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Original Research Papers

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022): Beyond COVID-19

Effect of a Sugar-Free Branched Chain Amino Acid-Containing Sports Drink on Acute High Intensity Anaerobic Performance

November 25, 2021


Purpose: BioSteel® high performance sports drink (HPSD) is an enticing alternative to carbohydrate-containing sports drinks that are often associated with side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort or post-consumption hypoglycemia. BioSteel® HPSD is carbohydrate-free and provides bioavailability of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and other necessary cofactors that aid in BCAAs digestion. Here, we investigated the efficacy of BioSteel® HPSD to improve high-intensity anaerobic exercise performance in young adults.

Methods: A modified Wingate anaerobic test (mWAnT) was performed by fourteen healthy college students. Each subject underwent a total of nine trials, with each trial consisting of four bouts of cycling for 10 seconds / bout. The crossover design had each subject consume either BioSteel® HPSD, placebo, or water 30 minutes prior to the onset of exercise for three trials each, respectively.

Results: Participants consuming BioSteel® HPSD had significantly improved average power output expressed as an average of all bouts and all trials. Analyzing exercise performance as a function of separate 10 second bouts revealed significantly higher power output (bouts 1 and 4) and peak power (bout 1) in the BioSteel® HPSD consuming group. Despite this increased power output, subjects consuming BioSteel® HPSD did not fatigue faster or to a greater extent, as evidenced by fatigue index. Translation of power output to distance travelled indicated a significantly increased distance traveled by the subjects who drank BioSteel® HPSD.

Conclusion: Collectively, our data demonstrate that BioSteel® HPSD has a positive effect on acute anaerobic performance.