Valine is one of the three branched chain amino acids and is very important for muscle repair and growth. As one of the BCAA’s, it is certainly important, but studies on just valine are lacking, being overshadowed (and rightly so) by Leucine for anabolic growth. Although, Valine is important for muscle repair, it is needed in lesser amounts than Leucine and is usualy in a ratio of 2:1:1 Leucine:Isoleucine:Valine. This ratio isn’t proven to be optimal though, so it is possible that less Valine is needed to allow for optimum growth and repair. However, studies show that Valine is absolutely essential for Leucine to have it’s anabolic effect, so it is not a good idea to supplement with only Leucine as many recommend. On it’s own, Valine has been shown to be a neurotransmitter that was shown to prevent fatigue and mental exhaustion by preventing the breakdown of 5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan. (1)
Evidence that the branched-chain amino acid L-valine prevents exercise-induced release of 5-HT in rat hippocampus.
Department of Physiology: IMASSA-CERMA, Bretigny Sur Orge, France.