Paid episode

The full episode is only available to paid subscribers of Harnessing the Power of Nutrients

074: Should I take 3 grams of leucine per meal?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 74


Leucine is metabolized into a leucine metabolite that is the signal of protein synthesis. It's the thing that tells your muscles whether they should be synthesizing protein. But do you synthesize more protein when you upregulate all the factors of muscle protein synthesis? Well, that is entirely dependent on the amount of amino acids you have supplied. Think about it this way. Why is leucine used as the marker to determine how much muscle protein to make? Because usually when you get leucine, it's with high-quality protein that has all the other amino acids that you need to make muscle protein.

Now, the question is, is meat better than isolated protein? The research is pointing in the direction that at least some whole foods are just better than protein supplements, number one. Perhaps as a general principle, perhaps whole protein foods are better than protein supplements, number two. Number three, taking leucine or the leucine metabolite that regulates muscle protein synthesis is not going to be better than getting whole proteins even from protein supplements when you get enough protein to provide that leucine because the leucine and its metabolite don't actually achieve peak muscle protein synthesis unless you supply the protein with it. If you supply the protein with it, you do get the leucine.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:

Harnessing the Power of Nutrients
Recording and Transcript of Ask Me Anything About Nutrition | March 4, 2019
Watch now (157 min) | On March 4, you joined me in a live Zoom meeting to ask me anything about nutrition, and here’s the full recording! We talk about things like: How much spinach, broccoli, and kale is too much? Can frozen vegetables be trusted for their folate? Do cooked legumes lose folate when frozen…
Read more

Listen to the Audio

I highly recommend watching the video above but you can also listen to the audio here:

Read the Transcript or Leave a Comment

Masterpass members have access to the transcript below.

Masterpass members can also read and leave comments below. Non-members can read and leave comments on the general podcast page.

Learn more about the Masterpass here.

The Masterjohn Q&A Files
We use Zoom, a video chatting software, in webinar mode. You can ask your question anonymously in text, but you can also ask it publicly, and you can even get "on stage" and share your mic, web cam, or screen with everyone.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD