What Is Leucine for Muscle Growth?
Leucine is an amino acid that is a member of the Branched-Chain amino acids (BCAAs). This amino acid is essential in building the body’s muscle mass. Leucine is a fundamental component of Whey protein, and it is thought that the amino acid provides the whey protein with its ability to augment the muscle mass. Other amino acids that form the Branched-chain amino acids include valine and isoleucine. These amino acids get metabolized by enzymes in the liver. Leucine has garnered more research and evaluation because of its potency in enhancing muscle growth. The various effects of leucine amino acid in the body include enhanced muscle growth, modulation of insulin activity, and a catabolic effect on fat.
How Does Leucine Work To Stimulate Muscle Growth?
It is important to know the biology behind muscle protein synthesis to understand how leucine works. The process of skeletal muscle growth begins by a process known as transcription. The DNA blueprint is taken to the mRNA and then it is transferred to the muscles. The genetic material then attaches to the ribosomes, facilitating a process called translation. The Ribosomes are the cellular protein builders. During translation, the new skeletal proteins get synthesized. Increased synthesis of these proteins leads to an enhanced development of the skeletal muscle. The synthesis process is affected by various factors such as exercise, diet, and sleep. The primary role of leucine amino acid in this process involves the regulation of protein synthesis, modulation of the signaling processes, and donation of nitrogen that is required by the muscle to produce alanine and glutamine.
Leucine for Muscle Growth exerts its effect first at the stage of translation. The process of translation is enhanced by the presence of certain proteins known as eukaryotic initiation factors. These proteins become abundant in the body when leucine is present. The amino acid does not stimulate the translation process directly. Leucine enhances translation by activating the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin pathway (mTOR). The pathway plays a critical role in cell growth regulation and proliferation. The mTOR pathway works alongside other proteins such as Raptor and the G-protein beta-subunit-like protein (G-beta-L) to facilitate cellular signals that promote the synthesis of proteins. Studies have confirmed that these changes indeed occur in individuals who are taking leucine supplements.
Some researchers have suggested that increased muscular contraction can enhance leucine activity. The experts recommend that leucine supplements should be administered before physical activity to boost its effect in the body. During workouts, there is higher protein degradation than synthesis. Muscular contraction and adequate amounts of leucine in the body promote muscle recovery as well as protein synthesis.
How To Take Leucine Supplements
A study was done by researchers at McMaster University in Canada. The objective of the survey was to find out the potency of various combinations of different dosages of whey protein in skeletal muscle protein synthesis at rest and after a workout session. The study recommendations, which are published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, found out that 6.25 grams of the whey protein in combination with leucine at five grams had greater effects than a similar dose of whey protein in conjunction with a lesser dosage of leucine (3g). The study concluded that increased leucine levels would compensate for the suboptimal dosage of the whey protein.
Strategies That Will Maximize Leucine’s Effects In The Body
- Taking 2.5 grams of the amino acid within 30 minutes of workout will enhance an anabolic stimulus.
- It is advisable to combine another five grams of leucine in a post-exercise protein shake.
- One should take five grams of leucine before sleep to facilitate muscle recovery from training.
- Leucine consumption between meals will enhance the healing process as well as increase the process of protein synthesis.
Top 4 Supplements That Contain Leucine
1. Instantized L-Leucine
This product is available in a 200 gram bottle. It is formulated as a powder which mixes very well with water. The primary ingredient in the product is L-Leucine. It supplements the levels of leucine in the body, which helps in muscle growth. Customer reviews give this product a score of 4.5 out of a possible five stars. Many customers were happy with the supplement, especially its ability to mix easily with water. The product costs $10.99.
2. L-Leucine – Ultra Fine Pure Powder Unflavored
This supplement is manufactured by Superior Nutraceuticals Inc. The active ingredient in the product is leucine. The supplement has no flavors and no additives. It is indicated for enhancing fortify protein shakes. It can also be used to trigger signals for specific metabolic responses. Amazon customer reviews give this product an average score of 4.1 out of five stars. Most clients wrote positive reviews about this product. However, a few buyers expressed displeasure on the product's taste. Because this is an unflavored product, you should use it with other natural flavors (such as in shakes) rather than by itself if you wish to achieve a pleasant taste. The supplement costs $17.49 on Amazon.
3. BulkSupplements Pure L-Leucine Powder
BulkSupplements manufactures this product. It is packaged in a 250 grams container. The active ingredient that is present in the supplement is leucine. The powder is clean and pure, and it does not contain any fillers. Its purity is verified and guaranteed. Amazon customer reviews give this product an average score of 4.6 out of five stars. Buyers wrote positive reviews about the supplement with very few complaints. The supplement is sold at $13.26 on Amazon.
4. Serious Nutrition Solutions Leucine
Serious Nutrition Solutions manufactures this supplement. The product is effective in building lean muscle and has been proven to aid in fast recovery after a workout session. The supplement also supports protein synthesis. This supplement is useful for weight lifters, athletes, and any other person that is interested in gaining muscle mass. It is packaged in a 500 gram container. Customer reviews give this product and average of 3.8 out of five stars. Most recent reviews of this product were positive, but one customer did criticize the product's taste. This supplement is available for $29.98 on Amazon.
Should I Take Leucine for Muscle Growth?
Leucine is the ideal supplement for any individual who wants to increase their muscle mass or to maintain their lean body mass. It is important to ensure adequate protein consumption to supply the body with enough Leucine for Muscle Growth that will optimize muscle protein synthesis. Adding the amino acid to a protein-rich meal will further enhance the skeletal muscle protein synthesis.