Changes in the exercise-induced hormone response to branched chain amino acid administration.


Carli G, Bonifazi M, Lodi L, Lupo C, Martelli G, Viti A




Eur J Appl Physiol


It was the aim of the present experiment to detect possible effects of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on the endocrine response to 1 h of continuous running. Blood samples were collected from 14 long- distance runners (age 24-42 years) in two different trials performed at 1-week intervals. In both trials (E and P) blood samples were collected at the following times: 9 a.m. (basal values sample), 10.30 a.m. (sample 90), 11.30 a.m. (sample 150), 12.30 p.m. (sample 210); the athletes performed 1 h of running at a constant predetermined speed between samples 90 and 150. Following the basal sample a mixture containing BCAA (E trial), or not containing BCAA (P trial) was ingested. In both trials no hormone basal concentrations, except insulin, were changed before exercise. In P trial, following exercise (sample 150), human growth hormone (HGH), prolactin (PRL), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol (C) increased, while testosterone (T) decreased. In sample 210, after 1 h of rest, while ACTH, PRL and HGH had recovered to basal concentrations, C remained elevated and T displayed a further decrease. In the E trial a similar pattern of change was observed in sample 150 for HGH, PRL, ACTH and C; in sample 210 HGH and PRL displayed significantly lower values than in the corresponding P trial samples. The T was not modified by the running exercise and increased during the recovery period. It is, therefore, suggested that BCAA administration before exercise affects the response of some anabolic hormones, mainly HGH and T.