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Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Also indexed as:BCAA's, Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), Isoleucine, Leucine, Valine
Branched-Chain Amino Acids: Main Image

How to Use It

Most diets provide an adequate amount of BCAAs for most people, which is about 25–65 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight.42, 43 Athletes involved in intense training often take 5 grams of leucine, 4 grams of valine, and 2 grams of isoleucine per day to prevent muscle loss and increase muscle gain, though most research does not support this use of BCAAs.

Where to Find It

Dairy products and red meat contain the greatest amounts of BCAAs, although they are present in all protein-containing foods. Whey protein and egg protein supplements are other sources of BCAAs. BCAA supplements provide the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

Possible Deficiencies

Only a person deficient in protein would become deficient in BCAAs, because most foods that are sources of protein supply BCAAs. Few people in Western societies are protein deficient.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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