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J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):538S-543S.

Amino acid mixture improves training efficiency in athletes.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan.


This review discusses some of the beneficial effects of a dietary amino acid supplement on muscle function, fatigue, and recovery in exercising athletes. The supplement, a mixture of amino acids that included the branched-chain amino acids, arginine and glutamine, was studied chronically at several daily dose levels for extended periods of time (10, 30, and 90 d). Outcome variables included physical measures of muscle strength, fatigue and damage, and blood indices of muscle damage and oxygen-carrying capacity. One beneficial effect of the amino acid supplement was a quicker recovery from the muscle fatigue that followed eccentric exercise training. A dose-response study of the amino acid mixture at 2.2, 4.4, and 6.6 g/d for 1 mo showed that at the highest dose, indices of blood oxygen-carrying capacity were increased and those of muscle damage were decreased at the end of the trial. When the amino acid mixture was given for 90 d to elite rugby players during training at a dose of 7.2 g/d, a blood-component analysis indicated improvements in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Together, the studies suggest that the amino acid supplement contributed to an improvement in training efficiency through positive effects on muscle integrity and hematopoiesis.

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