Your muscles live a simple life. They’ve been with you a long time, and they exist to make you feel good and work hard. Your muscles enjoy the simple things: tank tops, trips to the gym and of course, any science-backed supplements you throw into the mix.
Consider this your invitation to introduce your muscles to their newest love interest: leucine. One of the frequent contenders when it comes to natural supplements beloved in the world of fitness, weightlifting, and general health, leucine is capable of kicking your muscle growth into gear without compromising your well-being.
You put your muscles through a lot, especially when you work out. Whether it’s a swim, a bike, a run or a sport that’s putting pressure on your body to perform, workouts understandably take their toll on your stamina by the time they finish.
When it comes to building muscle, the old expression “no pain, no gain” really is true: your muscles only grow after you overwork them, causing microtears. As your body repairs the damage done through exercise, your muscles are rebuilt bigger and stronger, to withstand the same pressure that undid them the first time.
If you remember one thing from this blog post, remember this: there is a right and a wrong way to build muscle. No matter how expensive the sports car, it won’t perform well if you feed it cheap gas. The same concept applies when it comes to muscle growth and retention: no matter the workout, your muscles won’t grow as well as they should without the building blocks they need to thrive.
L-leucine supplements have gained a lot of attention in the weightlifting and bodybuilding worlds recently, as they are qualified as BCAAs. BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, like leucine, are believed to jumpstart the muscle-building process by stimulating protein synthesis.
Not only can leucine supplements help you turn the corner when it comes to muscle growth and workout performance; they also don’t cause harm to your body in the process. Unlike many of the supplements today that leverage synthetic ingredients for temporary growth, leucine is an amino acid that your body already knows how to break down. You’re only providing your body with steady amounts of leucine, one of the nine essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own.
You know the drill: after a tough workout, you can expect to feel the pain in a day or two. This pain is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. However, leucine has been found to help relieve this workout byproduct. A study that examined athletes who took BCAAs before working out found that taking BCAAs decreased muscle fatigue. Another study found that simply taking BCAAs such as leucine decreases protein breakdown. This means that taking these amino acids before working out may decrease your recovery time and get you back to the grind faster.
Leucine has another interesting role in the body: curbing appetite. Some scientists have suggested using leucine as a weight loss aid, because it can help prevent cravings.
How does this happen? Leucine helps stabilize glucose and insulin levels, which may prevent your sweet tooth from flaring up! This is good news for many reasons, one being that it is just easy to do: there are countless studies confirming that proteins keep you feeling fuller, longer.
There’s a simple way to find leucine in the world: seek out and consume complete proteins. A diet rich in complete proteins - fish, chicken, pork, soy, etc. - provides your body with the extra leucine it needs to cause real change. Whether it’s beef or whey, eggs or peanuts, there are so many places to safely source the leucine you need from the protein already available to you.
You can also find leucine in collagen! Collagen is a naturally-occurring protein in the bodies of humans and animals, contributing to most connective tissue, skin, hair and nail health. Collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed cows are an excellent way of giving your body a boost of leucine as well as many other amino acids. It is easily mixed into beverages such as coffee and smoothies, but can also be added to recipes such as baked goods.
It’s hard to find exclusive leucine sources, and luckily you’ll never have to. Amino acids need each other to work together, to build the protein structures found in your body. BUBS Naturals Collagen Protein does just that: full of leucine and other important amino acids, it makes a great counterpart to your exercise routine.
Do you need a leucine supplement on its own? Probably not. Most people find the leucine they need from food in their diet. However, if you find that your diet is low in proteins and amino acid-rich foods, or you want to make sure you are getting enough, a collagen peptide supplement could be beneficial. Your body uses combinations of 20 amino acids to make the many proteins that build our bodies and fulfill our bodily processes. Kickstart your day, and the rest of your life, with our Collagen Protein, for all nine essential amino acids in one single scoop.