The Other BCAA’s

If you follow the bodybuilding magazines, websites or read research like I do then you’ll no doubt have come across BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and you’ve seen all the benefits of these supplements.


Leucine, IsoLeucine and Valine, together, form BCAA’s and have long been regarded as one of the more consistent and effective nutritional supplements for increasing muscle mass.

Recently, most of the protein research has focused on leucine and it has the internet buzzing. With good reason, leucine has shown to be the specific trigger to turn on the anabolic muscle building processes in the body. Research has shown that when the mTOR pathway is stimulated with leucine, protein synthesis increases which is something that natural athletes (steroids increase protein synthesis) are always looking to do. It’s not a far fetched at all to say that leucine may be the most powerful nutritional supplement that is legally available today.

But what about the other two branch chain amino acids, isoleucine and valine?

The Benefits Of Isoleucine

The biggest “oh I didn’t know that” in this whole article is coming now. Most people have never realized that isoleucine stimulates glucose uptake. So in other words, isoleucine helps the body to increase its usage of carbohydrates. More carbs used means that less carbs are floating around to get potentially stored as bodyfat and increases your chances of losing fat.

Another benefit of isoleucine is that it can help to heal and repair muscle tissue  due to its ability to encourage blotting at the site of tissue trauma.

Pretty impressive stuff huh?

Valine’s Surprise

The third BCAA, valine is another powerhouse player that is often ignored just because of the power of leucine. Valine, very much like isoleucine, can help to provide working muscle with extra, stored glucose for energy.  Again, less carbs around to be stored as bodyfat. Another important benefit of valine is its ability to remove excess nitrogen (caused by high protein diets) from the liver in addition to its ability to transport nitrogen uptake in the body as needed.

In the bodybuilding world, nitrogen and protein are used interchangeably. There’s numerous ways, outside of the quality of protein or the amino acids put into a product, that supplement companies can add to their products to show fancy nitrogen increase rates in research so that they can market their protein to you as being better then the other ones.


Good to know though, that valine actually works to transport nitrogen uptake in muscle tissue and isn’t some corporate scheme.

See and you thought that leucine was the most important BCAA. It might be but it’s never a good idea to take excessive amounts of leucine and ignore the other two “red-headed” BCAA’s

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