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What is L-Valine?

L-Valine or Valine as it is commonly known is an amino acid & is a branched-chain amino acid member found in high concentration in the muscles. L-Valine is one of the eight essential Amino Acids which is broken down into fat structures. The other essential amino acids are: L-Isoleucine L-Leucine, L-Lysine, L-Methionine, L-Phenylalaline, L-Threonine, and L-Tryptophan,. (L-Histidine and L-Arginine are often included as EAAs). L-Valine cannot be made by the body and must be acquired through food or dietary supplements. L-Valine is also classified as a BCAA, with the others being Leucine and Isoleucine.

L-Valine Role

It has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism, repair and growth of tissue and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body. Since it is a branched-chain amino acid, it can be used as an energy source in the muscles, and in doing so preserves the use of glucose.

L-Valine Dose & Side Effects

L-Valine is an essential amino acid. Therefore, everyone needs L-Valine to maintain basic health.
L-Valine should be dosed at two parts L-Valine for every two parts L-Leucine and for every one part of L-Isoleucine. Label directions should be strictly adhered to at all times. No side effects have been reported and this BCAA is generally considered to be safe for healthy persons

Ideal Ratio of L-Valine to Other BCAAs

Valine should always be taken together with the other two branched-chain amino acids, leucine and isoleucine. It’s believed that for optimum absorption, you need two parts L-Leucine and two parts L-Valine for every one part L-Isoleucine. Others believe a ratio that the ratio 1:1.8:1.2, (their ratio in the muscle), is more effective. Some essential amino acids are even available in supplement form in the 4:1:1 and 3:1:1 ratio. This is a matter still requiring further research and proof

Importance of Valine

L-Valine is an essential amino acid, hence it is required by everyone for maintaining health.
Valine is a vital substrate for the amino acids glutamine and alanine, which are released in large quantities during intense exercise. The use of BCAAs such as this, spares other amino acids from being catabolised during exercise. A good insurance policy is to supplement with a quality whey protein supplement daily to ensure that you are getting the required amount of valine.

1 Sports Supplement Review, p. 169

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