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Leucine is an amino acid that is important for many of the human functions and especially for the post workout fatigue.  Working out regularly and intensively is the key to a chiseled body and peak physical fitness.

However, if you want to get into the best possible shape and avoid injuries, allowing your muscles some time to recover is essential. With the right approaches, you may be able to speed up muscle recovery after a workout and improve your overall fitness in no time.

What Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are the molecules that bond together to form larger protein molecules. As widely known as building blocks of proteins, they are the 20 amino acids that human body needs for a healthy functioning of body.

11 of them are the ones that are produced within your body; hence they need not be arranged form an outside source. The rest 9 are the amino acids that are not obtained from your body, hence need to be consumed externally through foods like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, soy, legumes, buckwheat, quinoa etc.; or, even though dietary supplements.

Amino acids play vital roles in building and maintaining muscle tissues. They are vital for synthesizing hormones and neurotransmitters, protecting cellular nerves, boosting metabolism, regulating immune activities and blood sugar, improving performance, absorbing essential nutrients and few more.

Though amino acid can be obtained easily through your regular diet, many of the fitness enthusiast prefer protein supplements and the specific amino acids. there are a variety of supplements available in market considering almost all kinds of needs.

What Are BCAAs?

Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are three of the Nine essential amino acids human body cannot synthesize on its own, which means, you need to take it additionally, either through your diet, or, considering the rising demand, through supplementary products.

The three BCAAs are Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine. Though they are a part of Essential amino acids, they are grouped as BCAAs because of their chemical branched-chain structure. Of course, you don’t need to get into the entire biochemistry compositions here, but you surely need to understand why BCAAs are the need of the hour.

Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are three of the Nine essential amino acids human body cannot synthesize on its own, which means, you need to take it additionally, either through your diet, or, considering the rising demand, through supplementary products.

Every amino acid contains Amine and Carboxyl groups. With a side chain R group attached uniquely to every amino acid, assigning them their identity.

BCAAs are unique because of their aliphatic side-chain with a branch (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). These amino acids are grouped together as they are the only three amino acid to have a chain that branches off to one side. Among the proteinogenic amino acids, there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Non-proteinogenic BCAAs include 2-aminoisobutyric acid. Though they are a part of Essential amino acids, they are grouped as Branched-chain amino acid because of their chemical branched-chain structure.

Synthesis for BCAAs occurs in all of the plants, within the plastids of the cell, as determined by presence of mRNAs which encode for enzymes in the metabolic pathway.

What Is Leucine?

Leucine is the BCAA that is used in the protein’s synthesis. Leucine as an α-amino acid, contains an α-amino group, an α-carboxylic acid group, and a side chain isobutyl group, making it a non-polar aliphatic amino acid.
Additionally, almost like other amino acids, the carbon skeleton of leucine is often wont to generate ATP.

However, leucine also can regulate several cellular processes like protein synthesis, tissue regeneration, and metabolism.
Leucine may help healing of skin and bones. It may increase muscle growth and lean body mass. It may increase production of growth hormones in humans. It may help control blood sugar.

Properties of Leucine

Leucine is one of the three branched chain amino acids. These amino acids are often employed by skeletal muscle to offer energy during exercise. Eating foods that have complete protein gives enough of those amino acid benefits. This includes foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. Results of studies haven’t been reliable in showing that taking supplements of these amino acids improves exercise performance, or builds muscle mass, or helps you recover from exercise. Leucine may help healing of skin and bones. It may increase muscle growth and lean body mass.

Leucine is taken into account to be the most and most vital BCAA amino acid for the various benefits it provides to the body. It is particularly popular for its ability to create muscles and activate a protein referred to as mTOR, which triggers muscle protein synthesis.

Of course, isoleucine and valine also help activate the muscle activity, but not in such strength as leucine. Leucine also differs from the opposite two amino acids of BCAA therein it’s been most investigated within the isolated state, not only as a part of BCAA. Researches on leucine mostly focus on muscle protein synthesis and its effects in the anabolic process or the ability to stimulate glucose and insulin.

What Is Meant by Post-Workout Recovery Process?

Post-exercise recovery may be a vital component of the general exercise training paradigm, and essential for high-level performance and continued improvement. If the speed of recovery is acceptable, higher training volumes and intensities are possible without the detrimental effects of overtraining. Health and fitness professionals play a critical role in helping clients identify the foremost appropriate training recovery program, a process that needs purposeful trial and error.

Therefore, it’s essential that health and fitness professionals understand the physiological concept of recovery, and recognize that considerable individual variability exists within the recovery process thanks to training status (trained vs. untrained), factors of fatigue and a person’s ability to affect physical, emotional and psychological stressors. Frequency, intensity, time and sort of recovery between each bout of exercise must even be considered to optimize recovery.

Benefit of Leucine in The Post-Workout Recovery Process

Recovery of muscle protein synthesis was stimulated by leucine supplementation and was not dependent on plasma insulin levels. These data suggest that leucine together with carbohydrate can enhance recovery after exercise.

Exercise produces changes in protein and amino acid metabolism. These changes include degradation of the branched-chain amino acids, production of alanine and glutamine, and changes in protein turnover. One of the amino acid most stricken by exercise is that the branched-chain amino acid leucine. Recently, there has been an increased understanding of the role of leucine in metabolic regulations and memorable new findings about the role of leucine in intracellular signaling.

Leucine appears to exert a synergistic role with insulin as a regulatory think about the insulin. Insulin serves to activate the signal pathway, while leucine is vital to strengthen or amplify the signal for protein synthesis at the extent of peptide initiation.

Studies feeding amino acids or leucine soon after exercise suggest that post-exercise consumption of amino acids stimulates recovery of muscle protein synthesis via translation regulations. This review focuses on the unique roles of leucine in amino acid metabolism in skeletal muscle during and after exercise.

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