The Top 5 Benefits Of Leucine + How Much You Should Use

So what are the benefits of leucine? That’s what we’re going to answer in this post! Branched Chain Amino acids are made up of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Without a doubt, leucine is the most studied of the three and has several proven benefits to its name. You can get leucine from food sources such as chicken and cheese or by taking a BCAA supplement. Studies show that leucine is rapidly oxidized [1] or broken down during exercise which is why leucine supplements are recommended for athletes, fitness enthusiasts or anyone who has goals of building muscle and fat loss. Let’s take a look at:

The Top 5 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Leucine

  1. Increase Protein Synthesis
  2. Build Muscle
  3. Preserve Muscle
  4. Gain Strength
  5. Burn Fat
Bonus: How Much Leucine You Should Take To Get The Maximum Benefits Let’s go into a little more detail. Starting with:

#1 Increases Protein Synthesis

When you exercise the ability to create muscle proteins decreases. At the same time, levels of protein breakdown will increase. This is why it’s so important to ingest a protein-based food or supplement after a workout. Leucine has been shown to have a synergistic relationship with the hormone insulin to help increase protein synthesis [2]. Tthe increase in protein synthesis plays a big part in many of the other benefits on this list such as helping you to build muscle.

#2 Build Muscle

Protein synthesis is essential for building mass. When protein synthesis is greater than protein breakdown the result is the formation of more lean muscle tissue. Since leucine promotes protein synthesis it plays an important role when it comes to muscle growth. Studies show that supplementation with leucine (especially the leucine metabolite or derivative of leucine HMB) can increase lean muscle mass [3].

#3 Preserve Muscle

Can leucine do anything to prevent muscle breakdown? Absolutely. Leucine has also been shown to protect current levels of muscle [4]. In one animal study, researchers found that leucine was responsible for preventing the breakdown of muscle while increasing anabolism and a (growth) environment. This is good news for people who are restricting calories or fasting to lose weight and want to preserve muscle. Leucine supplementation is an almost calorie free way to protect muscle while restricting calories.

#4 Strength Gains

It’s great for your muscle mass but can it help you get stronger? Yes! In one 12-week study untrained males were put through a comprehensive resistance training program and given either four grams of leucine or a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, the group receiving the leucine supplement increased their strength [5] by an average of 40%. It’s important to note that the placebo group also increased their strength levels but only by an average of 30%.

#5 Burn Fat

Is leucine useful as a weight loss supplement? Eating plans with high levels of amino acids from proteins are associated with lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Leucine in particular has been shown to improve the uptake of glucose [6] and prevent fat storage. In another study, researchers suggest that while leucine is essential for protein metabolism it has several other important roles to play in metabolic processes. Overall, the researchers recommended leucine either as a standalone supplement or as part of a BCAA supplement to support weight loss [7].

How Much Leucine Should You Use To Get The Benefits?

If you’re taking leucine as an individual supplement you should take three grams per serving. If you have an intense workout schedule you can increase this to four grams. When you take leucine as part of a BCAA supplement make sure you’re getting at least a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. To reap the maximum benefits of leucine then consider taking a leucine supplement or a BCAA powder that also contains isoleucine and valine.
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