What is L-Norvaline
L-norvaline is a non-essential amino acid and an isomer of the branched-chain amino
acid (BCAA) valine.
Isomers share the same number of atoms and molecules of each element component but have distinct
arrangements. Unlike valine, l-norvaline is an unbranched-chain amino acid. It’s a common ingredient in
pre-workout supplement stacks due to its interactions with arginine. Recent research also shows that
l-norvaline has neuroprotective properties that may support long-term cognitive health.
Potential L-Norvaline Benefits
L-Norvaline and Exercise Performance
L-Norvaline may enhance athleticism by inhibiting arginase enzymes. These enzymes break down arginine into
l-ornithine and urea as part of the urea cycle to remove ammonia buildup. However, arginase competes with
nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes for arginine. Arginase also has more than 1000 times the activity of NOS
enzymes. NOS enzymes are essential for nitric oxide synthesis, and too much arginase can create a nitric
By inhibiting arginase, l-norvaline helps preserve arginine levels to use for nitric oxide production. One
study found that norvaline boosted nitric oxide production by 55%. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that
improves blood flow, relaxes blood vessels, and improves nutrient and oxygen delivery throughout the body.
Fueling the muscles with more nutrients and oxygen may improve exercise performance.
L-Norvaline and Heart Health
L-Norvaline exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the endothelial cells found in blood vessels and the heart.
It also provides a layer of protection for the endothelium by acting as an arginase inhibitor. Additionally,
l-norvaline supports nitric oxide production, which promotes vasodilation and can help reduce the pressure
exerted against artery walls when pumping blood.
Potential L-Norvaline Side Effects
Norvaline has fewer scientific studies compared to other alpha amino acids. However, research is ongoing, and
the existing norvaline studies have not reported any side effects. Some individuals may experience mild
gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea or upset stomach. Individuals taking blood pressure medication
should consult with a physician before taking norvaline supplements.
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