One of the most influencial factors on muscle growth is protein synthesis: the ability the generate new tissue via the breakdown of proteins and reformation of amino acids. For athletes and recreational gym users who stray away from natural practice, this task is far easier, however natural athletes must do all they can to upregulate this effect and naturally aid muscle recovery. A proven way to help enhance protein synthesis is by supplementing strategically with leucine
What is leucine?
Leucine – along with isoleucine and valine – are grouped as branched chain amino acids: the only amino acids stored within the muscle and used as energy during exercise. Branched chain amino acids have numerous health benefits to crafting a physique and health, primarily muscle tissue retention/growth. Leucine’s role within this process lies within it’s ability to stimulate protein synthesis. This was initially discovered when researchers found that essential amino acid intake upregulated protein synthesis, leading to anabolism (muscle growth). They then found that the same increase in protein synthesis was induced by consuming just BCAAs. Then further identified leucine consumption alone was largely responsible for the majority of this positive influence on protein synthesis.
How does leucine increase protein synthesis?
Within the muscle their is a compound called mammalian target of rapamycinv (mTOR), this compound enables the body to produce muscle tissue and studies show a key catalyst for stimulating mTORinto action is leucine. Based on this, along with my own personal experiences of supplementing with leucine, I recommend you begin by supplementing with 5g of leucine per day and ‘pulsing’ your intake in synchronicity with your meals for optimal results.