Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) refers to three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAA’s have been popular in the body building fraternity for decades but in recent years have become increasingly popular amongst the wider athletic population. The three branched-chain amino acids are also essential amino acids as they cannot be synthesised by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. BCAA’s have a unique characteristic in that they can be metabolised in skeletal muscle (other essential amino acids are metabolised via the liver).
Leucine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis, while isoleucine induces glucose uptake into cells. Further research is needed to determine valine’s role in a BCAA supplement.
BCAAs are important to ingest on a daily basis, especially for those who have an insufficient amount in their diet.