Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients that the body obtained from a protein found in food, particularly meat, dairy products, and nuts. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of the amino acid. People using the branched-chain amino acids for the drug.
Branched-chain amino acids commonly taken by mouth or given intravenously (by IV) by a health care provider for conditions of the brain due to heart disease (acute, chronic, and latent hepatic encephalopathy). Branched-chain amino acids are used for a variety of other conditions and can be taken by athletes to enhance athletic performance, preventing fatigue, increase concentration, and reduce muscle breakdown during intense exercise.