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L-Leucine builds muscle
Doctors wanted to see if adding the essential amino acid leucine to a low- or high-dose protein drink would help stimulate muscle building. In the study, 40 healthy men with an average age of 20, took 25 grams of whey protein (which naturally contained about 3 grams of leucine); or 6.25 grams of whey protein with either 0.75 grams total leucine, 5 grams of leucine, or 5 grams of leucine plus other BCAAs(isoleucine and valine).

Over the next 1.5 hours to 4.5 hours, all groups saw increases in muscle protein synthesis. The largest increase was in the 25-gram whey group, closely followed by the 5-gram leucine group, leading doctors to conclude leucine stimulates muscle building as effectively in both low- and high-dose protein supplements.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2014, Vol. 99, No. 2, 276-86.
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