Connect
To Top


Turn On The Anabolic Switch


7403-eat3

Because leucine is the key amino acid involved in muscle protein synthesis (anabolism), it is the star among branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). In a study that provides very useful information to the muscle-conscious hardcore lifter Tyler Churchward-Venne and colleagues assessed the effects of supplementing with different post-workout drinks on muscle protein synthesis after training.

Five supplement variations were measured: 1) 25 grams of whey protein providing 3 grams of leucine; 2) 6.25 grams of whey protein providing 0.75 grams of leucine; 3) 6.25 grams of whey protein combined with 3 grams of total leucine; 4) 6.25 grams of whey protein combined with 5 grams of total leucine; and 5) 6.25 grams of whey protein combined with BCAAs containing 5 grams of total leucine.

Ninety minutes after ingestion, all drinks significantly increased muscle protein synthesis above resting levels. Between 90 minutes and 4.5 hours after ingestion, all drinks still stimulated a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis above resting levels, but the increase was greatest for drink number 1 (25 grams of whey protein, which contained 3 grams of leucine) and drinks numbers 4 and 5 (6.25 grams of whey protein with leucine content totaling 5 grams).

This study shows that you don’t have to “overdose” on protein immediately post-training to turn on the anabolic switch. A low-protein (6.25 grams) mixed macronutrient beverage can be as effective as a high-protein dose (25 grams) for stimulating increased muscle protein synthesis rates. The key ingredient for success here appears to be leucine, which should be supplemented with a high amount (approximately 5 grams total). In this study, “less is more,” and these results have important implications for formulations of post-workout protein drinks designed to enhance muscle anabolism.

[Churchward-Venne, Tyler A., et al. “Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 99.2 (2014): 276-286.]

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • Is Bread DEAD?

    Bread is often vilified when it comes to reducing fat, building muscle and overall health, but is bread really all that...

    irongraphicsMay 22, 2019
  • Train Your Mind for Peak Performance

    What is Flow?   Flow is the state of achieving optimal performance by being completely absorbed in the present moment. Individuals...

    ironashleyMay 3, 2019
  • Banana Vanilla Protein Pancakes

    Say goodbye to frozen waffles. We’ve got your new favorite high-protein breakfast option.   In a Blender combine: 1/2 cup old...

    ironashleyApril 26, 2019
  • The WorkOut Session

    We can separate people into two categories in the gym. No, not the dedicated versus the lazy. I am talking about those with genetically blessed calves...

    Cindy MamOctober 8, 2018
  • Pull Ups With Dr. Stuart McGill

    Improve speed, power, and neuro drive with this exercise created by a foremost authority in spinal biomechanics. In May of 2013,...

    Cindy MamOctober 4, 2018
  • Meal Prep Ready

    So…. I actually did some meal prep the other day. Meal prep means smaller portions and slightly blander food, but it’s...

    Cindy MamAugust 30, 2018
  • Are Detox Diets and Juice Cleansing Absolutely Pointless?

    Have you ever done one of those “juice cleanses” before? Did it work? Probably not… just my guess. I’m also guessing...

    Cindy MamAugust 9, 2018
  • Carbs For Dinner

    Just when you think you have carbs all figured out, more information comes to light. Conventional wisdom has recommended tapering carb...

    Cindy MamAugust 3, 2018
  • Massive Triceps SuperSet

    If you want truly massive arms, you must prioritize your triceps training. After all, the triceps comprise two-thirds of the mass...

    Cindy MamJuly 26, 2018