BCAA and Glutamine Prevent Overtraining and Reduces Cortisol
All bodybuilders walk a fine line when training, you want to stimulate muscle enough for muscle growth but not train so hard your body can't recuperate. It's very much like the Fiddler on the Roof, you must maintain balance; move to far in either direction and you are doomed to fail. Many bodybuilders eat plenty of protein but think that taking a few amino acids is not going to help out; however after reading this article you may reconsider this notion. Prior research has shown that resistance training alone, while it increases skeletal muscle protein synthesis, also results in an increase in protein breakdown. Although the net effect is an increase in protein synthesis, skeletal muscle remains in an overall catabolic state in the absence of adequate nutritional intervention. The ingestion or infusion of amino acids in conjunction with an acute bout of resistance training has been shown by numerous studies to significantly increase protein synthesis and yield a net anabolic state. Research published in this month's Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that taking Glutamine and BCAA can reduce the catabolic state caused by heavy resistance exercise. Resistance trained males were randomly assigned to either a high branched chain amino acids (BCAA) or placebo group. Subjects consumed the supplement for 3 weeks before commencing a fourth week of supplementation with concomitant high-intensity total-body resistance training. The amino acid supplement contained: L-Glutamine, 2000 mgs; L-leucine, 1800 mgs; L-isoleucine, 750 mgs; and L-valine, 750 mgs. The BCAA group consumed 6 g (12 capsules, which is the manufacturer’s recommended daily dose). At the end of the study, if you are not taking BCAA's you are going to kick yourself in the ass! The group of men training hard and taking BCAA's had decreased levels of cortisol compared to the placebo group, higher testosterone levels, and lower markers of muscle damage. After reading Dr. Gwartney's article this month in MD on the role of dieting and cortisol, you know that consuming a reduced calorie diet causes an increase in cortisol, so taking BCAA may reverse this catabolic state. These findings suggest that short-term amino acid supplementation, which is high in BCAA, may produce a net anabolic hormonal profile while attenuating training-induced increases in muscle tissue damage.
I always try to use them before and after you work out.. A MUST before and after hard cardio sessions.