BODY SHOP: Train­ing, Nu­tri­tion and Supps Re­search

Muscle & Performance - - Contents -

If there were an easy way to add a mus­cle-build­ing boost to your post­work­out pro­tein shake, would you be in­ter­ested? Of course, you would. Well, that mus­cle-boost­ing in­gre­di­ent could very well be one amino acid in par­tic­u­lar: leucine.

Pro­tein makes up ap­prox­i­mately 80 per­cent of the dry weight of skele­tal mus­cle, and mus­cle cells need a plen­ti­ful and con­stant sup­ply of amino acids for re­newal, re­pair and syn­the­sis of new pro­teins. Whey is a highly bioavail­able pro­tein source that con­tains an abun­dance of the branched­chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and va­line), which are vi­tal for mus­cle growth, espe­cially when con­sumed around work­outs.

Leucine makes up only 5 to 10 per­cent of pro­teins, and blood leucine lev­els are known to de­cline by about 30 per­cent dur­ing strength train­ing and 11 per­cent to 33 per­cent dur­ing fat-burn­ing car­dio ses­sions (i.e., aer­o­bic ex­er­cise). Thus, it makes sense that leucine re­quire­ments are much higher in ath­letes.

A re­cent study pub­lished in Bi­ol­ogy of Sport an­a­lyzed the ef­fects of leucine-en­riched whey pro­tein sup­ple­men­ta­tion on mus­cle an­abolic sig­nal­ing in healthy, re­sis­tance-trained males. The re­searchers found that post­work­out sup­ple­men­ta­tion with leucine-en­riched whey aug­mented in­tra­mus­cu­lar pro­tein V\QWKHVLV VLJQLÀFDQWO\ )XUWKHUPRUH WKH\ IRXQG WKDW WKH DGGL tion of leucine to post­work­out whey pro­moted a greater in­sulin re­sponse, which boosts an­abolism and the shut­tling of nu­tri­ents into fa­tigued mus­cle.

ACTION POINT: Al­though this study shows that you can boost the an­abolic re­sponse to weight train­ing with as lit­tle as 10 JUDPV RI ZKH\ IRUWLÀHG ZLWK JUDPV RI OHXFLQH ZH VXJJHVW DQ even more po­tent cocktail. Mix 20 to 30 grams of whey pro­tein iso­late with 10 to 15 grams of BCAAS (at a ra­tio of 2:1:1, leucine to isoleucine to va­line) and drink it im­me­di­ately post­work­out. This will en­sure that you have at least 10 grams of leucine on board ZKLOH DOVR UHDSLQJ WKH VFLHQFH EDFNHG EHQHÀWV RI WKH ZKH\ leucine combo.

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