Science

Leucine: The Key Amino Acid for Bodybuilders

As an avid gym-goer, you should know not that all amino acids are created equal. Amino acids are needed by the body to recover and put on muscle, but one particular amino acid is very important to bodybuilders: leucine.
Research shows that leucine is the key to activating the mTOR pathway – the pathway responsible for muscular hypertrophy – and it also stimulates other various proteins that are essential for building muscle. As well, leucine has been shown to help increase overall strength of individuals supplementing with it, as compared to those without. But that’s not all that leucine does. Leucine has been shown to help aid in recovery in high-volume eccentric training.
It’s obvious: Supplementing with leucine seems to be essential. It helps promote muscle growth, aids in recovery and also makes you stronger. So how much leucine should a person take to see results? There isn’t an exact number, but 4 grams a day seems to be adequate for most individuals, though it can be double or triple that.

Where can you get your hands on leucine? Any branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) product will have it. But you can also purchase leucine in bulk.

So get to it then – start adding leucine into your supplement stack and see what it can do for you.

SOURCE

Amino Acids, published online May 11, 2011.
Ispoglou T, King RF, Polman RC, Zanker C. Daily L-leucine supplementation in novice trainees during a 12-week weight training program. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011 Mar;6(1):38-50.

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