What is Valine?
L-valine is an essential amino acid and one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), along with L-leucine and L-isoleucine. L-valine, also known as valine, helps maintain muscle coordination, mental vigor, and emotional calm. It also has immunostimulatory and antiviral properties. Additionally, valine plays a role in energy production, muscle growth, and muscle repair. Weightlifters and performance athletes commonly consume L-Valine and the other BCAAs as a pre-workout supplement to enhance their workout routines and muscle growth.
What are BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)?
The term branched-chain refers to the sidechain consisting of one carbon atom and three
hydrogen atoms all BCAAs have. The human body can’t produce BCAAs and relies on dietary sources to obtain
these essential amino acids. BCAAs account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40%
of the amino acids required by human metabolism. BCAAs like L-valine play a role in protein synthesis, which
is necessary for muscle growth. BCAAs also help muscles recover from intense exercise and support the
healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Potential Valine Benefits
Valine for Muscle Growth and Recovery
Valine supports exercise performance and recovery in several ways. It has stimulant properties that provide
more energy for workouts. It also promotes protein synthesis for better muscle growth and recovery following
exercise. Valine synergizes with the other BCAAs to enhance these properties when taken in a ratio of 2:1:1
of leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
Valine and Muscle Soreness
Numerous studies show that participants taking BCAAs experienced better improvements in exercise performance
and muscle recovery than those taking a placebo. These same studies also note that BCAA supplements
outperform placebos when it comes to reducing muscle soreness. Additional research found that BCAAs produce
superior muscle recovery and repair than rest alone. Researchers believe this is because BCAAs promote
better muscle function by reducing soreness and exercise-induced muscle power loss.
Valine and Endurance Performance
Other studies examined the effects of BCAAs like valine on exercise endurance. They report that participants
taking BCAAs experience a lower rate of perceived exertion and exercise intensity during workouts. A lowered
sense of exertion directly enhances an individual’s exercise endurance by increasing their ability to work
out more. Individuals also experience less soreness when taking BCAAs, which allows them to recover faster
and return to their workouts sooner.
Potential Valine Side Effects
Valine is an essential amino acid for life and occurs naturally in many foods. As such, most individuals
tolerate valine supplements without issue. However, taking excessive amounts may cause headaches, fatigue,
and loss of muscle coordination. Extreme doses may raise ammonia levels and put stress on the liver and
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