As you may or may not know, the proteins we consume are made up of amino acid chains. All amino acids help growth and recovery of the human body. However, do all amino acids have the same impact on MUSCLE GROWTH & RECOVERY?!
The answer to that my friends is – NO
Leucine also known as the grand facilitator of protein synthesis is the key to developing muscle growth.
What is the relevance of Leucine?
When levels of Leucine are elevated in the human body, a specific anabolic complex is stimulated called the mTOR. The mTOR complex responds very positively to high volumes of Leucine and it becomes highly active, this is what helps synthesise and build new muscle tissue in cells. Low volumes of Leucine in the human body results in an inactive mTOR, as a result protein synthesis is significantly decreased.
When should I take Leucine?
When applying the concept and function of Leucine I find it is best to consume when –
- You have just consumed a meal to synthesise the protein from that meal
- You have just finished your work out to exploit and make the most of your post work out nutrition
- You are just about to go to bed with either the last meal of the day or your pre-bed shake
How much Leucine should I take?
Leucine amounts are variable dependant on the individual, for example an 80kg Boxer will require less than a 120kg Body Builder. I am roughly 90kg and for me I would firstly use powder form and consume approx 10-15g throughout the course of the day with and between my meals. I would also consume between 5-10g post work out with a suitable post work out shake to really exploit that post work out nutrition and I would finally consume a further 5g before bed with either a meal or a shake.
So on training days I could consume anywhere between 20-30g Leucine to really optimise protein synthesis and exploit my efforts to develop new muscle tissue.