n International SportMed Journal - Muscle damage and amino acid supplementation : does it aid recovery from muscle damage? : review article

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Following unaccustomed exercise consisting of lengthening (eccentric) contractions, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) develops together with muscle weakness, and these symptoms persist for several days. DOMS and the impairment of muscle function due to muscle damage affect training and athletic performance; thus effective measures to prevent or reduce muscle damage, or enhance recovery from damage, are important. Since it is known that amino acid supplementation stimulates the transport of amino acids into the skeletal muscles, and administration of exogenous amino acids after exercise increases protein synthesis while reducing protein breakdown, it is plausible that amino acid supplementation is effective for reducing muscle damage and / or enhancing recovery from muscle damage. Several studies have investigated the effects of amino acid supplementation on DOMS and other markers of muscle damage, and some of them found positive effects while others did not. It should be noted that few studies found a positive effect of amino acid supplementation on recovery of muscle function, and no previous studies have investigated whether amino acid supplement facilitates regeneration of damaged contractile and / or non-contractile elements. It cannot be concluded from currently available information that amino acid supplementation is effective for recovery from muscle damage. However, it appears that the effects of amino acid supplementation on muscle damage, if any, are affected by the timing and amount of supplementation, the magnitude and cause of muscle damage, composition of amino acids in the supplement, and other food intake in addition to the supplement. These should be investigated further before concluding whether amino acid supplementation contributes to attenuation of muscle damage and enhances recovery of muscle function after damaging exercise.

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