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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


RABASSA-BLANCO, Jordi  and  PALMA-LINARES, Imma. Effects of protein and branched-chain amino acids supplements in resistance training: a review. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2017, vol.21, n.1, pp.55-73. ISSN 2174-5145.


The protein supplements and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are consumed by all kinds of people to obtain a number of physiological and metabolic effects reversing improvements in performance and fast recovery among others. Objective: To perform an exhaustive review of the most recent scientific publications where it has studied the effects of consuming protein supplements and BCAAs in resistance training in different physiological and metabolic parameters.

Material and Methods:

Descriptive literature review. A specific keyword search was conducted in the PubMed database and snowball strategy. Inclusion criteria: studies in humans of ≥18 without pathology, meta-analysis, systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials in English and Spanish related to the consumption of protein supplements and/or BCAAs in resistance training and its effects on muscle damage, anabolic response in muscle recovery, gain muscle mass and strength, body composition and fatigue.


Out of the 64 studies identified by the search equation, 20 met the inclusion criteria. The arithmetic mean of the participating subjects is equal to (30.59±24.47).


Protein supplements may have a positive effect on increasing muscle mass and performance, but further studies are needed to clarify their potential benefit on body composition, fatigue, attenuation and reducing pain and muscle damage. Leucine has an effect on the increase of muscle mass and its function in the elderly. BCAAs could act on the attenuation of central fatigue and on performance improvement.

Keywords : Amino Acids, Branched-Chain; Whey Proteins; Dietary Supplements; Resistance Training; Fatigue; Body Composition.

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