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branched chain amino acids supplements test review

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Among the various types of products we have selected a complete amino acid supplement, which alongside the usual three essential amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine), also includes the remaining elements both essential and not, with the inclusion of vitamin B6, which as we have seen is important for their assimilation.

The test

It is not easy to evaluate the effectiveness of a product like branched chain amino acids and we are a journal, not a pharmaceutical research center. Our test, therefore, does not want to question laboratory tests, but we wanted, as far as possible, to evaluate the effectiveness of the product in normal conditions of use. We used some testers who are committed to following a given diet and a specific training protocol. We then divided the athletes into groups in which some took branched chain amino acids, others did not, and still others a simple placebo. The athletes all performed the same training program and were divided as follows:

1- adequate diet for training and intake of branched chain amino acids after training

2- diet suitable for training and intake of branched chain amino acids before, during and after training

3- diet suitable for training and taking a placebo after training

4- diet suitable for training and taking a placebo before, during and after training

5- low calorie diet and intake of branched chain amino acids after training

6- low-calorie diet and intake of branched chain amino acids before, during and after training

7- low calorie diet and taking a placebo after training

8- low calorie diet and taking a placebo before, during and after training

9- diet suitable for training without taking any supplement

10- low calorie diet without taking any supplements

In all cases we have collected the impressions of the athletes and verified their state of form through the progress of training. For the quantity of intake, we behaved as follows: in cases where the diet was low-calorie we integrated a quantity of branched chain amino acids such as to return to a normocaloric diet as regards protein intake. In practice, the subjects with a low-calorie diet took the same amount of protein as the subjects with a normal-calorie diet. The latter, on the other hand, had a high-protein diet, due to the normocaloric diet and balanced in food principles, but then integrated with branched amino acids which led to an increase in the proteins taken daily, such as to reach the value of 2 grams of protein per day per kg. of body weight.

The result

Group 1 withstood the workloads well with an excellent recovery from workouts, but no better than Group 9, a sign that, as already shown by other research, the intake of branched chain amino acids or proteins becomes superfluous when with the normal food ration the right quantities of food principles are taken every day. Group two did not show significant increases in recovery, resistance to fatigue, compared to groups 1 and 9. A sign that the intake of amino acids before and during cycling training is not particularly significant, if not useless. It should be noted, however, that within groups 1 and 2 there have been subjects who have been shown to feel an improvement in recovery skills and performance. In reality, the progress of the training of these subjects did not support these feelings. It is interesting to note, however, that an identical number of athletes from groups 2 and 4 also reported an improvement in recovery skills and greater resistance to fatigue during training. This is the testimony, already demonstrated in various scientific researches, of the importance of psychological motivation in sport. Groups 5 and 6 followed the performance of groups 1, 2 and 9, but the training period also coincided with a reduction in body weight, with particular regard to adipose tissue, and an effective improvement in athletic performance. This did not happen in groups 7, 8 and 10, who did lose body weight, but with a minimal increase in performance caused by the lower ability to recover from training and the inability to hold high workloads for prolonged times. Also in this case the group 8 had similar performances to the group 7, while the placebo did not produce significant results, although there were cases of subjects who reacted better than athletes without any kind of supplementation.

Test comment

The test was positive and followed what scientific research on the subject has already shown. A high-protein diet does not improve performance, but the dietary supplementation of branched chain amino acids can be advantageous in all those cases in which low-calorie diets are associated with high training loads. In such cases, the intake of branched chain amino acids allows to maintain optimal daily protein intake, even in the face of a reduced total daily caloric intake. This is the situation in which the effects of the intake of branched chain amino acids are most evident, allowing the subjects to reduce body weight while continuing to have excellent sports performance, which would not be possible without an integration of branched chain amino acids or proteins. The test also highlighted how in cycling the intake of branched chain amino acids is useless before and during sports performance, while it is advantageous afterwards. This further makes us reflect on the importance of a correct diet with the right caloric intake, a correct distribution of food principles and their subdivision throughout the day also according to training. In fact, the test also demonstrated how athletes who maintained a correct and personalized diet achieved performance equivalent to those who had diets supplemented with the intake of branched chain amino acids.

Conclusions

The branched chain amino acids have also shown their efficiency in cycling, provided that their intake is carried out with criteria and method. High-protein diets are totally useless, as is the intake of branched chain amino acids before and during training. Instead, their intake was important where a low-calorie diet was associated with intense workloads. In such cases, the integration of branched amino acids allows to restore a correct value of proteins taken daily, allowing a better recovery capacity and therefore allowing the athlete to carry out training loads that he could not have sustained without.

Precautions for use

There are several brands on the market, among these it is better to select those producers who offer a complete product, that is, an integration of all amino acids and not just the three main ones; it is also important that at least Vitamin B6 is included. We have also found that most manufacturers give very approximate indications on the dosage to be taken and often any precautions for use, such as the effects of an overdose, are also disregarded. In fact, we have already seen how a careful integration of branched amino acids does not bring any damage to the body, damage caused, however, by unnecessarily high-protein diets. We remind you that the latter, whether reached naturally or with the integration of any dietary product (be they proteins or branched amino acids), always lead the body to a transformation of excess proteins into glycogen or triglycerides, with a consequent increase in incoagulable nitrogen in the blood. For this reason it is always good to consult your doctor and dietician, before taking any branched chain amino acids so that the specialists themselves will be able to quantify the right daily amount of amino acids to be taken.

 

N.B .: the photo is purely indicative

 

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