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leucine, protein synthesis, and protein intake



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  • leucine, protein synthesis, and protein intake

    dr. donald layman did some research that suggests leucine is essential for protein synthesis (which i understand is a good thing). however, 3.0 g leucine is necessary to kick this process into gear. this amount of leucine, apart from a special supplemnt, can be achieved through approximately 30 g protein at a setting, i.e., per meal. so, he suggests 30 g protein for breakfast, another 30 for lunch, and another 30 for supper in order to maximize protein synthesis.

    30 g protein is, as just a rough rule of thumb (i don't want to sit and nitpick) about 6 ounces raw meat correct? roughly?

    but has anyone else heard of something like this? correlating or contradicting dr. layman's research?

    for blood sugar issues, i typically spread my protein throughout the day. but is there a "window" to absorb the leucine to maximize the protein synthesis?
    would spreading protein out throughout the day jeopardize/minimize/diminish protein synthesis?

    has anybody heard if 30 g really is the minimum to enact/catalyze the protein synthesis process?

    i'm intrigued from both a scientific and practical diet/nutrition standpoint. any thoughts or research or other studies would be appreciated.

  • #2
    What I've read is that to maximize muscle protein synthesis, lift heavy stuff (obviously), and get 3-5 g of leucine in 3-5 meals throughout the day, spaced 3-5 hours apart. That's pretty much settled science, unless I've missed something. There's a refractory period, so you need the ~4 hours off digesting in-between.

    The leucine content varies greatly among protein sources. BCAA's and whey are your friends here.

    Check out Jordan Feigenbaum

    Barbell Medicine | With you from bench to bedside.

    Specifically (one of many good articles that touch on this topic on his blog):

    Barbell Medicine | 7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake
    The Champagne of Beards


    • #3
      rich, thank you for validating. i'm the one who has likely missed something! still trying to learn. it definitely helped. i appreciate the input and the resource.


      • #4
        Jordan runs the nutrition forum on He's an excellent coach as well. If you don't find the answers you're looking for in his blog, or in the stickies on his board, sign up and post a question. He's exceedingly helpful. [/mancrush]
        The Champagne of Beards