T Nation

For The Biochemists Out There

Is it pure coincidence that BCAAs are all nonpolar molecules that exhibit hydrophobic interactions?

Just curious, and if it has anything to do with the role that BCAAs play in muscle synthesis or recovery, etc

actually it does but not directly. it’s more along the lines of a carboxylic acid group on each of the molecules, allowing for better reaction, but as i’ve not had sleep for several nights, i am in no position to explain it.

BCAAs are used highly in muscle fibers due to the nature of their side chains, ie they do not provide much chance for other function besides “just being there to be the muscle.” For example, arginine has a positive charge and is used by K+ channels to sense voltage, as well as many other uses in various biological entities. You don’t see BCAAs usd like that! But for the same reason, muscles have BCAAs cuz they don’t need positive charges or any other funky functional groups. They need simple amino acids to make long, simple protein chains and big muscles.