Synonyms: L-2-Amino-4-methylpentanoic acid; (S)-2-Amino-4-methylpentanoic acid; L-Leu
Molecular Formula: C6H13NO2
Molecular Weight: 131.17
CAS Number: 61-90-5
The other two essential BCAA's are L-Valine and L-Isoleucine. L-Leucine can not be made by the body, and must be acquired through food or dietary supplements. L-Leucine can be found in nuts, brown rice and whole wheat bread products. L-Leucine comprises about eight percent of the total amino acid count in your body's protein structures; L-Leucine is the forth most concentrated amino acid in skeletal muscle tissue. As one of the three BCAA's, L-Leucine is essential to your basic health. L-Leucine has athletic applications.
L-Leucine has many beneficial effects on sports performance. L-Leucine helps preserve lean muscle tissue, L-Leucine supplies the body with energy when under stress (i.e. when engaging in athletic activity), L-Leucine preserves muscle glycogen (glucose stored in muscle tissue used to power muscular contraction), L-Leucine maintains nitrogen balance, and L-Leucine enhances thinking abilities that can decline as physical activity becomes more intense.
The effects of L-Leucine in the diet are profound. As the strongest of the BCAA's, L-Leucine is what's known as a "limiting nutrient" - meaning that you must have enough L-Leucine in proportion to other amino acids in order for your body to make use of what you eat. Simply: If you suffer from an L-Leucine deficiency, your body will not be able to make use of the protein that you give it - no matter how much protein you consume. And, unless you have enough L-Luecine, the money you spend on quality food and dietary supplements will be wasted.