Effect of chronic supplementation with branched-chain amino acids on the performance and hepatic and muscle glycogen content in trained rats

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a diet supplemented with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; 3.57% and 4.76%) on the performance and glycogen metabolism of trained rats. Thirty-six adult male Wistar rats received the control diet (AIN-93M) (n=12) and two diets supplemented with BCAA (S1: AIN-93M+3.57% BCAA, n=12, and S2: AIN-93M+4.76% BCAA, n=12) for 6 weeks. The training protocol consisted of bouts of swimming exercise (60 min day−1) for 6 weeks at intensities close to the lactate threshold. On the last day of the experiment, all groups were trained for 1 h (1H) or were submitted to the exhaustion test (EX). The time to exhaustion did not differ between groups. The groups submitted to the exhaustion test presented a reduction in plasma glucose and an increase in plasma ammonia and blood lactate concentrations compared to the 1H condition. In the 1H condition, hepatic glycogen concentration was significantly higher in group S2 compared to the control diet and S1 groups (132% and 44%, respectively). Group S2 in the 1H condition presented a higher muscle glycogen concentration (45%) compared to the control diet group. In the EX condition, a significantly higher hepatic glycogen concentration was observed for group S2 compared to the control diet and S1 groups (262% and 222%, respectively). Chronic supplementation with BCAA promoted a higher hepatic and muscle glycogen concentration in trained animals, with this effect being dose dependent.

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