Maximizing Micros

Hi, I'm new to Cronometer but not new to macro tracking. However, this micro tracking is new to me. I'm curious how to get advice on micronutrient questions. Example, the daily recommended amount of Leucine is 3.66g. Is that enough for someone trying to put on muscle? I'm trying to set my minimums for optimum performance beyond what is considered "daily recommended". If you can direct me to someone or an area to help with that I would appreciate it.


  • @Ronbo801

    Great question! The Institute of Medicine sets the RDA (or Recommended Daily Allowance) to meet the nutritional needs of 97-98% of a healthy population. This level of intake is 2 standard deviations from the EAR (Estimated Average Requirement), which is determined experimentally to meet 50% of a healthy population's need for a particular nutrient.

    If the IOM can't set an EAR (d/t a lack of evidence), they set an estimate based on observational data, which is termed the "AI" or Adequate Intake.

    Now, because these studies rely on an average population, it's possible that nutrient needs for athletes, those with chronic illness, and individuals not eating an omnivore diet will have different micronutrient needs. For example, iron needs may be 80% higher for vegetarians and 70% higher for athletes.

    With regard to leucine, simply including a source of it (which is found in a variety of animal protein and soy) can help to stimulate protein synthesis following resistance training.

    Let me know if you have any questions about this!

    P.S. I have a Cronometer blog coming out on Sports Nutrition soon!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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