Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael H. Stone

Committee Members

Kimitake Sato, Brad DeWeese, Caleb Bazyler


Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation may improve recovery from competitive endurance training by reducing symptoms of central and peripheral fatigue. The purpose of this dissertation was to provide evidence for the use of BCAAs as a training nutrition strategy in order to improve recovery from training and further drive adaptive processes to training by increasing readiness to train. Collegiate distance runners undergoing intense competitive endurance training were monitored for symptoms of muscular soreness and psychological stress through a rated soreness chart and the Daily Analysis of Life Demands for Athletes Survey (DALDA) while taking either a BCAA supplement or a placebo. When on the BCAA supplement, athletes reported significantly fewer symptoms of psychological stress and reduced muscular soreness. These results point to the importance of nutrient bioavailability, specifically BCAAs, on recovery parameters when undergoing intensive training. This concept was also demonstrated in a case study on a trained distance runner who underwent intensive training for an ultra-endurance marathon. Running kinematics were assessed using Kinovea open-sourced software (Version 0.8.15) during a series of constant-paced endurance runs while on the BCAA supplement or a placebo. We observed a reduction in vertical oscillation when the runner was on the BCAA supplement, indicating improved muscle recovery and therefore efficiency of movement. Improving recovery by reducing global central and peripheral fatigue symptoms may increase readiness to train and further promote desired training adaptations.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.