SUMMARY: This article looked at the amount of lactate, phosphorus, ammonia, and creatine kinase in blood after an intense workout, as well as the amount of blood cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-15). Five subjects were used, all males. All were given either a placebo, a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement, or a glutamine supplement. The results and discussion were based off of comparing the BCAA and glutamine supplement to the placebo. Researchers came to the conclusion that glutamine could be helpful in decreasing inflammatory responses after working out.
LESSON COMMENTS: This is a study for students to read critically; a “what not to do” paper, if you will. There are a number of issues with this study, from small sample sizes to a very liberal way of analyzing the results and drawing the final conclusion. While the introduction does a good job of explaining the role of the supplements and blood by-products, the discussion repeats many of the same points as the introduction.
Koo, G. H., Woo, J., Kang, S., & Shin, K. O. (2014). Effects of Supplementation with BCAA and L-glutamine on Blood Fatigue Factors and Cytokines in Juvenile Athletes Submitted to Maximal Intensity Rowing Performance. Journal of physical therapy science, 26(8), 1241-6.