Supplementing your training with branched-chain amino acids may not only help your muscles grow but also may stave off muscle soreness, according to the University of Birmingham (Edgbaston, United Kingdom) researchers’ report in the Dec. 4, 2009, issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
They separated 24 untrained men into two groups: One group drank a BCAA beverage, while the other consumed an artificially flavored water placebo 30 minutes before exercise, 90 minutes after exercise, between lunch and dinner, and before bed. All subjects followed a training program that consisted of 12 sets of 10 reps of unilateral knee extensions.
Those supplementing with BCAAs experienced less flexed-muscle soreness than those drinking water 48 hours and 72 hours postworkout. The results indicate that BCAAs, in addition to providing muscle-building support to hard-training bodybuilders, could also help with recovery — all the more reason to add this supplement to your regular regimen.