Send to

Choose Destination
Nutrients. 2012 Nov 16;4(11):1767-80. doi: 10.3390/nu4111767.

Effects of diets supplemented with branched-chain amino acids on the performance and fatigue mechanisms of rats submitted to prolonged physical exercise.

Author information

Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508900, Brazil.


This study aimed to determine the effects of diets chronically supplemented with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on the fatigue mechanisms of trained rats. Thirty-six adult Wistar rats were trained for six weeks. The training protocol consisted of bouts of swimming exercise (one hour a day, five times a week, for six weeks). The animals received a control diet (C) (n = 12), a diet supplemented with 3.57% BCAA (S1) (n = 12), or a diet supplemented with 4.76% BCAA (S2) (n = 12). On the last day of the training protocol, half the animals in each group were sacrificed after one hour of swimming (1H), and the other half after a swimming exhaustion test (EX). Swimming time until exhaustion was increased by 37% in group S1 and reduced by 43% in group S2 compared to group C. Results indicate that the S1 diet had a beneficial effect on performance by sparing glycogen in the soleus muscle (p < 0.05) and by inducing a lower concentration of plasma ammonia, whereas the S2 diet had a negative effect on performance due to hyperammonemia (p < 0.05). The hypothalamic concentration of serotonin was not significantly different between the 1H and EX conditions. In conclusion, chronic BCAA supplementation led to increased performance in rats subjected to a swimming test to exhaustion. However, this is a dose-dependent effect, since chronic ingestion of elevated quantities of BCAA led to a reduction in performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center