Not all Proteins are Created Equal

6 04 2011

New research has indicated that the amino acid, Leucine, is a key nutrient in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.  This is key to building new muscle and repairing any muscle damage present.  It appears that to maximize this muscle protein synthesis, people should eat 2-4 grams of leucine 3-5 times per day.  The following foods have leucine:

1 scoop of CytoSport Whey Isolate = 3.5 grams
1 cup of Cottage Cheese = 2.9 grams
3.5 oz Pork Loin = 2.5 grams
3.5 oz Lean Beef = 2.4 grams
3.5 oz Chicken Breast = 2.3 grams
3.5 oz Salmon = 2 grams
3 oz Canned Tuna = 1.7 grams
16 oz of Milk = 1.6 grams
2 Eggs = 1 gram
3 Egg Whites = 0.9 grams
6oz Yogurt = 0.9 grams
1 piece String Cheese = 0.7 grams

Bottom Line: It takes planning to maximize protein synthesis. We should try to get at least 2 grams of leucine multiple times during the day.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, 2011.

 

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