T Nation

L-Leucine: Suggested Daily Limit?

Coach,

I am curious about L-Leucine supplementation. I have been adding L-Leucine to my shakes, but I noticed the L-Leucine says not to exceed 20g per day. Does that 20g per day limitation include the L-Leucine in whey protein? I currently consume 4 shakes per day which have 5060 mg of L-Leucine per shake.

I will be more than happy to provide any additional information that is needed.

Thanks for all your advice throughout the years. I have been a lurker for a long time and this is my first posting.

Yes, good question. It may be answered by a Supp Specialist Mod at Biotest as well. If people are taking both Surge Protocol, or the ANACONDA Protocol and protein powders along with L-leucine (4 servings)…I imagine its fine with no adverse reaction. The recommendation on the label should be considering the fact that people will be using protein powders and peri-workout nutrition supps.

There is no real downside to leucine, except maybe that it can increase insulin release. So it might not be a great idea to use a lot of leucine AT THE SAME TIME as a meal that is high in fat.

But I don’t have a problem exceeding 20g of total leucine per day (total including the leucine from other protein sources like whey, meat, poultry, eggs, etc.). I have personally used up to 40g of supplemental leucine per day without problem (spaced over 6 intakes). BUT I have a problem if I use 20g or more IN ONE INTAKE if I don’t ingest carbs too. If I do that I tend to get hypoglycemic. But if you split your dose and don’t exceed 10-15g per intake you shouldn’t have any problem.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
There is no real downside to leucine, except maybe that it can increase insulin release. So it might not be a great idea to use a lot of leucine AT THE SAME TIME as a meal that is high in fat.

But I don’t have a problem exceeding 20g of total leucine per day (total including the leucine from other protein sources like whey, meat, poultry, eggs, etc.). I have personally used up to 40g of supplemental leucine per day without problem (spaced over 6 intakes). BUT I have a problem if I use 20g or more IN ONE INTAKE if I don’t ingest carbs too. If I do that I tend to get hypoglycemic. But if you split your dose and don’t exceed 10-15g per intake you shouldn’t have any problem.[/quote]

I thought there was more than 20g of Leucine in the Anaconda protocol though? I remember reading that each serving of MAG-10 had 5g of leuicne, which would be 25g in the Anaconda Protocol.

[quote]Italiano wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
There is no real downside to leucine, except maybe that it can increase insulin release. So it might not be a great idea to use a lot of leucine AT THE SAME TIME as a meal that is high in fat.

But I don’t have a problem exceeding 20g of total leucine per day (total including the leucine from other protein sources like whey, meat, poultry, eggs, etc.). I have personally used up to 40g of supplemental leucine per day without problem (spaced over 6 intakes). BUT I have a problem if I use 20g or more IN ONE INTAKE if I don’t ingest carbs too. If I do that I tend to get hypoglycemic. But if you split your dose and don’t exceed 10-15g per intake you shouldn’t have any problem.[/quote]

I thought there was more than 20g of Leucine in the Anaconda protocol though? I remember reading that each serving of MAG-10 had 5g of leuicne, which would be 25g in the Anaconda Protocol. [/quote]

YES… but the protocol gives you 100-150g of carbs. READ MY POST CORRECTLY: ‘‘BUT I have a problem if I use 20g or more IN ONE INTAKE if I don’t ingest carbs too’’… notice the ‘‘if I don’t ingest carbs too’’ part?

I hate when people are quick to fire a comeback without even reading the whole post.

Also, when amino acid profiles are given for proteins, these are NOT free amino acids, but are incorporated into the protein chains. They should not be counted as the same.

I have also found this Thibs.
When I used to follow a Poliquin peri-workout nutrition protocol - 40g bcaa at a 4/1/1 ratio (27g of leucine), if I didn’t eat within 30 minutes of getting home I would pull a hypo

Lowest i’ve ever recorded was 2.4mmol/L. I was so weak i couldn’t pick up my mug of coffee so I checked with my glucometer (am not a diabetic, was given one for free).

Without a doubt, high dose leucine spikes insulin to the point that you can pull a hypo unless you get some carbs as well.

I really appreciate all the feedback. No offense, but I did not expect all of the responses with the experience and knowledge behind them. That is one of the reasons I always tell people about T-Muscle.

Bill, when you said, “that if amino acid profiles are given for proteins, these are NOT free amino acids, but are incorporated into the protein chains. They should not be counted as the same.” Does that mean that despite my protein shake intake that is listed I still should also supplement BCAAs? Like Intermezzo said, I noted that Poliquin has his people consume huge amounts of BCAAs throughout their workout. I had been using my protein shakes instead because I thought it was the same thing.

[quote]techdawg64 wrote:
Bill, when you said, “that if amino acid profiles are given for proteins, these are NOT free amino acids, but are incorporated into the protein chains. They should not be counted as the same.” Does that mean that despite my protein shake intake that is listed I still should also supplement BCAAs? Like Intermezzo said, I noted that Poliquin has his people consume huge amounts of BCAAs throughout their workout. I had been using my protein shakes instead because I thought it was the same thing.[/quote]

BCAA’s might be considered a more primitive and less effective way of doing something somewhat similar to what casein hydrolysate does. The difference is of course providing free amino acids in the first case, and di- and tri-peptides in the second case. It seems to me the latter is clearly better than the former, but the former is better than doing nothing or just using whey protein.

