Leucine is most widely known as a supplement to aid muscle growth. However, the role in Leucine in fat burning is often overlooked. Whilst most people wanting to lose weight tend to focus mainly on their calorie intake, especially in terms of how much fat they eat on a daily basis, more research is confirming the belief that the amount of protein (and leucine) in your diet can be a crucial factor behind weight loss success.
Leucine is an amino acid that cannot be manufactured in the body. Leucine must be obtained through foods. Leucine is considered an essential branched chained amino acid (BCAA). This means it plays significant roles in the maintenance and repair of muscles and in preventing the breakdown of muscle protein during exercise. Leucine can help the body to utilise its protein intake better which in turn assists with weight loss and fat burning.

How does Leucine help with weight loss?

Studies have found that following a diet high in protein (especially Leucine) and low in carbohydrates, is an effective and safe way to lose weight.  Leucine is an essential amino acid that cannot be made by the human body.  Leucine must, therefore, be consumed through food such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, nuts, or supplements. One of the primary functions of Leucine is to help preserve lean tissue. This is vital to successful weight loss. Leucine works directly to prevent muscle loss during weight loss. When following a high protein diet high in Leucine, therefore, the majority of weight you lose is fat, not muscle. This contrasts greatly with high carbohydrate diets where much more of the weight loss is muscle.

Can you keep muscle and lose fat with Leucine?

Many people lose muscle when they lose weight.  This is not desirable because it spells havoc in the long term.  Even though you can achieve very quick weight loss this way, it comes at a tremendous cost.  Losing muscles slows down your metabolism so it’s inevitable that you will gain back the weight very quickly, usually accompanied by a few pounds of fat you didn’t have before you lost weight.

It is not merely enough to eat lots of protein throughout the day.  Your body will be unable to utilise the protein you feed it unless you consume enough Leucine as part of your regular diet.  The last thing you want to do is invest your time and money consuming good quality protein foods and supplements, only for your body to be unable to make full use of it. This is why Leucine is so important when it comes to maintaining muscle mass and assisting with weight loss.

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