Clayton's Health Facts: Amino Acids.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.
1. What is it and where does it come from?

Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein.'s Amino Acids supplement is an effective and useful blend of essential amino acids for the human body.

Amino acids come from protein rich sources such as meat, fish, dairy products, and vegetables such as legumes, peas, and grains. There are many types of amino acid supplements on the market. Some products claim to have a large quantity of amino acids, but come primarily from a weak protein source (such as milk). Unfortunately, people may have allergies associated with the protein source. Our supplement formula is comprised of the highest quality crystalline protein source.

2. What does it do and what scientific
studies give evidence to support this?

Amino acids are essential to the human body. Bodybuilders can especially benefit from supplementing amino acids because they aid in repair, growth, and development of muscle tissue. The body, through assimilation of amino acids, produces over 50,000 proteins and over 15,000 enzymes. Amino acids are not only responsible for the production of all the body's enzymes (including digestive enzymes), but they also play a key role in normalizing moods, concentration, aggression, attention, sleep, and sex drive. After protein is consumed, it is broken down into amino acids. Then, individual amino acids are used to create necessary body proteins and enzymes. Digestive enzymes break down the proteins a person consumes into amino acids.
Scientists, experts, and medical professionals agree that getting enough amino acids in one's diet is an important factor in maintaining good nutrition.

3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

Those who could benefit from amino acid supplementation are vegetarians, people with allergies, stress-related fatigue, or hypoglycemia.
Trouble digesting food could be a signal of a diminishment in the production of digestive enzymes. This could lead to poor nutrition because one's body cannot digest food at full capacity. In essence, one's body needs amino acids in order to get amino acids from food.

4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

One and one-half grams of powder three times a day should be sufficient to provide the body with an adequate supply of available amino acids to assist in digesting food and bulking up. There are no side effects with proper supplementation.

5. Recent Studies
December 2001 - Consuming Protein Supplements Can Help Deter the Effects of Overtraining!

Protein intake of approx. 0.88 grams per pound of body weight resulted in increased prevention of overtraining. This study was conducted at Ball State University on 17 weight-trained men. They were put on a four week "overtraining" program were they did 8-12 rep maxes for three sets, eight exercises for the first two weeks, then five sets, five exercises for 3-5 rep maxes for the next two weeks. The men were chosen to receive either an amino acid supplement or a placebo for the duration of the four weeks (0.88 grams/lb body weight/day). Those that were given the amino acids had measureable positive changes in total testosterone, the ratio of testosterone to the protein that transports it, and hemoglobin compared to those given a placebo. This proves that adequate protein consumption is the key to making gains! Be sure to get enough (approx. 1gram per lb. of body weight).

December 2001 - Protein Taken With Carbs is Better than Protein Alone for Building Muscle!

This study, conducted at University of Texas Medical Branch, measured the amount of uptake of the amino acid L-phenylalanine into healthy leg muscle tissue in one of three protein shakes. The shakes were consumed one and two hours after intense leg training and provided about 6 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbs, or both per shake for a 150 bodybuilder. The L-phenylalanine uptake in the protein and carb shake was measured as being three times higher than the carb shake and roughly twice as great as the amino shake! So, there you have it! As you know, the postworkout shake is the most critical meal for your increased anabolism. Make sure you're getting some carbs in your postworkout shake for best results!

NOTE: Protein powders and bars have many amino acids as well, but they are not listed here. Check out the protein page.

Also View BCAA Products