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L-Leucine/BCAAs Impact on Glucose?

Recently got a blood test back which shows my glucose levels are elevated. 104 which in the range of 100-125 possibly puts me at risk for pre diabeties. I’m planning speaking with my doctor soon to see about more testing and to see what he says about this number. My question though is can bcaas impact glucose levels and perhaps I should stop taking extra ones? Currently I add one serving of l-leucine to my morning protein shake 6 days a week and before every workout I take a scoop of nutrabio bcaa and nitric stack with 24 ounces of water a half hour before I lift. Afterwards I drink a glass of water with my food that input a scoop of creatine and a scoop of glutamine in. Thanks.

Probably a trivial amount but I’ve found, as have many others, that bcaa’s are unnecessary and or redundant.

Proteins/amino acids can turn into glucose, but in a non pre-diabetic or diabetic individual it is so slow that your insulin should prevent any rise in blood sugar levels.

Leucine actually is one amino acid that can NOT turn into glucose-it ends up forming ketones instead. Furthermore, leucine stimulates a large insulin release so leucine usually lowers blood sugar since you get insulin without added glucose.

Protein from drinks are not going to effect bloods sugar or insulin on a fasted test (more than 4 hours). Some protein foods digest slower and can have an effect, like red meat, beans and nuts.

Was it a fully fasted test? Actually, lower carb diets tend to raise fasting blood sugar without issue and on a low carb diet a 104 fasted reading may not be a problem. Also many people get an early morning release of cortisol that can knock your fasted blood sugar into the 90-110 range especially if you didn’t drink water in the morning since that can leave you dehydrated.

If memory serves, ingesting leucine or BCAAs on an empty stomach in large quantities (i.e. training “fasted” but with a lot of BCAAs/EAAs — which are usually in 4:11, 6:1:1 or 8:1:1 formulations with leucine being the primary ingredient) can cause hypoglycemia. I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to do that to myself more than once before figuring out what was happening.

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That’s what I was thinking but was waiting for someone more experienced to say something.

Then we are still waiting! :smiley:

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Short answer - yes it does but it will not lead to pre diabetes. If the poster is indeed hovering at that stage then he has bigger issues than adding a few grams of leucine to his shakes.

correct. Leucine can cause low blood sugar.

It was fully fasted. Stopped eating the night before at 8-830 and took the blood test around 9. I would think low carbs would be better for glucose levelsnot worse? How does that work

Low carbs reduce your peak blood sugar, which is good, but the body raises fasting blood sugar about 10 points or so. It’s called physiological insulin resistance and not a sign of disease.

Oh yes, I recall nearly fainting in a supermarket once after the gym because of that. However, years of low carb eating and more recent extended fasting has considerably improved my insulin sensitivity so I never get it now.

Although, for what it’s worth, I stopped adding leucine to my peptopro recently because it was overkill given the rich leucine content.

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Here’s the real important question. What was your HgbA1c?
That is the real determining factor in diagnosing Diabetes, or “Pre” diabetes.
Glucose numbers are transient, they vary on a daily basis, fluctuating throughout the day.
Your A1C is an average of your glucose over an extended period.

However, if you believe something is out of whack in your eating habits leading to a negative outcome, I’d look elsewhere.