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BCAA and Endurance

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Joined: 6 years ago
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this is a little like preaching to the choir but it can never be said enough, BCAA's are the forgotten supplement!



J Appl Physiol. 2010 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Disruption of BCAA Metabolism in Mice Impairs Exercise Metabolism and Endurance.
She P, Zhou Y, Zhang Z, Griffin K, Gowda K, Lynch CJ.

Penn State University College of Medicine.

Exercise enhances branched-chain amino acid (BCAAs) catabolism, and BCAA supplementation influences exercise metabolism. However, it remains controversial whether BCAA supplementation improves exercise endurance and unknown whether the exercise endurance effect of BCAA supplementation requires catabolism of these amino acids. Therefore, we examined exercise capacity and intermediary metabolism in skeletal muscle of knockout (KO) mice of the mitochondrial branched-chain aminotransferase (BCATm), which catalyzes the first step of BCAA catabolism. We found that BCATm KO mice were exercise intolerant with markedly decreased endurance to exhaustion. Their plasma lactate and lactate/pyruvate ratio in skeletal muscle during exercise and lactate release from hindlimb perfused with high concentrations of insulin and glucose were significantly higher in KO than wild-type (WT) mice. Plasma and muscle ammonia concentrations were also markedly higher in KO than WT mice during a brief bout of exercise. BCATm KO mice exhibited 43-79% declines in the muscle concentration of alanine, glutamine, aspartate and glutamate at rest and during exercise. In response to exercise, the increments in muscle malate and alpha-ketoglutarate were greater more in KO than WT mice. While muscle [ATP] tended to be lower, muscle [IMP] was 7-fold higher in KO compared to WT mice after a brief bout of exercise, suggesting elevated ammonia in KO is derived from the purine nucleotide cycle. These data suggest that disruption of BCAA transamination causes impaired malate/aspartate shuttle, thereby resulting in decreased alanine and glutamine formation as well as increases in lactate/pyruvate ratio and ammonia in skeletal muscle. Thus, BCAA metabolism may regulate exercise capacity in mice. Key words: BCATm, alanine and glutamine formation, lactate, ammonia.

Estimable Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 175

Cool !

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
- Albert Einstein

Eminent Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 25

Amen JB.

Lest we forget the basics in our quest for "gear".

Thanks for that.

To most the marathon is the ultimate test of human endurance. To us it's just the cool down!

Pain is temporary - Quitting lasts forever

Regardless of how hard you train - The time is going to go by anyway so if you are going to throw a leg over your bike you may aswell bust you ass, make as many watts / do as many intervals as you can.

Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 507

I firmly believe that bcaa's enhances my recovery from weight training.

liftsiron is a fictional character and should be taken as such.

Eminent Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 20

I take my bcaa's

Eminent Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 44

Never really looked in to BCAAs until now. Seems like some good stuff to add.

Branched Chain Amino Acids
By Madeline Ellis
Published: Thursday, 21 February 2008
Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is the name given to three of the eight essential amino acids needed to make protein: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are called branched-chain because their structure has a ‘branch’ off the main trunk of the molecule. The combination of these three essential amino acids makes up approximately one-third of skeletal muscle in the human body.

In order to get energy, the body can actually break down muscle to get these BCAAs. Therefore, by supplying them during or after a workout, muscles and other tissues are spared from breakdown, which occurs as a natural part of metabolism.

Leucine is the most readily oxidized BCAA and therefore the most effective at causing insulin secretion from the pancreas. It lowers elevated blood sugar levels and aids in growth hormone production. Leucine works in conjunction with the other two BCAAs to protect muscle and act as fuel for the body. They promote the healing of bones, skin and muscle tissue, and are often recommended for patients recovering from surgery. Note: Excessively high intake of leucine may contribute to pellagra, a disease due to niacin deficiency, and may increase the amount of ammonia in the body.

Food sources for leucine are: meat, nuts, beans, brown rice, soy flour and whole wheat.

Isoleucine stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and energy levels. It is also needed for hemoglobin formation. When coupled with the other two BCAAs, they enhance energy, increase endurance and aid in the healing and repair of muscle tissue, making them a valuable tool for athletes.

After a group of healthy people received a single intravenous infusion of these amino acids, the amount of tissue breakdown that normally occurs overnight decreased by 50 percent. In another study, the muscles of a group of marathoners and cross-country runners were spared completely with a daily dose of them.

People suffering from many different mental and physical disorders have been found to have isoleucine deficiency, which can lead to symptoms similar to those of hypoglycemia.

Isoleucine can be found in foods such as chicken, eggs, fish, meat, rye, almonds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, soy protein and most seeds.

Valine is the third BCAA. It also aids in muscle metabolism, tissue repair and the maintenance of proper nitrogen balance in the body. It may also be helpful in treating liver and gallbladder disease, and is good for correcting the type of severe amino acid deficiencies which can be caused by drug addiction. However, an excessively high level of valine can lead to symptoms such as a crawling sensation in the skin and possibly cause hallucinations.

Sources for valine are: meat, mushrooms, peanuts, dairy products, grains, and soy protein.

BCAAs are a very popular supplementation for strength in athletes. It is recommended that supplemental isoleucine should always be taken with a correct balance of the other two branched-chain amino acids; approximately two milligrams each of leucine and valine for each milligram of isoleucine. Supplements that combine all three amino acids are available and can be more convenient to use.

BCAAs offer a rapid treatment response for tardive dyskinesia in men, according to the results of a trial published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder consisting of abnormal, involuntary body movements usually associated with long-term medications used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

BCAAs are also currently used clinically to aid in the recovery of burn victims, and because the metabolic breakdown is accelerated when an individual is afflicted with a wasting disease such as cancer, AIDS, or end-stage kidney failure, BCAA along with glutamine and medium-chain triglycerides are often used by progressive surgeons as intravenous support for their critically ill patients.

Trusted Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 98

If memory serves, best method is 4-6g, immediately after weight training, on an empty stomach, correct?

JB/Lifts - what's your protocol?