Leucine is an amino acid - there are 20 amino acids of which nine of them are ‘essential’. Leucine is an essential amino acid as the body cannot produce it itself, and it therefore must come from the diet.
All 20 amino acids are the building blocks of protein that go on to perform different roles within the body. Leucine is a branched chain amino acid that is required to make the proteins needed for muscle maintenance and repair, especially so after exercise.
Leucine also helps to manufacture growth hormones, balance blood glucose levels and promote healthy wound healing.
Animal-based products including meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are all abundant sources of all nine essential amino acids (known as ‘complete’ protein sources). Plant-based complete protein sources include quinoa, buckwheat, soya and soya products and spirulina, a type of algae.