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Muscletech Leukic Supplement and Studies

Leukic is the short version for L-leucine-ketoisocaproic acid calcium. What's interesting is the alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) component. There are research documenting the effects of KIC, and its potential for reducing muscle damage from strenuous exercising, and also delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS). Basically, what this means is that Leukic could help reduce muscle soreness, speed up muscle recovery, allow you to push more reps while weight lifting, and ultimately allow you to achieve more output during your workout sessions.

In a study done at the School of Life Sciences of Kingston University in the UK, researchers studied the effects of supplementing beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB Supplement ) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC). The study found that supplementing HMB and KIC "reduced the signs and symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage in man". See study below:

Study of HMB and KIC

School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom. Van Someren KA, Edwards AJ, Howatson G.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Aug;15(4):413-24.

This study examined the effects of beta-hydroxyl-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) supplementation on signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise.

6 non-resistance trained male subjects performed an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage on two separate occasions, performed on the dominant or non-dominant arm in a counter-balanced crossover design.

The subjects were given either an HMB / KIC (3g HMB, 0.3g KIC) or placebo treatment prior to exercise. One repetition maximum (1 RM), plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, DOMS, limb girth, and range of motion (ROM) were determined pre-exercise at 1h, 24h, 48h, and 72h post-exercise.

The study found that the HMB / KIC supplement group had weakened creatine kinase response, and reduced decrement in 1 rep max. Also DOMS was reduced at 24h post-exercise in the HMB KIC group. This lead to the conclusion: 14 d of HMB and KIC supplementation reduced signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in non-resistance trained males following a single bout of eccentrically biased resistance exercise.

Now, a brief explanation of the results from above. Some may wonder what exactly is creatine kinase (CK), and how is reducing the CK response beneficial?

According to wikipedia: Creatine kinase (CK), also known as phosphocreatine kinase or creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is an enzyme.  Its function is the catalysis of the conversion of creatine to phosphocreatine, consuming adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and generating adenosine diphosphate (ADP).

So in plain english, it just means that creatine kinase activity burns up an ATP to convert creatine to phosphocreatine. Why is this bad? Because ATP is what your muscle needs to produce the energy for muscle contractions. See our explanation of ATP and creatine in our Creatine Monohydrate article. So, with HMB / KIC supplementation, the CK response is reduced - meaning there is more available ATP for muscle contractions. The study also found that delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS) was reduced.

What is Leucine

So we've covered the ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) component of Muscletech Leukic, let's take a quick look at the amino acid Leucine. Leukic is the short version for L-leucine-ketoisocaproic acid calcium.

Leucine is one of the 20 most common amino acids - Leucine is an essential amino acid. It is the most common amino acid found in proteins, and it is also essential for optimal growth in infants, and nitrogen equilibrium in adults. It is believed that Leucine plays a roll in maintaining muscles by equalizing protein synthesis and breakdown.

Bodybuilders and other athletes use protein powders that contain leucine to promote muscle recovery. Leucine helps with regulation of blood sugar levels, and the growth and repair of muscle tissue. It helps to prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins that can occur after trauma or severe stress. Major food sources of leucine include whole grains, milk products, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, soy beans, and leafy vegetables.

There are many studies that confirm leucine helps improve protein synthesis, prevent break down of muscle proteins, and promote muscle recovery.

Leucine Study

Unite de Nutrition Humaine, UMR1019, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Recherche, en Nutrition Humaine d'Auvergne, F-63122 Saint Genes Champanelle, France.
J Physiol. 2006 Aug 15;575(Pt 1):305-15. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

20 elderly healthy male subjects were studied before and after continuous ingestion of a complete balanced diet supplemented with and without leucine.

They found that whole body protein kinetics were not affected by leucine supplementation, however, muscle fractional synthesis rate (FSR) measured over the 5h period of feeding, was significantly greater in the leucine supplement group compared to the control group.

They concluded that leucine supplementation during feeding improves muscle protein synthesis in the elderly subjects.

::Read Part 3: Leukic Review::