L-valine is an essential amino acid and, along with L-leucine and L-isoleucine, is part of the branched chain of amino acids. The body cannot manufacture L-valine, so it must be acquired via diet or supplementation. The male adult’s daily requirement is 10 mg per kg of body weight. L-valine is found in grains, dairy products (especially cottage cheese), mushrooms, meats, peanuts and soy proteins. Supplemental L-valine should always be combined with the L-isoleucine and L-leucine.
L-valine is a branched chain amino acid (as are L-isoleucine and L-leucine), which is important for supplying energy to muscles. The branched chain amino acids enhance energy, increase endurance and aid in muscle tissue recovery and repair. As a branched chain amino acid, L-valine is important for optimal growth in infants and children and nitrogen balance in adults. Branched chain preparations are used in sports nutrition and health foods.