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We are constantly reminded that amino acids are the "building blocks" of muscle, but now science tells us that they also regulate anabolic and
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catabolic hormone levels after strenuous weight training.  In a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, scientists from the College of Charleston and Ball State University illustrated that an amino acid supplementation (total daily dose = L-leucine: 1800 mg, L-isoleucine: 750 mg, L-valine: 750 mg, L-glutamine: 2000 mg) increased serum testosterone concentration by almost 50% above baseline after intense resistance training; whereas, subjects who took a placebo saw a more than 30% decrease in serum testosterone concentration. As well, post-workout serum cortisol (a catabolic hormone) went down by over 1000% with amino acid supplementation, in contrast to a 1000% increase in cortisol in subjects who received the placebo.

With amino acid supplementation, the blood anabolic profile, as calculated by the ration of testosterone:cortisol,  showed that there was a 1600% increase from baseline (compared to -300% change in the placebo group). The strong net anabolic response, in those who took amino acids, related to reduced exercise-induced muscle damage, as the authors also showed a 30% reduction in creatine kinase levels after heavy resistance exercise. 

Reference:
Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino Acid Supplements and Recovery from High-Intensity Resistance Training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30.