What is L-Leucine?
Leucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and one of the nine essential amino acids. Leucine amino acid plays a pivotal role in new muscle growth and maintenance. Since our body can not produce it, we must obtain Leucine through diet or supplements.
ICMR recommends 39 mg of Leucine per kg body weight daily. However, the requirement may be high for active people and athletes. Some leucine-rich foods include eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, seeds, lentils, soybean, milk, and fish.
Leucine supplementation has recently gained popularity because of its potent role in muscle protein synthesis.
L-Leucine: Benefits & Uses
Let's discuss the top health benefits of Leucine.
- Encourage new muscle growth: Leucine plays a key role during muscle anabolism. It keeps our body in a state of positive nitrogen balance, which is required to build muscle mass. Studies have observed greater lean muscle mass on leucine supplementation.
- Prevent muscle breakdown: Leucine may help prevent muscle breakdown by promoting positive nitrogen balance in the body. Muscle loss is common during lack of physical activity example, during bed rest. In such cases, it is good to have leucine-rich foods to minimize muscle loss.
- Enhance muscle strength: It has been observed that leucine levels decline during strenuous endurance activities. Leucine supplementation can help boost muscle strength and endurance and delay exhaustion.
- Support immune health: Our immune system contains T Killer cells which get activated on sensing any foreign pathogen or microorganism in the body. Leucine is essential for activating these T cells hence supporting healthy immune functioning.
- Promote healthy blood glucose levels: Leucine may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. A study observed that when Leucine was ingested with glucose, there was a reduced blood glucose response with strongly stimulated extra insulin production. However, people with diabetes should consult their doctor before starting leucine supplements for managing diabetes.
How does L-Leucine work?
L-Leucine can stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein degradation in skeletal muscle. Leucine works with insulin in the body to stimulate muscle protein synthesis during the availability of amino acids and energy. This anabolic amino acid may stimulate new muscle growth by promoting a favourable nitrogen balance and increasing the production of human growth hormone (HGH).
How to choose the right L-Leucine for you?
L-Leucine supplements are available in powder, capsule, and tablet forms. If you prefer an unflavoured Leucine supplement, it should only mention L-Leucine as an ingredient and must be free from unwanted fillers and additives. One can also enjoy the benefits of Leucine by opting for BCAA supplements with higher Leucine content, like Nutrabay Gold BCAA 4:1:1 or Nutrabay Pro BCAA 8:1:1.
The supplement should be certified and FSSAI-approved. It should not contain added sugar, preservatives, or banned substances.
How to use L-Leucine?
One can take Leucine supplements with water or juice. The recommended usage might vary from brand to brand. Therefore, it is advisable to read the usage instructions on the pack carefully.
Where to buy L-Leucine?
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Is L-Leucine safe to use?
Leucine is safe to consume and does not have major side effects. However, one should avoid taking Leucine in higher doses as it may result in low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia. It can sometimes cause skin lesions, hair loss, and abdominal distress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the best time to take L-Leucine supplement?
One can take Leucine supplements at any time of the day, preferably post-workout, to accelerate muscle recovery and new muscle growth.
2. What is the ideal dosage of L-Leucine?
ICMR recommends 39 mg of Leucine per kg body weight per day. However, the requirement may go up for physically active people and athletes.