How much leucine to take is a contentious matter. There are many different ways to take leucine, and they vary depending on factors. These include palatability and what is in the pre, intra or post-workout.
How will I react to Leucine?
Leucine is excellent to add to your supplement stack, but make sure firstly that you can handle the taste of it. Leucine is very bitter, and will change the flavour of whatever you mix it with. Try ramping up your leucine intake over time to allow yourself to see how you react to it. As for how much to take, start at 5g of leucine and work up from there. Read up on for various ways to increase your leucine intake based, including supplementation with leucine powder.
Balancing Leucine intake
Many BCAA mixes have particular ratios of leucine and other essential amino acids. A good ratio to start with is 2:1:1 of leucine, isoleucine and valine. It’s a good start, but leucine being the inhibitor amino acid, if you’re working hard during your training periods, you may want to take more and add pure leucine to your supplements in order to benefit from maximum protein synthesis.
What else should I take with Leucine?
Leucine might be the key essential amino acid, but it’s not the only one. If you want the benefits of leucine, make sure you are taking on board other amino acids. Much like mixing cement for building, if certain ingredients aren’t there to work with the leucine, the end result isn’t something that will hold together very long. The same principle applies with leucine and other amino acids. Balance them!
Splitting Leucine intake
Around 5g of leucine before and after training will help if you are taking BCAAs during the training itself. This will help keep the levels of leucine more in line with what your body will need for that pre/post workout protein intake. Leucine is very bitter, so if you have trouble taking it directly, it may be easier mixing it into the pre/post workout meals/shakes instead.
If you take your BCAA pre-workout, then move the full intake of leucine to post-workout and up it to 15g to gain a good spike for post-workout protein uptake. Mixing the leucine with your whey shake post-workout is a very good option.