Review: Muscletech Leukic Hardcore—is it Really an Anabolic Activator? - Bodybuilding Supplements

Review: Muscletech Leukic Hardcore—is it Really an Anabolic Activator?

Note: LEUKIC Hardcore has “evolved” and is now being marketed as LEUKIC Pro Series.

To get big, you must get anabolic. To get absolutely huge, you must get highly anabolic. That’s the real secret to getting massive and this is why bodybuilders from beginner to professional are turning to LEUKIC® Hardcore – The World’s #1 Selling Anabolic Activator! LEUKIC Hardcore is so shockingly potent that it triggers rock-hard gains fast – and all of this with zero androgenic side effects!

Since few other supplements are explicitly advertised as “anabolic activators,” it’s probably not too hard to be #1 in this category—especially when the company making the claim is Muscletech, The World’s #1 User of Over-The-Top Adjectives in their product ads. Reading a Muscletech ad reminds me of reading old “rock ’em, sock ’em” superhero comic books: “Pow!!!” “Ka-blam!!!” “Uunnh!!!” “Kablooie!!!”

So what’s in Leukic that might merit the description of “anabolic activator?

World’s First And Only 100% Anabolic Compound—7320mg

L-Leucine-Ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium (Featuring Nano-Diffuse Technology)
L-Leucine Isovaleric Acid – N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine

To be precise, it’s the leucine. As I wrote in the BCAA review, “the BCAA leucine also serves an important function as an initiator of muscle protein synthesis.” Thus, “anabolic activator” is a fair description of the role leucine plays.

It’s an incredibly complex role, too. How it does what it does requires a bit of explanation, so bear with me…

Muscle protein is dynamic: existing proteins are constantly being broken down while new ones are synthesized. This state of affairs is known as “protein turnover.” If protein breakdown exceeds synthesis, then muscle is in a net catabolic state—which can ultimately lead to muscle wasting and syndromes such as sarcopenia and cachexia.

Conversely, if muscle protein synthesis is greater than breakdown, then muscle is in a net anabolic state, which leads to hypertrophy. The balance between breakdown and synthesis changes throughout the day, in response to nutritional status.

For example, both protein synthesis and breakdown rates increase after a meal; however, the increase in synthesis is greater than breakdown, so the net balance is positive (anabolic). Likewise, the rate of synthesis drops faster than the rate of breakdown during sleep, so the net balance is negative (catabolic).

Exercise also has an impact on muscle protein turnover. During endurance exercise, protein synthesis is depressed (how much depends on the intensity and duration), which induces a net catabolic state.

Resistance exercise, on the other hand, increases the synthesis rate. Nonetheless, protein breakdown is increased even more, so the net balance is also catabolic. In both cases, protein turnover remains negative until sufficient protein and energy are provided for recovery.

This is where leucine comes in. Leucine stimulates protein synthesis by triggering the activation of specific initiation factors that are part of the ribosomal “machinery” for protein production. This occurs through both indirect and direct pathways. Leucine also enhances insulin secretion, which reduces the rate of protein breakdown, and also influences initiation factor activation (by yet another pathway). This “anabolic activation” is a critical first step in the formation of new muscle proteins.

Of course, leucine isn’t the only active ingredient in Leukic. It also supplies ketoisocaproic acid (calcium), or KIC (this accounts for the “kic” in Leukic). Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid is a (reversible) breakdown metabolite of leucine that may have anti-catabolic activity. Other potential benefits include reductions in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and ammonia accumulation (via transamination to leucine).

There are relatively few studies on KIC supplementation in humans. In the most recent one, however, KIC had no short-term effects on strength performance. Conversely, an earlier study demonstrated KIC—in combination with glycine and arginine—reduced the decline in mean power experienced over repeated cycling sprints.

The final ingredient in Leukic Hardcore is L-leucine isovaleric acid – N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine. Isovaleric acid is yet another breakdown product of leucine, but is not known to have any benefits for health, wellness or exercise performance. N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, however, does. Another, more familar name for this compound is melatonin—a hormone best known for its role in regulating sleep and circadian rhythms. Melatonin also acts as an antioxidant, and—interestingly enough—may increase the exercise-induced production of growth hormone.

Thus, the ingredients in Leukic Hardcore have some genuine science behind them, which makes it one of the better-supported bodybuilding supplements on the market. Nonetheless, it’s important to avoid being “blinded by science.” For all the potential benefits of leucine, KIC and melatonin, one critical fact cannot be overlooked: no one (to my knowledge) has ever gotten big from the simple addition of these nutrients to their stacks…regardless of testimonials by Gustavo Badell, Branch Warner and Jay Cutler.

Why not? It’s really quite simple: by itself, leucine stimulation of MPS is short-lived, and returns to baseline within a couple of hours, despite continued availability. None of the experiments described above, as provocative as they are, offer any direct proof that supplementation with Leukic (or its components) will significantly enhance lean mass gains. This is even implicit in the ads, if you actually take the time to read between the lines.

In fact, subjects taking a key ingredient in LEUKIC Hardcore increased their GH levels by an incredible 106 percent! As if that wasn’t already enough, test subjects who trained and took the key component in LEUKIC Hardcore forced 350 percent more anabolic signal activation at the muscle fiber level than when taking a placebo. LEUKIC Hardcore literally turns on the anabolic signaling switch within your muscles through a biochemical process called phosphorylation. This sets the stage for permanent muscle gains with ongoing training.

106% more GH? 350% more “anabolic signal activation?” Anyone see any claims for more muscle or strength there? 😀

Muscletech ads describe their supplements as “one hit wonders” and gobsmack readers with technical jargon (both real and invented), big numbers, lurid pictures, bold fonts and vivid colors in an effort to impress, but the reality is that a supplement like Leukic is only one piece in a fairly large puzzle.

Don’t get me wrong: I think Leukic looks like a fairly well-designed supplement that could help facilitate recovery, and thus, gains in mass and/or performance as a result…BUT, only within the context of a solid nutrition and workout program.

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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