Most people have never heard of Leucine but it is the most important of the amino acids and helps make up the complex of BCAA’s which most fitness clients and athletes already use to help reach their fitness goals. Amino acids are what makes up the protein you eat. Your body digests proteins down into smaller chains of amino acids and uses each individual amino acid for a different and specific job. Leucine is an amino acid that most people are uninformed on and also are unaware of its importance and how to utilize it properly. This information will hopefully increase your knowledge on Leucine and show how to get more of it in your diet.
- Leucine is an essential Amino Acid
This means that your body doesn’t produce it and it needs to be taken in.
- The most important Amino Acid?
Leucine is the only amino acid that has been shown to have direct correlation and control over protein synthesis in the body. Protein Synthesis is creating new muscle proteins which is known as muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth. Other amino’s have some relation to protein synthesis but none do as much as Leucine.
- Aids in Protein Synthesis
Leucine is one of the only Amino’s to stimulate protein synthesis in muscle. The more Leucine your body has readily available the more protein your body can use in a given time period. By supplementing throughout the day, your body will be primed to accept more protein and to use more of it more effectively. Without Leucine it is less likely for your body to trigger muscle to be built because it doesn’t believe it has enough proteins to build.
- Activates MTOR Pathway (Mammalian target of Rapamycin)
Leucine signals to the body through the MTOR pathway that there is sufficient protein to synthesize (make) new skeletal muscle growth. The MTOR pathway is essentially the anabolic pathway everyone’s body uses to synthesize new muscle proteins. Leucine is able to trigger this pathway into starting. The less Leucine your body has available the less likely your body is going to trigger MTOR. In nonscientific terms it tells the body when to make new muscle. So the more Leucine available the more it will trigger the MTOR pathway, and the more your body triggers the MTOR pathway will correlate to a larger amount of muscle that will be built.
- Where do I find Leucine?
Leucine is found in most BCAA or Amino Acid, and protein supplements. You can also find it in most protein sources like egg whites, chicken, or fish. When purchasing an Amino Acid supplement be observant as to what is in the product because you want high amounts of Leucine compared to the amounts of the other ingredients.
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Glutamine is another building block of protein that you may not have heard of. It’s the most common amino acid found in the body accounting for around 61% of skeletal muscle. Glutamine is most known for helping muscle recover after intense workouts but also helps in immune system function and research has also shown that it also helps in the muscle from being catabolized or eaten up.
- Is Glutamine Essential?
Glutamine is not essential which means your body produces it, but not at a high rate.
- Why is Glutamine Important?
During intense exercise your body depletes its stores of Glutamine and can take up to 6 days for your body to regain its levels on its own. As we age it takes our bodies longer to produce it. Supplementing Glutamine could be a very good thing for everyone to have at the ready especially as we exercise more and continually age. Studies have shown that supplementing Glutamine can minimize the breakdown or catabolization of muscle in the body. If you don’t have enough Glutamine, your body will catabolize or convert\breakdown muscle proteins or muscle mass into glutamine which leads to thinner and smaller muscles.
- What else does Glutamine do?
Glutamine not only helps with muscular function but aids in multiple other things. Glutamine has been shown to increase growth hormone levels in weight training individuals. Growth Hormone is pivotal in building muscle, rebuilding bone and maintaining bone and collagen. Glutamine is most known to be used by white blood cells to aid in immune system function. Glutamine also maintains volume and hydration in cells, speeding up wound healing.
- Where can I find Glutamine?
Glutamine can be found in multiple places. It can be found by itself in Glutamine powders or along with other amino acids in blended amino acid products. Glutamine is also found in just about any protein source like beef, chicken, eggs.
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