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What is the magical effect of leucine?

Jun 10, 2021

Leucine is no stranger to friends who often take branched chain amino acids and pay attention to the product ingredient list. It is one of the important components of branched chain amino acids. But what is leucine and what effect does it play in training and recovery? Today, Yingao nutrition expert Yang Mutian will analyze the magical effect of leucine for you.

As the most important member of branched chain amino acids, leucine is directly involved in the production of skeletal muscle protein. Leucine activates the mTor (target of rapamycin) channel to initiate the process of muscle growth. At the same time, during a calorie deficit (fat loss period), taking sufficient leucine can maintain net muscle content, prevent muscle loss, and improve body repair and exercise endurance.

L-Leucine Powder

The investigators did a set of experiments, trying to study how the addition of extra leucine to whey protein would change the protein synthesis of athletes (before training and at rest). The investigator divided the subjects into 4 groups as follows:

1) 25 grams of whey protein + 3 grams of leucine

2) 6.25 g whey protein + 0.75 g leucine

3) 6.25 grams of whey protein + some leucine (total 3 grams of leucine)

4) 6.25 grams of whey protein + some leucine (total 5 grams of leucine)

5) 6.25 grams of whey protein + branched chain amino acids (total 5 grams of leucine)

The results of the experiment found that the muscle protein synthesis rate was all higher than the benchmark value, but the results of 1, 4, and 5 were the best. Interestingly, the experiment showed that although subjects in groups 2-5 only consumed 6.25 grams of whey protein, their muscle protein synthesis rate was no less than that of a group of subjects who consumed 25 grams of whey protein. (Especially when extra leucine is added to whey protein). These results prove that high-dose leucine can promote muscle synthesis rate, so it is very important for people who gain muscle or lose fat (calorie deficit).