The amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine are known as branched-chain amino acids or BCAA’s. It is their chemical make-up that gives them this name, because these amino acids have aliphatic side-chains (A compound composed of carbon and hydrogen arranged in straight or branched chains, and not containing aromatic rings) that are non-linear. These three amino acids are also Essential Amino Acids (EAAs).

The combination of these three essential amino acids make up approximately 1/3 of skeletal muscle in the human body, and play an important role in protein synthesis. As a result, BCAA’s, or protein powders containing them, are very popular with athletes and those undertaking exercise as an aid to muscle recovery.[1],[2]Unlike other amino acids which, when consumed in free form are absorbed and processed by the liver, branched chain amino acids are absorbed directly by muscle tissue.[3]

Additionally, BCAA’s are used clinically to aid in the recovery of burn victims.

Nutri-Link supplies a number of amino acid and protein formulas that are rich in BCAA’s, and which have also been used in clinical practice to support lean muscle tissue, specifically the Amino Sport (Biotics Research) formula and the Whey Protein Isolate (Biotics Research). The Arthred Collagen Powder (Allergy Research) and Vitol’s Egg Protein Powder have also proven effective at supporting lean muscle tissue and contain leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Related products available at Nutri-Link:

Code Product description Type Size Supplier
6420 Whey Protein Isolate (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 454g BRC
6425 Rice Protein Concentrate (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 680g BRC
6502 GamOctaPro™ Powder (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 454g BRC
5237 Amino Sport™ Caps 180 BRC
70540 Free Aminos Caps 100 ARG
72890 Arthred® Collagen Formula (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 240g ARG
76410 Arthred® Collagen Formula (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 900g ARG
75600 RenewPro™ (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 300g ARG
73900 ImmunoPro® Rx (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 300g ARG
SP375 Egg Protein Powder Large (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 1.13kg BB
SP370 Egg Protein Powder Small (VAT Exempt) Pwdr 340g BB


  1. Norton LE, Layman DK (2006). “Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise”. J. Nutr. 136 (2): 533S–537S. PMID 16424142.  View abstract.
  2. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R (2006). “Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise”. J. Nutr. 136 (1 Suppl): 269S–73S. View abstract.
  3. Karlsson HK, Nilsson PA, Nilsson J, Chibalin AV, Zierath JR, Blomstrand E (2004). “Branched-chain amino acids increase p70S6k phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise”. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 287 (1). View abstract.
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