T Nation

Desensitization to Leucine, Protein Intake

So while opening my 5th tub of Biotest leucine since the product came out, I started thinking about its effects and how I feel when I take it.

The first tub was exactly how it was described. My weight increased slightly without much change to diet, I was able to eat more junk food without any fat increases, and I had intense pumps in the gym (especially in my biceps, triceps, and forearms).

With the second tub, I focused on taking in a load of extra calories and I about 8 pounds in a pretty short amount of time. Some was fat, of course.

The third (and fourth?) tub, I didn’t really focus on increasing calories. My strength increased, weight stayed the same, and bodyfat slightly decreased. Overall, nothing amazing or different than what would usually happen if I had not been consuming leucine (about 4 5g doses, 20g/day).

Basically, I’m wondering if your body can become used to the increased amount of leucine and proceed to operate as normal, not rapidly increasing protein synthesis like it did initially.

Also, I’ve read in several places that the body can also get used to the large protein intakes most of us eat.

Any thoughts? Does anyone here consume less protein for a while on purpose, in order to increase their sensitivity to a large protein intake at a later time? Would it be smart to stop consuming extra leucine and large amounts of protein for a week or two every couple months?

(ABCD diet nostalgia for maybe some you?)

It makes sense, but I’ve never really seen anyone do it.

[quote]bulldogtor wrote:
The third (and fourth?) tub, I didn’t really focus on increasing calories. My strength increased, weight stayed the same, and bodyfat slightly decreased.[/quote]

If your strength went up and body fat decreased, I think it’s more likely that you may need to eat a bit more.

I like L-Leucine, but it’s not going to make up for a lack of food.

Maybe it’s time you started focusing on your caloric intake.

No doubt calorie intake is king. I was just noting that I wasn’t force feeding myself as usual.

The point of the post is more about whether cycling protein and specific amino acids would be beneficial.

I look at protein cycling as an advanced technique that might help advanced trainees.

I don’t think it has a place at you’re stage of development.

Agreed.

Just wanted to read some science-y stuff.

I definitely don’t need to be restricting food/protein intake any time soon.

I have dabbled in large doses of Leucine, and your experience fits mine. The first two weeks are outstanding, huge gains, but then it tapers off. Personally, the time when mine stopped working corresponded to some consistently nasty shits, so it’s probably an absorption thing. Does your leucine taste normal to you, or does it taste absolutely God-awful? It tasted supremely terrible to me, I’m guessing that might correlate to the digestive issues.

-Sab

[quote]Sabastian525 wrote:
I have dabbled in large doses of Leucine, and your experience fits mine. The first two weeks are outstanding, huge gains, but then it tapers off. Personally, the time when mine stopped working corresponded to some consistently nasty shits, so it’s probably an absorption thing. Does your leucine taste normal to you, or does it taste absolutely God-awful? It tasted supremely terrible to me, I’m guessing that might correlate to the digestive issues.

-Sab[/quote]

YES! I had the shits too when gains started to taper off. Perhaps it is an absorption thing…

And yes, it tastes horrible to me. I just throw it in my mouth and wash it down. That’s an interesting theory that it might correlate to the digestive issues. I’d like to see if other people chime in on this.

No experience but I wouldn’t doubt it, I mean the human body is an amazingly adaptive thing. You see instances of desensitization to stimuli all the time, even in your day to day life. From eyes adjusting to light, to requiring higher doses of drugs to get the same high as the first time…etc.

Well the easiest way around it so is to “cycle it” for lack of a better word.

Just do 1 week with Leucine, 1 week off, 1 on and see how that goes.

:slight_smile:

Thanks That One Guy for the insight.

300andabove–that seems like a great option, as well as an amazingly simple one as well. I’m going to start doing that.