Continuing with our 9 Essential Amino Acid Series – we now take a closer look into Leucine.
To learn how to increase growth hormone naturally read on…
What is it…?
Leucine is one of the 9 Essential Amino Acids – meaning it cannot be naturally created by your body & must instead be ingested in your diet.
Leucine is the most abundant of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) followed by isoleucine & valine. Leucine promotes the synthesis of growth hormones.
Leucine has also proven to help with the following:
- Activates key events in the protein synthesis process
- Improves body composition
- Corrects metabolic disturbances
- Decreases elevated glucose levels
- Decreases elevated cholesterol levels
The Chemical Formula & Structure…
All amino acids have a general formula: H2NCHRCOOH
Leucine’s chemical formula is: C6H13NO2
…& it is structured as follows:
What Does It Do…?
Leucine helps to activate mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) – a critical compound in the muscles which helps to maintain homeostasis.
Leucine has also proven to help dieters lose weight & spare muscle when reducing calories.
Research conducted at the University of Illinois showed that diets containing 10 grams of leucine & 125 grams of protein per day lead to greater fat loss, greater weight loss & better preservation of lean muscle mass.
Where Does It Come From…
Leucine is available in a number of high protein foods including:
- Meat: Lean meats, poultry & fish including canned tuna (eat sparingly due to mercury content).
- Dairy Products (be aware of any intolerances you may have)
For a full list of foods containing leucine click here.
As for supplements, whey protein provides the highest source of leucine with about 10 grams per 100 grams of protein. Other supplements include casein & soy, each which contain about 8%.
Optimal Amount To Take….
The optimal amount of leucine continues to remain up for debate however the current recommendations encourage 8 grams a day divided into doses of about 2.5 grams in each meal.
As always – it is important to check with your personal physician to determine exactly the right amount that is optimal for your body.
To Your Best Health,
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