Leucine is one of the 9 essential amino acids needed for normal growth. Ordinarily, we ingest leucine from foods high in protein; but when it comes to building, leucine is something you're going to want to add to your daily supplementation. When taken properly, intake of leucine can:
Help Build Muscle
Help Retain Muscle
Aid Weight Loss
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
WHAT IT DOES
Muslce Building: Of your BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), leucine is the most abundant and most potent. Leucine's primary job is to start a chain reaction in the body that results in muscle protein synthesis. More specifically, it stimulates the activity of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) which then stimulates the activity of enzyme p70S6K. Moreover, its effects are augmented by muscle contractions. Studies have shown that leucine supplementation together with strength training results in better overall performance and improved muscle building.
Muscle Retention, Weight Loss, & Blood Sugar: Dieting and aging are two necessary evils of a builder's life and both contribute to muscle loss. Luckily, leucine can help reduce the effects of both. A 2005 study from the Journal of Physiology reports that a diet supplemented with leucine helps fight off the effects of aging on muscle. Later studies have gone on to find that leucine aids metabolism as well - improving the body's ability to process sugars and fats. In fact, studies are currently underway to explore the use of leucine on pre-diabetics and those with metabolic syndrome.
HOW TO SUPPLEMENT
It is best taken as a BCAA with a ratio of 2:1:1. The following is a suggested daily regime.
Take 15 minutes before fasted morning cardio.
Take during and after training. Ideally, you have eaten a high-protein meal within an hour of training - the aminos in your food will provide your pre-workout leucine.
Remember, always ask your doctor before taking any supplement.
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