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Leucine: Health Benefits, Food Sources And Dosage Of This Essential Amino Acid
Boldsky | 9th Sep, 2019 10:21 AM

Leucine is known to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance in bodybuilders and athletes alike. It is found naturally in many food sources and is also most commonly taken in supplement form .

What Is Leucine?

Leucine is an essential amino acid that is important in muscle synthesis. It contains an alpha-amino group, a side chain isobutyl group, and an alpha-carboxylic acid group which make it a branched-chain amino acid.

During exercise, these amino acids are broken down in the muscles, which increases energy and muscle synthesis. Leucine has numerous health benefits.

Health Benefits Of Leucine 1. Controls blood sugar

Leucine can help maintain blood sugar or lower hyperglycemia. According to a study published in the journal Metabolism, leucine, when taken along with glucose, helped trigger insulin secretion and decrease blood sugar levels .

2. Helps in fat loss

If you want to shed some extra body fat, leucine is what you need. A 2015 study showed that leucine decreases the accumulation of fat during ageing and prevents the risk of obesity .

ALSO READ: National Nutrition Week 2019: 10 Nutrition And Health Tips For Working Women

3. Builds muscles

Leucine is one of the popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes because it helps in building muscles. Incorporate a lot of foods rich in leucine into your diet to promote the growth of muscles.

4. Prevents muscle loss and promotes muscle recovery

Leucine slows down the deterioration of muscles to decrease the effects of ageing. A study showed that this amino acid improved muscle synthesis in older adults when the recommended amount of protein per meal is consumed .

5. Improves physical performance

According to a study, the intake of leucine supplementation for six weeks improved both endurance and upper body strength in competitive canoeists . It also increases lean tissue mass and functional performance in older adults .

ALSO READ: 6 Benefits Of Deadlift Workout And How To Do It

Foods Rich In Leucine Food sources (100 g) Amount of leucine (mg) Eggs 1086 Elk meat 1935 Oats 960 Tuna fish 1896 Spirulina 509 Chicken 1605 Lentils 654 Grass-fed beef 1119 Turkey breast 1704 Sesame seeds 1358 Cottage cheese 1037 Peanuts 1672 Dosage Of Leucine

Leucine is both used in capsule and powder form and the dose should be between 2,000 to 5,000 mg per day. It should be taken along with low-protein meals for maximum benefits.

Disclaimer: Please consult an expert before consumption

Precautions To Take While Having Leucine

The intake of leucine supplement can elevate the risk of chronic fatigue and impaired coordination. It may also interfere with the production of niacin from L-tryptophan. According to a research study, leucine can also reduce the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and anxiety .

Studies suggest that to minimize the risk of leucine side effects, the intake of leucine should be limited to less than 500 mg/kg of body weight .

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