Int J Sports Med. 1997 Jan;18(1):47-55.
Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers.
Mourier A, Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H, Guezennec CY.

Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches de Médecine Aérospatiale, Département de Physiologie Systémique, Brétigny-sur-orge, France.

Twenty-five competitive wrestlers restricted their caloric intake (28 for 19 days, using a hypocaloric control (hC, n = 6), hypocaloric high-protein (hHP, n = 7), hypocaloric high-branched-chain amino acid (hBCAA, n = 6), hypocaloric low-protein (hLP, n = 6) diet to determine the effects of caloric restriction on body composition and performances versus control diet (C, n = 6). Anthropometric parameters (weight, percent body fat) and adipose tissue (AT) distribution measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) obtained before and after diet, were compared. A significant highest body weight loss (-4 kg, p < 0.05) and decrease in the percent of body fat (-17.3%, p < 0.05) were observed for subjects of the hBCAA group. Subjects of the hBCAA group exhibited a significant reduction (-34.4%, p < 0.05) in abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT). There was no change in aerobic (VO2max) (p > 0.75) and anaerobic capacities (Wingate test) (p > 0.81), and in muscular strength (p > 0.82). We conclude that under our experimental conditions, the combination of moderate energy restriction and BCAA supplementation induced significant and preferential losses of VAT, and allowed maintainance of a high level of performance.