Foods Rich or High in Leucine You Can Eat

Leucine is an amino acid and it is one of the best for building muscle mass. There are many foods that are rich in leucine. By consuming these foods you can ensure that you get the required amount of leucine in your body.

Leucine Rich Foods

What Is Leucine? – A Brief

Leucine is an essential amino acid and it is used by the liver, fat tissue and the muscle tissue. Recent studies have also pointed to its muscle stimulant properties. Leucine helps in slowing down the deterioration of muscles with age. You need about 39 mg of leucine per kilogram of your weight. So, if your weight is 70 kg, you should consume about 2.730 mg of leucine per day.

Why is Leucine important in the Diet?

By eating a diet high in leucine, a steady supply of this amino acid is provided to your body. Our body cannot synthesise or store leucine for a long period of time. Therefore it is important that you have a diet rich in leucine, as it is the only possible way for your body to get the required amount of leucine, other than having its supplements.

How Does Leucine Work?

Maintenance of lean muscle mass is what helps in managing weight, improving performance and making you healthy. Leucine plays an important role in controlling hormones and stabilizing glucose levels. However e most important function of leucine is prevention of muscle protein breakdown and facilitating muscle protein synthesis. It is the building block for muscle protein development. More protein synthesis means more skeletal muscle development.

Leucine Benefits and Uses:

As mentioned above, leucine stimulates muscle tissue growth and improves liver function. In addition to these properties it also has other health benefits. This includes:

  1. Controlling blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production.
  2. Controlling obesity.
  3. Lowering the cholesterol levels as well as controlling it.
  4. leucine also has a lot of positive effects on your liver and muscles.
  5. Increases energy production
  6. taking leucine supplements improves muscles.
  7. increases the amount of prote3in
  8. increase strength
  9. increase longevity
  10. Reduces the risk of hardening arteries, atherosclerosis

These benefits of leucine make it an important part of your daily diet. It ensures stable growth. The muscle stimulant property of this amino acid makes it an important pre and post workout supplement.

So, leucine is an essential amino acid with many health benefits. Your body cannot produce it. So you will have to consume foods rich in this amino acid to get it.

Leucine Side Effects:

  1. Leucine supplementation may decrease serotonin – The blood-brain-barrier competes for the absorption into the brain of branch chained amino acids (BCAA) and aromatic amino acids (ArAA) which are the precursors of serotonin. This competition can lead to a decrease in serotonin production. Leucine absorption in to the brain is influenced by the diet. If you consume diet rich in carbohydrate and poor in protein, it can increase BCCAs and ArAAs in the brain. Diet rich in proteins and poor in carbohydrate can do the opposite.
  2. Excessive leucine supplementation can lead to brain damage and liver disease – The recommended dosage of leucine per day is 50mg/kgd. For those who workout, the dosage should not go beyond 500mg/kgd. Overdose of leucine can increase the blood ammonia levels. This leads to brain damage and liver disease.

Best Leucine Rich Foods:

Beef (Grilled)

Beef is very popular among the non-vegetarians and steak is the most common ways of preparing this meat. Grilled beef is tasty and a rich source of protein. It is also high in leucine. It contains about 116% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.


Chicken breast is one of the most popular meats available in the market. You can make different types of chicken based dishes with it. It is also very healthy. Cooked chicken breast also contains high amounts of leucine. It is seen to contain around 97% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Octopus (Cooked):

Cooked octopus is rich in leucine. So, consuming it is a good way to ensure that you get enough of leucine in your body. Cooked octopus contains around 77% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Parmesan cheese (Raw):

Parmesan cheese is a wholesome food and very tasty too. It is also one of the richest sources of leucine. Parmesan cheese contains as much as 121% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine, which means about 3452 mg in 100 gm of cheese.

Pork (Cooked):

Pork has been considered to be bad for health for a long time. This is because of the presence of Trans fat in high amounts in it and the high calorific value of this meat. However, pork is one of the best sources of leucine. It is estimated to contain around 94% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Pumpkin seeds:

Pumpkin seeds are also rich sources of leucine. It is said to contain around 87% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Other food rich in Leucine are:


Including peanuts is also an excellent way to get the leucine you need. It contains 66% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Soybeans (Roasted):

Soybeans are known for their immense health benefits. They are also rich in antioxidants. They are the only vegetables that can be included in this list of leucine rich foods. Roasted soybeans are rich sources of leucine and contain about 118% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Tuna (Cooked):

Tuna is one of the most popular canned fish in the world. For your body to get the maximum amount of leucine, you can get fresh tuna and cook it. This way you will get a good amount of leucine. Cooked tuna contains about 84% of the recommended dietary intake of leucine.

Now that you have read about e foods rich in leucine, include them in your daily diet to get the leucine your body requires and to remain healthy.

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