T Nation

Leucine and Ketosis


#1

I have read a few times in your articles coach Thibs that Leucine puts you in ketosis faster and makes the body burn ketones by lowering the insulin but should be taken a few hours after the last carb meal. So my question is would it be good to take leucine a few hours before one sleeps? let's say i had dinner at 7pm and will go to sleep 11pm. Would it be a good idea to take leucine at 9pm. Will i be in ketosis mode all night?

Thanks in advance


#2

If you’re already in ketosis adding more leucine won’t matter. Although it may have other benefits.


#3

As leucine increases blood insulin levels, this would normally be associated with kicking you out of ketosis.

But the idea being touted is, spiking insulin will eventually lead to lower blood glucose and lower blood insulin levels… Which are the ideal conditions to enter ketosis. And this may allow you to enter ketosis quicker.

Issue is, if the above were true, does that mean we could also use other non carbohydrate insulin spiking agents to enter ketosis more speedily and easily? If so, why not use sucralose?


#4

[quote=“ask100, post:3, topic:159228, full:true”]
As leucine increases blood insulin levels, this would normally be associated with kicking you out of ketosis.[/quote]

That is not totally correct. It’s not the insulin that kicks you out of ketosis. Elevating insulin without an increase in blood glucose level will not kick you out of ketosis.

The thing that kicks you out of ketosis is an elevation in blood sugar (when you eat carbs for example) the insulin increase is not what kicks you out of ketosis.

Insulin elevation is associated with getting out of ketosis because under normal situation an elevation in insulin level is caused by an increase in blood sugar.

But if you inject insulin while being in a ketogenic state and without eating carbs it will not kick you out of ketosis. Thus it is not the insulin that will kick you out, it’s the elevation of blood glucose that causes the rise in insulin that does.

In fact in hardcore bodybuilding circles insulin injections are used to get in ketosis faster because it drives blood sugar down. I know some pro bodybuilders who can have a huge cheat day and be in ketosis the next day by using insulin a certain way (not a subject I care to discuss or has its place in my forum).

[quote=“ask100, post:3, topic:159228, full:true”]
But the idea being touted is, spiking insulin will eventually lead to lower blood glucose and lower blood insulin levels… Which are the ideal conditions to enter ketosis. And this may allow you to enter ketosis quicker. [/quote]

And it works. I’ve went hypo several times because I had leucine by itself while being on a low carbs diet in the past (live an learn). One occasion was especially scary since it was early and the health bar at the gym was closed… and it was around the same time as the H1N1 virus, at first I though I had the virus before I realised what was happening!

It IS true. Sucralose doesn’t have enough of an effect. In fact normally it doesn’t eve lead to a release in insulin except for those who are insulin resistant. There are several studies showing no insulin response to sucralose and other artificial sweeteners.

Some people are more sensitive than others. Some will not notice slight drops in blood sugar. I’m very sensitive to it and I went hypo several times from ingesting leucine too far from other nutrients. Never happened with sucralose even if I used to consume a lot of it.


#5

In fact having leucine while you are on a keto diet (and in a ketogenic state) is not a good idea.

You want insulin to be as low as possible while you are on a keto diet. You are consuming a diet high in fat, last thing you want to do is spike insulin which will increase fat storage.

Plus spiking insulin in the absence of carbs is not such a good idea because it could drive blood sugar down, I once had an hypoglycemic episode because of consuming too much leucine while on a low carbs diet (live and learn).


#6

It’s not powerful enough to get you in ketosis in a few hours, not anywhere close. Especially not if you follow a diet containing carbs. It can have a slight effect to help you get in ketosis but it’s not a magic bullet or anything like that,


#7

Hi Ct,

Thanks for your response.

I find it very difficult to enter ketosis compared to others. And I also find it very difficult to stay in ketosis compared to others. Even when I am in ketosis, I’m usually light pink unless it’s after my weekly football (soccer) session (at least 60 mind of pure interval sprint training, when I get the chance to play). That’s the only thing that gets me purple. I do occasionally monitor blood ketone too, but only if the ketostix are showing beige and I suspect that I should in. This keeps the cost down as the blood strips are so expensive.

Sucralose, a Carb free insulin spike?, definitely kicks me out of ketosis. I know this from the diet drinks that I occasionally have and splenda tablets. I have heard that quite a few people are kicked out of ketosis by Sucralose. And most keto articles / writers acknowledge this. Type in ketogenic friendly sweeteners, and you will see my point.

I know use erythritol which is a very good sweetener that keeps me in ketosis.

I will definitely try leucine whilst I’m Carb fasting to see if it speeds up my reentry into ketosis.

Other than leucine, merformin, and insulin do you recommend any other supplements that can drive blood sugar levels down? The side effect profile of the latter two is not to my liking.


#8

Maybe GDAs will help you get into ketosis faster


#9

In some people artificial sweeteners act like real sugar. It’s rare but it happens. I think having fish oil prior to it or with it will help. Indigo-3G would help as it is an amazing insulin sensitizer


#10

What do you consider the shortest period of time to cycle Indigo-3G for insulin sensitizing effects? For a healthy person without an special problem, just coming off a long bulk? Thank you.


#11

When I used it, I saw results in a very short time. But I would say 4-6 weeks.


#12

Love this kind of stuff. Folks sometimes overlook these as dietary “details”, minor variables vs. calories/food choice/macro. But every little thing impacts performance/mood and for me at least is worth optimizing.

Why would anyone chase ketosis and thus use leucine in this fashion? I’ve tried before and never got good gains vs. having carbs

And curious what CT thinks about carbs/sugar and timing. Do you/have your athletes go carbless until workout (then PLazma), prefer to “backload” carbs at night for good sleep, believe in the biorhythym/circadian stuff (protein fats during day/carbs at night optimal)?


#13

Thank you. Is that 4-6 weeks using 6 caps per day or can the minimum dose of 4 caps suffice? I assume this is a good time to use it, while dieting, right?


#14

When you first because using Indigo-3G you should always start with the full dose for a whole bottle.


#15

[quote=“Sigil, post:12, topic:159228”]
Why would anyone chase ketosis and thus use leucine in this fashion? I’ve tried before and never got good gains vs. having carbs[/quote]

It is my experience that few people can build a significant amount of muscle mass without carbs.

Well… most of the athletes I work with are Crossfit athletes who do a ton of high intensity volume. Reducing their carb intake at any point in the day would hurt their recovery and performance. And to be honest I personally HATE planning nutrition. I normally refer them to a sports nutritionist.

When it comes to me, when my main focus is gaining size I don’t really restrict my carbs at any point during the day. When I want to lean out I tend to reduce or cut the carbs later in the day (I train in the morning).