Leucine / Isoleucine / Valine
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are all Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). They are essential for protein synthesis which is stimulated after exhaustive exercise (1) as well as the critical metabolic process in muscle (2, 3). The metabolic roles of Leucine include energy production and the modulator of muscle protein synthesis via the insulin signalling pathway. There is a reason to suggest that it helps maintenance of muscle mass during weight loss (4). Leucine has also been shown to help in the direct maintenance of glucose homeostasis by improving the redistribution of glucose via the glucose – alanine cycle (5).
1 – Coker, R. H., Miller, S., Schutzler, S., Deutz, N., & Wolfe, R. R. (2012). Whey protein and essential amino acids promote the reduction of adipose tissue and increased muscle protein synthesis during caloric restriction-induced weight loss in elderly, obese individuals. Nutr J, 11(1), 105.
2 – Hulmi, J. J., Lockwood, C. M., & Stout, J. R. (2010). Review Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein.
3 – Pasiakos, S. M., McLellan, T. M., & Lieberman, H. R. (2015). The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 45(1), 111-131.
4 – Volek, J. S., Volk, B. M., Gómez, A. L., Kunces, L. J., Kupchak, B. R., Freidenreich, D. J., … & Kraemer, W. J. (2013). Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(2), 122-135.
5 – Hansen, M., Bangsbo, J., Jensen, J., Bibby, B. M., & Madsen, K. (2014). Effect of Whey Protein Hydrolysate on Performance and Recovery of Top-Class Orienteering Runners. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism.