BCAA – not only for athletes

  1. What is isoleucine?

Isoleucine is an organic chemical compound that belongs to the group of exogenous amino acids. It is also a leucine isomer – an amino acid already described in this text. Together with valine, they form a BCAA complex. Isoleucine is found in virtually any type of protein, as well as in plasma proteins, hemoglobin and casein. Analyzing natural products, isoleucine is present in eggs, fish, meat and milk products, peanuts, almonds, lentils or sesame seeds.


  1. Isoleucine – properties

The leucine isomer is involved primarily in the process of protein synthesis that takes place in the liver and muscle tissue. From this angle it is stronger than valine and also weaker than its precursor (ie leucine). Together with the other two amino acids forming the BCAA complex, it is responsible for the inhibition of harmful catabolic reactions and the stimulation of regenerative processes. It is assumed that the effect of this compound is similar to HMB (3-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid).

Despite the lack of empirical evidence, it is assumed that isoleucine mediates the cycle of glucose uptake and its transformation into natural energy for the body. This explains her involvement in the regulation of blood sugar levels. In addition, it accelerates wound healing, is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin and supports the regeneration of tissues, muscle fibers, skin and nails. In addition, it is included in one of the necessary elements for the production of hemoglobin.

The pro-health role of exogenous amino acids has found application in the treatment of numerous ailments. The disease entities in which isoleucine supplementation has found use, among others

– maple syrup disease,

– tardive dyskinesia,

– phenylketonuria,

– amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,

– bipolar affective disorder,

– post-tumor cachexia syndrome.


  1. Dosage

Isoleucine is a good solution for our diet when we want to increase the consumption of glucose in our body. The recommended daily dose of the preparation, which should be taken during or after a meal, is from 2 to 5 g.


  1. The effects of improper supplementation

Isoleucine deficiency is noted in people with protein deficiencies in the diet. Symptoms of insufficient supply include apathy, headaches, depression, confusion, dizziness and fatigue.

An excess of isoleucine leads to a reduction in the level of another amino acid called tyrosine. The effect of this is a decrease in the concentration of dopamine, which often leads to worsening of mood and even development of depression. Other symptoms of increased supply of leucine isomer are

– hypertension,

– indigestion,

– redness of the face,

– tiredness,

– increased urination, which may lead to loss of nutrients.


Supplementation with isoleucine is contraindicated for children, pregnant and lactating women as well as adolescents during adolescence. Isoleucine is also not recommended for people with liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.


  1. Opinions

There are a number of studies that prove the pro-health role of BCAA amino acids. Despite the common treatment as a supplement typical for athletes, exogenous amino acids are very often used in the therapy of various diseases.

In a study conducted by Cangiano, the goal was to reduce the anorexia that occurs in the majority of people with malignant tumors. During the week, the research group took a dose of 14.4 g BCAA three times a day.

Compared to the control group, the consumption in patients using branched amino acids increased markedly. This effect was obtained by limiting tryptophan uptake in the brain. The consequence of this process is the reduction of serotonin production, which leads to increased appetite.

Richardson’s experience confirmed the use of exogenous amino acids in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. For a period of 14 days, the group of patients used a dose of 209 mg / kg three times a day. The results confirm a significant decrease in the frequency of involuntary movements in patients and did not lead to the appearance of side effects.


  1. What is valine?

Valine is the last amino acid that forms the BCAA complex. Briefly referred to as “V” is also an exogenous organic chemical compound of aliphatic character. In addition to typical amino acid preparations, it is very common in carbohydrate-protein nutrients and peri-training stacks.

The natural sources of valine are poultry products, fish and seafood, eggs, cheese, sesame, lentils, soybeans, walnuts and sea algae such as spirulina. I have already mentioned some of the products and benefits of using them in my diet in my earlier texts.


  1. Valine – properties

Valine, like the other components of the EAA / BCAA complexes, is responsible for post-workout regeneration of the organism subjected to physical effort. Its anti-catabolic activity protects muscle cells from breakdown due to unwanted acidification of the body and stimulates the body to synthesize proteins. Valine is also used for the synthesis of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).

Valine and its “partners” regulate the level of glucose in the blood, which has a positive effect on the production of the natural energy of the body. What’s more, its supplementation is conducive to regulation

– metabolism,

– hormonal balance,

– work of the nervous system,

– the functioning of the immune system.


  1. Dosage

In most cases, valine is taken in the form of a mixture of branched amino acids, and therefore the daily dose of the preparation will be similar to that of the other compounds. Portions should be in the range of 2 to 5 g and are used up to three times a day.


  1. The effects of excess and deficiency

Valine deficiencies are particularly common in undernourished people, using high-protein diets and eliminations during food allergies. The effects of deficiency of this amino acid are

– anemia,

– insomnia,

lack of appetite,

– myoclonus (muscle tremor),

– contact hypersensitivity (hypersensitivity to touch),

weight loss.


Why is high-protein diet favored by valine deficiencies? This compound is involved in protein metabolism and transport of nitrogen from the liver to other tissues of our body. Thanks to this, it helps to protect this detoxification organ not only against diseases, but also the effects of toxic substances such as alcohol or drugs.

An excess of valine is manifested, inter alia, by the tingling sensation of the skin (so-called paresthesia), hypoglycaemia, impaired renal and liver function as well as perceptual disorders in the form of hallucinations and hallucinations.


  1. Opinions

The enormity of research on the EAA and BCAA complex allows us to confirm the effectiveness of using these amino acids not only by people practicing sports.

An example is the experience in which patients with affective disorders for one week took a fixed dose of branched chain amino acids. The dose was 60 g per day. After seven days of research, the results confirmed a significant reduction in the symptoms of this disease.

Another pattern may be the Peitz experiment conducted on people suffering from phenylketonuria. By using magnetic resonance, we tried to show correlations between phenylalanine concentration and the effect of exogenous amino acids. Patients were taking phenylalanine both individually and in combination with the test compounds. Researchers noted a significant inhibition of the increase in this compound after ingestion with BCAA.

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Endogenous Amino Acids

Endogenous amino acids are part of the proteins necessary for every gymnast. They have a very important meaning in the proper functioning of the human body. What roles do they play? Where to get them from? Check out more about endogenous amino acids in this article.

What are endogenous amino acids?

Amino acids are monomers containing two functional groups in their structure: a carboxylic group – the so-called C-terminus and amino group (NH2) so-called N-terminus. There are twenty types of amino acids that build proteins. Each of them is built of these atoms:





There are also sulfuric amino acids – e.g. cysteine and methionine – whose structure is enriched with a sulfur atom.

Exo and endogenous amino acids

Amino acids are divided into exogenous and endogenous. The criterion for their division is the ability of the body to synthesize a given amino acid.

If a particular amino acid can be synthesized in the human body, it belongs to the group of endogenous amino acids.

An exogenous amino-acid will be one that has no such ability.

Properties of endogenous amino acids

Endogenous amino acids are of great importance in the proper functioning of the human system. They can perform a number of different functions – everything depends on a particular amino acid. Features:





Building blocks,

They seem to be the most important ones.

Where to get endogenous amino acids?

Endogenous amino acids and diet

Endogenous amino acids are a key element of proteins. No wonder that their main sources are:






Endogenous amino acids and supplements

Supplements are to supplement nutritional deficiencies in the diet. Often, however, we are unable to compose a meal, complete with all ingredients. In this case nutrients such are these can be useful:

Pre and post workout stacks,

Amino acid stacks,

Protein supplements.

Endogenous amino acids and training

The correct supply of endogenous amino acids positively influences the quality of training. It’s thanks to them that people are more focused and motivated on training. These amino acids:

Have an anti-catabolic function,

Allow you to increase the volume of training,

Reduce fatigue of the body.

Diet is 70% of your success. For the body to function properly, it must be equipped with the necessary nutritional values – including amino acid fractions. These will allow you to achieve the desired training effects and pass safely through successive levels of strength training.

Endogenous amino acids play an important role in the proper functioning of the human body. Due to the fact that they are not synthesized inside the body, it becomes necessary to provide them from the outside. To this end, an appropriate diet plan should be used. In case of problems – there is no lack of supplements on the market that help fill these gaps.