BCAAs: The Amino Acids Responsible For Driving Muscle Protein Synthesis

Of the 9 EAAs, three are unique in their ability for their roles in muscle protein synthesis, neural function, and blood glucose and insulin regulation. These are commonly referred to as the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are leucine, iso-leucine, and valine. Of particular importance is the BCAA leucine which can stimulate MPS by itself; however, when combined with the other two BCAAs it is increased to a greater extent. Ideally, if a protein supplement is to be consumed, choose one that contains 2-3 grams of naturally occurring leucine as this will optimize the muscle protein synthesis response.