Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs may be converted to glucose and therefore may be used as an energy source during exercise. Also, some evidence suggests that BCAAs may be used in making protein during muscle repair following exercise.
BCAAs are most often used as a supplement for increased athletic performance and endurance.
Preliminary research suggests that BCAAs may be helpful for muscle atrophy associated with bed rest, neurological disorders, in particular spinocerebellar degeneration, and tardive dyskinesia. However, more research is needed to confirm this.
The accompanying Monograph available for download includes information on science evidence, along with other background information. For more, click Download.