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BCAA And Glutamine Are Still Useful

These days in the supplement industry, there is a constant push to reinvent the wheel and also come up with the newest ground breaking discovery in the world of performance enhancement or health. How many different versions of creatine have we seen since monohydrate came on the market? The old things that work very well are sometimes discarded for novel, new ideas. The problem, we toss out the baby with the bath water. It is okay to move on to new things, but there is no reason to disregard old standby products. Two such products are BCAA and Glutamine. In a 2000 study by Dr. Carlon Coker published in Current Therapeutic Research, Dr. Coker found evidence that both these supplements had a benefit on exercise performance.

BCAA And Glutamine Are Still Useful: The Experiment

Dr. Coker set out to prove that BCAA and Glutamine are still useful supplements even though some of his contemporaries disagree. The study involved experienced weight trainers which makes the result even more impressive. The subjects were split into two groups. In group one, the subjects ate a high protein diet, but also supplemented with a protein shake everyday that contained 30 grams of whey concentrate and 10 grams of whey isolate. In the other group, they ate the same macros in their diet and had the same protein shake but also added 5 grams of L-glutamine and 3 grams BCAA immediately post workout. Both groups ate 2.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight during the 10 week study. The results were pretty significant in favor of the group supplementing with L-glutamine and BCAA. The both did exercise with their body weight on the bench press and they did double their body weight on the leg press.

BCAA And Glutamine Are Still Useful: The Conclusion

At the end of 10 weeks, the group that just received the protein shake increased lean muscle mass by 500 grams. The group that received the BCAA and glutamine gained on average 1.5 kg of lean mass. That is a 200% difference in 10 weeks. That is a significant amount of muscle mass. They also tracked repetition performance and the group that just drank the protein shake performed 2 more repetitions on the bench press and the group that had BCAA and glutamine post workout did 8 more repetitions. On the leg press, the protein shake group did 5 more repetitions and the BCAA and glutamine group did 9 more repetitions. That is pretty significant change over 10 weeks. It seems that BCAA and Glutamine are still useful supplements. This study gives a compelling argument for the use of the two “old school” supplements.

Current Therapeutic Research 2000 61(1): 19-28.

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