Yes, but sadly if someone didn’t think of a strategy first (even if it is better) he will ridicule it or claim that it is less effective.

Claiming that BCAAs are better than casein hydrolysate during a workout (just because you pioneered intra-workout BCAAs) is kinda like Ford saying that a car is faster than a plane simply because it didn’t invent the plane… and then making fun of the plane!

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Claiming that BCAAs are better than casein hydrolysate during a workout (just because you pioneered intra-workout BCAAs) is kinda like Ford saying that a car is faster than a plane simply because it didn’t invent the plane… and then making fun of the plane![/quote]

Wow, I am so stealing that analogy! -lol

S

if one is using casein hydro pre and during workout would extra leucine or bcaa’s still provide some benefits.

I couldn’t say myself. A definitive answer would depend on trials with careful comparison of both methods.

Myself, I still do the amino pulsing on arising the way CT described or pretty much so – 5 g leucine plus a serving of MAG-10 – and so I’ve had a leucine pulse not long prior to the workout in any case.

But it’s not required to do that, most certainly. I can’t say for a fact that it is better. It just has worked for me and I have not tried the other way.

Isnt there added leucine in the MAG-10 protein ?

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Myself, I still do the amino pulsing on arising the way CT described or pretty much so – 5 g leucine plus a serving of MAG-10 – and so I’ve had a leucine pulse not long prior to the workout in any case.
[/quote]

i was lead to believe their was sufficient leucine in MAG-10 and that extra leucine wasn’t needed? (i could be reading your post wrong because i am retarded Lol)

Well, “needed” is a very strong term.

Most certainly adding leucine to the MAG-10 for a pulse is not “needed.” The published protocol has been found to work extremely well and it doesn’t use it. The workout drink protocol doesn’t have a separate pulse beforehand (nor is one “necessary.”)

On the other hand, previously it worked well for me to add the leucine for the pulse, and CT used to do that as well, and that earlier version of the protocol also worked very well. Which is where I learned it from.

So one doesn’t have to do it, but it can be done.

In my case, at the present time if I didn’t do the leucine pulse then, I would end up with no more than one total for the entire day or sometimes zero. Immediately on arising works out well for me for this purpose and for taking the MAG-10.

During my next diet, I was contemplating adding 5g pulses of l-leucine about 4 times, spread out evenly over the course of my day. The idea was to replace pulsing bcaa’s which is what I have done in the past. Has anyone else tried this? Would this be a bad idea on a low carb diet, since as mentioned above going hypoglycemic as a result of the l-leucine?

^waits for answer

[quote]Davinci.v2 wrote:
During my next diet, I was contemplating adding 5g pulses of l-leucine about 4 times, spread out evenly over the course of my day. The idea was to replace pulsing bcaa’s which is what I have done in the past. Has anyone else tried this? Would this be a bad idea on a low carb diet, since as mentioned above going hypoglycemic as a result of the l-leucine?[/quote]

I can not picture 5g of leucine spiking insulin enough to drop your blood sugars to the point of a hypo, even without food. If you’re having the 5g of leucine with food, then it will certainly not drop your blood sugar.

Its important to remember that protein causes a spike of insulin in its own right, as well as a corresponding spike in glucagon. I can’t remember the exact ratio, but its something like 53% of your standard protein molecule is insulinogenic (i.e will easily convert to glucose) and the other 47% raises glucagon. Protein will stabilize your blood sugars, so leucine with protein is not a problem when it comes to hypo’s.

Surely Bill/CT will correct me if i’m wrong.

[quote]Intermezzo wrote:

[quote]Davinci.v2 wrote:
During my next diet, I was contemplating adding 5g pulses of l-leucine about 4 times, spread out evenly over the course of my day. The idea was to replace pulsing bcaa’s which is what I have done in the past. Has anyone else tried this? Would this be a bad idea on a low carb diet, since as mentioned above going hypoglycemic as a result of the l-leucine?[/quote]

I can not picture 5g of leucine spiking insulin enough to drop your blood sugars to the point of a hypo, even without food. If you’re having the 5g of leucine with food, then it will certainly not drop your blood sugar.

Its important to remember that protein causes a spike of insulin in its own right, as well as a corresponding spike in glucagon. I can’t remember the exact ratio, but its something like 53% of your standard protein molecule is insulinogenic (i.e will easily convert to glucose) and the other 47% raises glucagon. Protein will stabilize your blood sugars, so leucine with protein is not a problem when it comes to hypo’s.

Surely Bill/CT will correct me if i’m wrong.[/quote]

5g of leucine, no. BUT I have experienced hypoglycemic symptoms from ingesting 20g of leucine (4 scoops of MAG-10) without having any other kind of food. What happened is that I was scheduled to give a conference, woke up late and couldn’t prepare breakfast. Had 4 scoops of MAG-10 and hit the road.

After 45 minutes I had to stop at a convenience store to buy some sugary stuff because I was getting light-headed, had the shakes and tunnel vision.