L-Leucine is an essential branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that is broken down in fat structures. There are two other essential BCAA’s are L-Valine and L-Isoleucine. Essential Amino Acids are those that need to be obtained externally from our diet, as our bodies cannot create or convert other amino’s to form them.
L-Leucine is the fourth most concentrated amino acid in skeletal muscle tissue – it comprises about eight percent of the total amino acid count in your body’s protein structures. As one of the three BCAA’s, L-Leucine is essential to your basic health.
For Athletes L-Leucine has many beneficial effects on performance. Firstly this Branch Chain Amino Acid helps preserve lean muscle tissue. Secondly, it supplies the body with energy when under stress, and this includes the stress when engaging in any form of athletic activity.
L-Leucine also preserves muscle glycogen (glucose is the fuel source stored in muscle tissue that is used to power muscular contraction). L-Leucine maintains nitrogen balance, and it has also been shown to enhance thinking abilities that can decline as physical activity becomes more intense L-Leucine also works to heal bone, skin and muscle tissue.
People with liver and kidney problems can also benefit from L-Leucine supplementation because it can enhance liver protein synthesis and improve breathing ability and quality of sleep for those with kidney disorders.
Finally, L-Leucine may lower blood sugar levels and normalize and control insulin release and insulin function.