likely consequence of an improvement in the serum tryptophan: BCAAratio; ii) over time, reduced RPE allows subjects to sustain higher workloads, leading to increased TRIMP and TTE.

Effects of a commercially available branched-chain amino acid-alanine-carbohydrate-based sports supplement on perceived exertion and performance in high intensity endurance cycling tests

Marco Gervasi;Davide Sisti;Stefano Amatori;Sabrina Donati Zeppa;Giosuè Annibalini;Giovanni Piccoli;Luciana Vallorani;Piero Benelli;Marco B. L. Rocchi;Elena Barbieri;Anna R. Calavalle;Deborah Agostini;Vilberto Stocchi;Piero Sestili
2020

Abstract

Background:Sports nutritional supplements containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) have been widelyreported to improve psychological and biological aspects connected to central fatigue and performance inendurance exercise, although the topic is still open to debate. The aim of the present study was to determinewhether the intake of a commercially available BCAA-based supplement, taken according to the manufacturer’srecommendations, could affect the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and performance indexes at the beginning(1d) and end of a 9-week (9w) scheduled high intensity interval training program, with an experimental approachintegrating the determination of psychometric, performance, metabolic and blood biochemical parameters.Methods:This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Thirty-two untrained, healthy young adults(20 males and 12 female) were enrolled. A high-intensity endurance cycling (HIEC) test was used to induce fatigue inthe participants: HIEC consisted in ten 90 s sprints interspersed by ten 3 min recovery phases and followed by a finalstep time to exhaustion was used. In parallel with RPE, haematological values (creatine kinase, alanine, BCAA,tryptophan, ammonia and glucose levels), and performance indexes (maximal oxygen consumption - VO2max,powerassociated with lactate thresholds - WLT1,WLT2and time to exhaustion - TTE) were assessed. All subject took thesupplement (13.2 g of carbohydrates; 3.2 g of BCAA and 1.6 g of L-alanine per dose) or placebo before each test andtraining session. Dietary habits and training load were monitored during the entire training period.Results:The administration of the supplement (SU) at 1d reduced RPE by 9% during the recovery phase, as comparedto the placebo (PL); at 9w the RPE scores were reduced by 13 and 21% during the sprint and recovery phase,respectively; at 9w, prolonged supplement intake also improved TTE and TRIMP. SU intake invariably promoted a rapidincrease (within 1 h) of BCAA serum blood levels and prevented the post-HIEC tryptophan: BCAA ratio increase foundin the PL group, at both 1d and 9w. There was no difference in dietary habits between groups and those habits didnot change over time; no difference in glycemia was found between SU and PL. VO2max,WLT1and WLT2valuesimproved over time, but were unaffected by supplement intake. Conclusions:On the whole, these results suggest that i) the intake of the BCAA-based commercially availablesupplement used in this study reduces RPE as a likely consequence of an improvement in the serum tryptophan: BCAAratio; ii) over time, reduced RPE allows subjects to sustain higher workloads, leading to increased TRIMP and TTE.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2675033
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