Leucine, valine and isoleucine, are branched-chain essential amino acids, also kown as BCAA. BCAAs are stored directly in muscle tissue, so they are used immediately without being metabolized in the liver. The muscle can use them to increase muscle mass, to increase strenght and to obtain energy quickly.
- leucine is directly involved in the syntesis of muscle protein
- valine is an amino acid with energy funtion and limits muscle breackdown
- isoleucine has enegy and muscle building functions
The 4:1:1 ratio corresponds to the ratio of four parts of leucine, one of valine and one of isoleucine, this division allows to preserve muscle mass from catabolism and restore the plasma level of BCAAs which decreases during intense and lasting physical effort.
BCAAs 4:1:1 are most recomended for muscle recovery in endurance sports charactezied by long and costant muscular effort.
BCAAs make up the lagest share of amino acids in muscle proteins (more than 25%), they are the first amino acids that are catabolized in the event of intense physical exercise and partecipate in the synthesis of other amino acids in the muscle, helping to define the structure of muscle fibers. In addition, branched-chain amino acids support endurance and hinder fatigue.