BCAAs are amino acids with branched side chains; the three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. While other essential amino acids are oxidized to provide energy at the liver, BCAAs can undergo this process in skeletal muscle.

Health considerations

While the role of BCAAs in maintaining muscle in post-operative patients and suppressing cancer incidence in animal models of obesity has been investigated, current interest in BCAA use is primarily from the sports medicine world. Evidence suggests BCAA intake timed around exercise can fight cognitive and muscle fatigue and promote muscle growth.

Keep in mind

BCAAs occur naturally in a variety of foods, so supplementation is not essential to health, rather it may be useful as a performance aid.

May be found in

Dietary supplements,eggs, soy protein, whitefish, pork, parmesan, sesame, beef, milk, legumes


Sources of Nutrients
Sources of Nutrients 2
Sources of Nutrients 3
The Journal of Nutrition
Annals of Surgery
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Alternative Spellings and Names

Branched chain aminos, branched chain amino acids

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