T Nation

I Love Leucine!


I've been using Leucine for a few weeks now, 15g split 3 times a day, 5g morning, noon and night and didn't really notice a difference in the begining.

Over the last few workouts, I've been doing some high rep isolation work and I'm really noticing a massive change. I've always added some high rep work to my workouts every couple of weeks, but this is the only time I really noticed it.

Muscles feel a lot more dense and full, they feel like they're going to explode! Now I really understand what Arnold was talking about in that infamous video about the PUMP being like Cumming!!

I know CT was praising the use of Leucine as well in a recent article, but for a different reason.

Has anyone else noticed great changes and results from using Leucine?!



This guy loves Lucy too...


I'm curious, do you notice an increase in strength? It may be too soon to tell, but I'm curious :slightly_smiling:


Not that I've noticed so far, but I'm looking forward to any strength gains if they're to be expected.



Leucine and BCAA are awesome. you are just adding more aminos into your diet possibly laying down new muscle.

It is an awesome supplement and something I've been doing for a long time. I'm a huge fan of BCAA peri-workout.

It isn't some wonder supplement that just came out tho.

Awesome to add, but won't make DRAMATIC changes, but assistance over time.



I know it's not a new supplement, and people have been using it for a while, but I've only just started using it.

And to be honest, if it weren't for Biotest, i'm not sure it's something I would have even looked at adding to my supplement list.

I've always used BCAA's but i'm not too educated in what things I can add or tweak in my diet or supplements to bring about changes.

I don't actually use the Biotest version, so my one tastes absolutely aweful, but it still works.



I have been taking L-Leucine for a few weeks.Two days ago I got the worst cramps in my back. For first day I thought I had kidney stones. Second day figuerd out it was just cramps. Got muscle relaxers frm Doc.

Much better but this is is third day and still getting cramps in back just not as bad or often.Reason I think leucine is the cause is I had my son start taking it about 3 days after I startd taking it and this morning getting out bed he started having back spasims too.


DG, I'm guessing you take BCAAs during the workout and not "just" before and after? If you work out in the mornings, would you take it with breakfast, then during the workout (which is an hour later) and then right after with the protein shake (roughly 2 hours later)?


Interesting. I'm on my second week with Leucine. I haven't noticed any difference at all. I know it's too soon to make a judgement but I got caught up in the description of this supp. It's good to know some people are feeling results over time.


I was under the impression that Leucine was taken with your meals that contain protein. If you take Surge, it already has it in there too so no need to supplement it PWO with Surge. Leucine is a "control" Amino Acid, it makes the other ones work better.

Unless you have protien floating around in your system, taking leucine is not very effective. Also taking BCAA's alone, pre or during a workout seems to me to be a waste of the supplement. When working out your body goes catabolic.

Upon eating your first meal after a workout, your body goes anabolic. How much anabolic depends on exactly what that meal consists of. Generally, some glucose for an insulin spike and fast absorbing protein like whey do the trick, Adding leucine to this will kick it up another notch.

Surge does this perfectly so I just roll with that. Now luecine is very beneficial to take with your other meals because you don't (read shouldn't) be having a huge insulin dump the rest of these meals because you will add excessive fat.

Leucine triggers the body to increase protein synthesis similar to an insulin spike, without the side effect of piling on body fat as well. So you most important meal is always the PWO meal. But you can make every other meal very anabolic by adding some leucine to them (as long as there is some protein in the meal). Get it?



To be honest I am a fan of some sort of fast acting carb + BCAA only during a workout.

I've also tried the leucine with food approace and will not bash it, but if I'm eating a good amount of protein with each meal anyways then I don't really see a point.

I do add extra leucine in my pwo shake tho.

To answer the question I only supplement bcaa+ carb DURING and leucine + carb + protein pwo in a shake.

Also drink h20 during :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: lol



I'm not here to tell anyone to stop doing something that is working for them. I just don't understand the logic behind it. I mean if your body is going catabolic during the workout anyways what would be the purpose of consuming BCAA's specifically during the workout, if nothing other than having them in your bloodstream for when you stop working out.

