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Bulletin #105 – The Latest Word on Amino Acid Supplements

In just the past few years, research into the amino acid requirements of athletes has accelerated rapidly . Generally, the findings prove that amino acid intake stimulates protein synthesis after exercise by increasing the availability of protein to muscle tissue. The net effect, for course, is to build and maintain muscle. Other recent findings show that amino acid supple-mentation enhances energy (particularly when aminos are combined with carbo-hydrate) and stimulates the release of growth hormone. (1)

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Further, scientists are recognizing that elderly strength trainers can benefit from amino acid supplements because supplementation has been shown to improve muscle quantity and quality at a time in life when muscle tends to atro-phy. (2)With regard to other research into amino acids, there is more good news. Some examples:• Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in the body, stimulates the synthesis of muscle glycogen, resulting in improved recovery. (3)• The BCAAs (l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine), which make up about one-third of your muscle protein, reduce mus-cle damage associated with endurance ex-ercise. This is good news for bodybuilders who often fear that aerobic activity may compromise muscular development. (4)• BCAA supplementation induces the loss of body fat. (5)•

Supplementation with essential amino acids these include the BCAAs, as well as methionine, lysine, arginine, threonine, histidine, and phenylalanine increases muscular endurance, the ability to contract your muscles repeatedly, without fatigu-ing. That’s incredibly powerful informa-tion, particularly if you’re shooting for greater workout intensities. (6)An Amino Acid Supplementation ProgramClearly, athletes, bodybuilders, and oth-er active people need to incorporate amino acid supplements as a part of an overall dietary strategy for building and main-taining lean muscle . Amino acid supple-mentation is used to provide an additional source of protein beyond food that can be used by the muscles for growth and repair. For optimum results, I suggest a three-prong approach that involves the use of BCAAs, free-form amino acids, and GH releasers .BCAAsWhen you’re training hard to build muscle and burn fat, you can easily slip into a “catabolic” state, meaning your body starts feeding on its own muscle for fuel. (7,8) BCAAs can stop this detrimen-tal process in its tracks. (9,10) They work together with insulin (required to build muscle), caused by the digestion of car-bohydrates, to transport other amino acids into the muscles to be used in growth and repair.

Thus, when you supplement with BCAAs, do so with a carbohydrate. We suggest taking our BCAA supplement with one of our carbohydrate drinks, such as ProCarb™ or 50/50 Plus™.On the Parrillo Nutrition Program, we advise taking two more more capsules of our Muscle Amino Formula with each meal . Free-Form Amino AcidsDuring any period of intensified train-ing, in which you’re striving to build muscle, you must give your body in-creased amounts of protein to feed your muscles and that’s where Parrillo Ulti-mate Amino comes in .This supplement contains a profile of 17 “free form” amino acids, a form that’s easily assimilated by your body so that the aminos are rapidly taken up by your muscles for growth and repair. This for-mulation also contains the BCAAs, dis-cussed above. In addition to the BCAAs, the other aminos in this supplement and their functions are listed in the chart belowWe suggest that you take two or more capsules with each meal.

AMINO ACIDS MAJOR FUNCTIONS      _____________________________________________________________

  • L-alanine-Energy production and regulation of blood sugar.
  • L-aspartic acid-Energy production .
  • L-cysteine-Protein metabolism.
  • L-arginine -Growth hormone release (with l-ly-sine).
  • L-glutamine-Energy production (with B-complex vitamins B-6, B-3, and magnesium).
  • L-histidine-Protein synthesis.
  • L-lysine-Growth hormone release (with l-arginine).
  • L-methionine-Choline synthesis .
  • L-phenylalanine-Collagen formation; alertness.
  • L-proline-Collagen formation.
  • L-serine-Production of cellular energy.
  • L-threonine-Energy production .
L-tyrosineA precursor of adrenaline and thyroid hormones .GH ReleasersFinally, consider supplementing your diet with certain amino acids. The most effective oral combination for GH re-lease is arginine pyroglutamate and ly-sine monohydrochloride, the combination found in our Enhanced GH Formula. This is typically taken at bedtime and in the morning, always on an empty stomach. Arginine, in particular, has numerous other benefits to athletes and bodybuild-ers . Arginine:• Boosts immunity by stimulating the ac-tivity of the thymus gland, which shrinks as we age, and by acting as a cell-protect-ing antioxidant. (11)• Helps prevent the body from breaking down protein in muscles and organs to repair itself when injured. (12)• Initiates recovery the period of muscle repair and growth that takes place following a workout particularly when taken with carbohydrates. (13)A Note on DietAmino acid supplements should not be your made source of protein. Make sure you’re getting amino acids from food as well. Each day, you should eat 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. At least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight should come from complete protein sources such as lean white meat poultry, fish, egg whites, or protein powder. The remaining should come from starchy and fibrous carbohy-drates, which also contain protein.
1. Wolfe, R. 2000. Protein supplements and exercise. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72: 551S-557S.
2. Parise, G., et al. 2000. The utility of resistance exercise training and amino acid supplementation for reversing age-associated decrements in muscle protein mass and function. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 3: 489-495 .
3. Hargreaves, M.H., et al. 2001. Amino acids and endurance exercise. Internation-al Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 11: 133-145.
4. Coombes, J.S., et al. Effects of branched-chain amino acid supplementa-tion on serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase after prolonged exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 40: 240-246
5 . Mero, A . 1999 . Leucine supplemen-tation and intensive training. Sports Med-icine 27: 347-358 .
6. Antonio, J., et al. 2000. Effects of exercise training and amino acid supple-mentation on body composition and phys-ical performance in untrained women. Nutrition 16: 1043-1046.
7. Friedman, J.E., and P.W.R. Lemon. 1989. Effect of chronic endurance exer-cise on retention of dietary protein. Inter-national Journal of Sports Medicine 10: 1188, ff.
8. Hickson, J.F., and I. Wolinsky. (eds.) 1989. Human protein intake and metabo-lism in exercise. Nutrition in Exercise and Sport. CRC Press, pp. 5-36.
9. Guyton, A.C. 1991. Textbook of Medical Physiology. W.B. Saunders.
10.Zubay, G. 1983. Biochemistry. Ad-dison-Wesley .
11.Novaes, M.R., et al. 1999. Effects of dietetic supplementation with L-arginine in cancer patients. A review of the litera-ture. Archives of Latin American Nutri-tion 49: 301-308; and Giugliano, D. 2000. Dietary antioxidants for cardiovascular protection. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases10: 38-44.
12.Fisher, H. 1987. On the mend with arginine. Prevention, October, pp. 98-106 .
13.Yaspelkis, B.B., et al. 1999. The ef-fect of carbohydrate-arginine supplement on postexercise carbohydrate metabolism. International Journal of Sports Nutrition 9: 241-250 .
2018-03-13T11:10:29-04:00 July 9th, 2009|Technical Supplement Bulletins|

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