THE EFFECT OF BCAA ON ISOMETRIC FORCE FOLLOWING ENDURANCE EXERCISE IN A HOT ENVIRONMENT
ABSTRACT Introduction: Fatigue due to endurance exercise results from both peripheral and central changes, and may influence subsequent performance during a strength task. The increase in serotonin concentration is one of the central factors associated with endurance exercise-induced fatigue, particularly in hot environments. A nutritional strategy employed to reduce serotonergic activation is supplementation with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). Objective: To investigate whether BCAA supplementation attenuates the reduction in isometric force caused by prior endurance exercise in a hot environment. Methods: Nine volunteers (aged 25.4 ± 1.2 years) performed a 2-min maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVCISO) of upper limb muscles before and after an endurance exercise on a cycle ergometer at 40% of the maximal aerobic power. The volunteers underwent three experimental trials: 1) endurance exercise in a temperate environment (23°C and 60% RH); exercise in a hot environment (35°C and 60% RH) with the ingestion of: 2) a placebo solution or 3) a solution containing BCAA 30 mg.kg−1. During the MVCISO test, the isometric force of flexor muscles of the right elbow, core body temperature (TCORE) and heart rate (HR) were measured. Results: Isometric force decreased following endurance exercise in the hot environment, and BCAA administration did not attenuate this reduction. Greater TCORE and HR values were observed following endurance exercise in the heat, compared to pre-exercise values, and supplementation did not interfere with these physiological responses. Conclusion: The reduction in isometric force, caused by previous endurance exercise in a hot environment, was not diminished by supplementation with BCAA. Level of evidence I; Type of study: Therapeutic studies - Investigation of treatment outcomes.