Also if you are trying for the insulin spike to coincide with your anabolic PWO meal wouldn't taking a glucose drink during workout blunt the effects of your insulin spike PWO? I guess I just don't understand what those BCAA's will be doing during the workout. They won't be going to protein synthesis, unless I am mistaken.



I get what you are trying to say, but I wouldn't be against Poliquin and CT on this one. The high dose peri-workout BCAA is called the pulse method. According to Poliquin and CT there is no better way of using BCAA. The thing is they will still be in the bloodstream after the workout if that is your concern. Increasing protein synthesis doing the workout is excellent and the insulin spike is anti-catabolic. Increases in energy are also great.

Hope it helps..


By the way, the post-workout insulin spike is a bit overrated, protein synthesis is WAY more important.


I'll have to do some more reading up on these principles then I guess. I can see having BCAA's in the bloodstream so when the workout is over, bam they are right there. And I can see the glucose during the workout being helpful for energy. I do not see how protein synthesis can occur when you are working out.

Working out specifically breaks down muscle tissue, thats the goal, so your body will repair it after the fact. And hopefully if all goes right, repair it bigger and better than before. Anyways, i'm sure both methods have thier merit I'll just have to do some more reading to learn more about this other way.




IMO its not soo much muscles 'breaking down' versus just taking on 'damage' Some people can diet and 'break down' muscles for fuel throughout the diet. This is burning muscle and that muscle does not rebuild itself when the diet is over. Muscles get small tears in them when put under stress and the body usually rebuilds them stronger than before. Add more stress to a muscle and the body adapts to make the muscle bigger and stronger.

The insulin spike isn't overrated pwo...thinking about it is whats overrated. If you eat pwo you will get an insulin spike no matter what. Thats how our body manages blood glucose levels.

The reason I utilize a carb source during a workout is Im hoping my body will use that to replenish glycogen stores or fuel my workouts instead of my precious muscle tissue.

BCAA during a workout can cause protein synthesis during a workout although you don't grow in the gym. Some people argue but I believe in utilizing the pump that one gets when lifting. If I flood BCAA into my bloodstream and flood my working muscle with blood do you see where this leads. The time at which protein synthesis occurs is unimportant to me as long as it's occuring.

Taking carbs in my pwo shake isn't necessarily for the insulin response as I stated earlier, but to replenish glycogen within my muscles and start the recovery process faster.

Poliquin is the man and so is Thibs imo. I take those guys opinions seriously. I know many people will say 'what about so and so' but I don't care... Thibs is the only person who's articles I like to read anymore and he's the only 'author' on this site that I think is legit. He actually looks like he lifts weights instead of just reading a book like some of the other authors. (not bashing anybody in particular, this is just my humble opinion)



I thought the insulin spike had a lot to do with protein synthesis. Is that wrong?


I have to aggree with DG on this one. My supplementation, workout routines and diets have all come from Thibs and his advice and articles have been gold to me.

Like I said in my earlier post I only use 15g of Leucine a day. 5g in a morning shake with my breakfast which has a lot of eggs.

5g before my workout with which i'll have about 8g of BCAA pills and I'll have a further 8-10 during the workout. I don't have a workout shake or drink, only water, but I do have a PWO Surge.

The other 5g I have in my double bedtime shake with 5g of BCAA.

I feel this is working for me, because I'm noticing a difference.



OK. This is something that should be explained and ill try to do my best (not an expert but got some knowledge). The insulin spike actually has its importance (what is overrated is post-workout glycogen restoration). Insulin doesn't cause protein synthesis itself, protein synthesis occurs when your body is in need for protein turnover and you give it the resources for protein synthesis (aka protein, bcaas, aminos..... testosterone, etc).

Insulin has a special characteristic that it gives a signal for protein synthesis, meaning that if you give the preceeding resources the protein turnover will be larger. The problem with insulin spikes is that they bring fat. The post-workout and breakfast (not for all, but most) are the times to spike insulin, because there is a greater need for protein synthesis.

Hope this clarifies, but I reccomend further reading on the issue.


What are you disagreeing with me with? I think your protocol is fine.

I just think that Leucine has become overrated by everybody on this site since Biotest came out with it. Like it's some new wonderdrug.

Not saying you were like that...

Anyways we are all different. If it's workin for ya man keep it up. :wink: