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Talking AMINO ACIDS 101 - 10-03-2011, 10:27 PM

Hey guys! Jeremy here with yet again, another article! What's the topic for today you ask? Well, since you know how protein breaks down into amino acids, and how they're utilized in pre-workout supplements, I thought "Hmmm... maybe I should write up another 101 article on every single amino acid, amino acid breakdowns, derivatives, and precursors. Then I'll explain what each one does." Here's the finished product guys! Let's get started!

AMINO ACIDS 101

First, Lets split this up into five different parts!
1. Essential Amino Acids
2. Non-Essential Amino Acids
3. Branch chain amino acids
4. FAQ
5. My Recommendations



Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids can not be synthesized by the body alone and must be acquired through your diet.

Histidine: Mainly used to create “histamine”, many people will recognize that word due to allergy medications or “anit-histamines”. Histidine is the precursor to histamine, the chemical in our bodies that creates swelling and itching when we're exposed to allergens or other substances.

Isoleucine: Isoleucine is an amino acid from the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” category. Increasing protein synthesis, nitrogen retention, and body protein production are some of its abilities upon ingestion. Isoleucine is also being researched as a metabolic regulator, and an inhibitor of hemoglobin production.

Leucine: As one of the amino acids from the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” category, leucine is the most anabolic amino acid out there! This is an ABSOLUTE POWERHOUSE amino that I myself favor HIGHLY when lifting and post workout. Leucine works by promoting protein synthesis, and nitrogen retention in the body. Due to its characteristics, mixed with the other BCAAs, Branched-Chain Amino Acids have become an absolute staple on a cut and infact, may promote GROWTH during a CUT!! Leucine is also used for many other pruposes. These include: Visceral fat loss, blood sugar control, and a possible growth hormone booster! Leucine is relatively cheap, and very efficient. What else could you ask for?

Ornithine: Used by many bodybuilders year round, studies on ornithine show the ability to be a natural insulin and growth hormone booster, as well as a natural energizer. Ornithine is an arginine derivative responsible for making proline, glutamic acid, and citrulline.

Lysine: Similar to other amino acids, lysine aids the formation of collagen in the body. Lysine also shows promising evidence to be a natural aid for calcium absorption, preventive or treatment for cold sores, and an aid in the curing process of osteoarthritis.

Methionine: One of the few amino acids that brings another element to the table, methionine supplies sulfur to the body. Sulfur is required for normal growth and upkeep for a regulated metabolism. Methionine is also a lipotropic, therefore, it may help in the metabolism of lipid fat within the body as well.

Phenylalanine: Arguably one of the best amino acids for a cut, phenylalanine is used by the body to create epinephrine and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Phenylalanine is also converted into the amino acid “tyrosine” and executes its effects.

Theonine:
Vital to neural health, as a neurotransmitter sythesizer, theonine definitely holds its own on this list! Collagen and elastin manufacturing if simply another feature of this amino acid. In addition, theonine is showing solid evidence of a possible treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Tryptophan: A VERY unique amino acid! Tryptophan is often included in sleep aids because of its ability to induce sleep and relaxation. Tryptophan works because the body utilizes it as a precursor to both melatonin and seratonin. (Think: “Manufacturing Material”) Melatonin then executes its effects as a sleep inducer.

Taurine: An amino with a very nice ability for increasing energy, lowering blood pressure, and even lowering bad cholesterol. Taurine is also capable of producing epinephrine and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the blood stream, and producing the chemical “L-dopa”.

Valine: As another amino acids that is part of the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” group. Valine is shown to regulate blood sugar, naturally increase energy production, stimulate the central nervous system (to a degree), prevent muscle and tissue breakdown, and build muscle/repair damaged tissue.



Non-Essential Amino Acids

Non-essential amino acids can be produced, specifically by the liver, without any outside help.

Alanine: Known as the “alanine” from “beta-alanine”, this amino acid is very underrated with its potential when used solely or bonded. Alanine is known to have some buffering effects much like beta-alanine, however, it also owns its own “cycle” per say. This cycle, known as the “alanine cycle”, is this little amino acids way of giving back to the body. Through this cycle, alanine travels through the bloodstream maintaining stable glucose levels, and inhibiting protein synthesis. Alanine may aid the treatment of hyperplasia due to its glucose controlling characteristics and may also increase antibody production in the body. This, in turn, will create a stronger and more stable immune system.

Arginine:
Often popularized for vasodilation during the first debut of pre-workout and nitric oxide boosting supplements, arginine has shown promising uses since it has been disproven as an nitric oxide producer in many recent studies. Intravenous arginine supplementation is becoming more and more popular due to current studies putting arginine under the lime-light for its possible GH boosting capabilities. Arginine is known to aid the shuttling of urea from the body, and aiding the processing and metabolism of creatine.

Asparagine: One of the best solutions for a balanced nervous system, preventing nervousness, and even nerve ending transmission, asparagine is the answer. This amino acid brings another very benificial factor to the table, which is ammonia metabolism. Yes, another amino acid that aids in waste removal!

Aspartic Acid (a.k.a. L-Aspartate): Aspartic acid is known to be almost exactly like asparagine on the molecular level. However, the weird thing is, they have COMPLETELY different characteristics! Aspartic acid is currently being studied for its NADH boosting capabilities. NADH, scientifically known as “Nicotinamide Adenine Di-nucleotide”, is a co-enzyme of vitamin B3 that boosts the receptivity and production of neurotransmitters in the brain for brain function. Aspartic acid may aid the removal of ammonia and urea from the body and may have a positive effect on the immune system due to increased anti-body production. Aspartic acid may also aid the transmission of RNA and DNA.

Cysteine: Cysteine is shown to reduce free radicals, increase immune system function, and increase collagen production. Current studies for cysteine consist of treating aids due to its ability to increase white blood cells.

Glutamine: A source for GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), a nitrogen stabilizer, natural energy producer, and glycogen transporter, glutamine definitely has some functions worth listing. Possible anti-inflammatory characteristics paired with ammonia shuttling abilities add to glutamine's long list of possible uses in the body.

Glutamic Acid (a.k.a. Glutimate):
Glutamic acid utilizes its abilities to create GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) and shuttle ammonia to increase brain activity and detoxify the brain simultaneously. Glutamic acid is also part of the popular compound “Monosodium Glutamate” or “MSG” for short. This is often used in buffets to enhance the taste of food, and make you feel fuller faster than normal.

Glycine:
Working as a neurotransmitter, glycine operates in the brain by stimulating "NMDA" receptors or “N-methyl-D-aspartate” receptors. Glycine is the smallest, most compact, simplest amino acid out there. Glycine is also known as one of the staple amino acids in many proteins due to its concentrations.

Proline: As one of the bodies building blocks for collagen and cartilage, proline is a very promising amino acid which is showing great potential in medicine and sports supplementation. Studies show that there may be a future for proline to aid the curing process of osteoarthritis, and maintaining muscle in people and athletes alike.

Serine:
As a powerful immune system supporter, and a supporter for a healthy central nervous system, serine definitely earns its place as one of the few unique amino acids. Serine may even act as a natural moisturizer! Not much is known about serine compared to other amino acids on this list.

Tyrosine: This is an amino acid exploited in energy drinks for its rare ability for fighting stress, and possibly increasing focus or concentration. It can also act as a natural energizer.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

These are the main building blocks of the body, and the most abundantly sold in today's supplement market.

Leucine: As one of the amino acids from the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” category, leucine is the most anabolic amino acid out there! This is an ABSOLUTE POWERHOUSE amino that I myself favor HIGHLY when lifting and post workout. Leucine works by promoting protein synthesis, and nitrogen retention in the body. Due to its characteristics, mixed with the other BCAAs, Branched-Chain Amino Acids have become an absolute staple on a cut and infact, may promote GROWTH during a CUT!! Leucine is also used for many other pruposes. These include: Visceral fat loss, blood sugar control, and a possible growth hormone booster! Leucine is relatively cheap, and very efficient. What else could you ask for?

Isoleucine: Isoleucine is an amino acid from the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” category. Increasing protein synthesis, nitrogen retention, and body protein production are some of its abilities upon ingestion. Isoleucine is also being researched as a metabolic regulator, and an inhibitor of hemoglobin production.

Valine: As another amino acids that is part of the “BCAA” or “Branched-Chain Amino Acid” group. Valine is shown to regulate blood sugar, naturally increase energy production, stimulate the central nervous system (to a degree), prevent muscle and tissue breakdown, and build muscle/repair damaged tissue.

FAQ

How do I read a BCAA ratio? What is it?

BCAA ratios are read as:

Leucine:Isoleucine:Valine

For example, a 2:1:1 ratio means two parts Leucine, one part Isoleucine, and one part Valine.

Ratios are a way for companies to give you the amount of (generally leucine) compared to the other aminos. These days we have companies pumping out products with 10:1:1 ratios and even more!


Are amino acids safe?

YES.


Will I suffer from any kidney, liver, or other internal organ problems after ingesting amino acids?

NO. Infact, YOU are MADE of amino acids, so ingesting will only benefit even at mega dosing.


Am I old enough for amino acids?

YES. Amino acids can be consumed safely at ANY age.


My Recommendations


1. AI Sports RecoverPro

2. Controlled Labs Purple Wraath

3. Scivation Xtend



Well guys, I hope you all learned something. Please comment! I love hearing feedback and let me know any opinions/questions you guys may have. Thanks again guys, and Stay tuned for my next article!!


-Jeremy

Last edited by JGarcia28; 10-03-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Default 10-04-2011, 07:39 AM

Good stuff brother! Stuck!


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Default 10-04-2011, 08:18 AM

I would like to nominate Anabolic Addiction Rehab

4:2:2 ratio!!



After the destruction you need the construction. It's time to check your body into Rehab!

Eliminate muscle induced fatigue and get clean. Anabolic Addiction's Rehab has the staple ingredients to jump start anabolism. Keying in on the 4:2:2 ratio of Branched Chain Amino Acids with the power of Beta-Alanine and recovery with Kre-Alkalyn, you now have exactly what you want. The ultimate mix to stop catabolism and restart anabolism.

Adding Rehab to your post workout shake is crucial to improving your recovery time. Tasteless, it can be added to any drink of your choice. Rehab is best taken immediately following a workout or intra-workout but can be taken at anytime.

Take Anabolic Addiction's IMPAC before you workout and recover with Rehab.

When you are feining to build muscle, Anabolic Addiction has what you need to get your fix.


Leh Go!!!


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Default 10-04-2011, 09:12 AM

Jeremy,
Great post and great information!
Thanks alot man!!


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Default 10-04-2011, 09:58 AM

Thanks guys! Mek, I haven't tried AR, however to my understanding, a 4:2:2 ratio is the equivalent to a 2:1:1 ratio.
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Default 10-04-2011, 02:14 PM

I second the Rehab...Awesome supp for sure


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Default 10-04-2011, 02:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGarcia28 View Post
Thanks guys! Mek, I haven't tried AR, however to my understanding, a 4:2:2 ratio is the equivalent to a 2:1:1 ratio.
Yep! 2:1:1 x 2. More cluck for your $


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Cool 10-04-2011, 02:40 PM

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Originally Posted by emekajokammor View Post
Yep! 2:1:1 x 2. More cluck for your $
not necessarily... for example, I can manufacture a product, and say it has a 10:5:5 ratio. 1g:500mg:500mg. With this ratio im claiming its ten parts leucine, five parts isoleucine, and five parts valine. essentially, I'm not lying because the parts i choose to divide by is 100mg. when in reality, 1g of leucine is nothing special or its counterparts. another example..

300:100 is identical to a 3:1 ratio. You can multiply the leucine number all you want, but as long as the others are their respective dividends, the ratio is correct.

Anabolic rehab contains 4g of leucine, and approx 2g of iso leucine and valine.

Thats a 2:1:1 ratio because the leucine is only double the amount of the other bcaas.
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Default 10-04-2011, 03:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGarcia28 View Post
not necessarily... for example, I can manufacture a product, and say it has a 10:5:5 ratio. 1g:500mg:500mg. With this ratio im claiming its ten parts leucine, five parts isoleucine, and five parts valine. essentially, I'm not lying because the parts i choose to divide by is 100mg. when in reality, 1g of leucine is nothing special or its counterparts. another example..

300:100 is identical to a 3:1 ratio. You can multiply the leucine number all you want, but as long as the others are their respective dividends, the ratio is correct.

Anabolic rehab contains 4g of leucine, and approx 2g of iso leucine and valine.

Thats a 2:1:1 ratio because the leucine is only double the amount of the other bcaas.
I see what your saying, but here's an example of what i'm saying.

If you had 2 tablespoons, A and B:

A = 4g leucine, 2g isoleucine, 2g valine

B = 2g leucine, 1g isoleucine, 1g valine

Which would you choose?

4:2:2 is a double dose of 2:1:1


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Default 10-04-2011, 03:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by emekajokammor View Post
I see what your saying, but here's an example of what i'm saying.

If you had 2 tablespoons, A and B:

A = 4g leucine, 2g isoleucine, 2g valine

B = 2g leucine, 1g isoleucine, 1g valine

Which would you choose?

4:2:2 is a double dose of 2:1:1
Of course id pick the 4:2:2, not flaming a product or anything so I hope you didn't take it like that, but i wish you guys wrote that on the tub! I seriously think writing 4g:2g:2g instead of 4:2:2 will score you guys more business. Thats another kink in this industry man, the word "ratio" doesn't specify anything. :/ Thanks for your input though man
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Default 10-04-2011, 03:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGarcia28 View Post
Of course id pick the 4:2:2, not flaming a product or anything so I hope you didn't take it like that, but i wish you guys wrote that on the tub! I seriously think writing 4g:2g:2g instead of 4:2:2 will score you guys more business. Thats another kink in this industry man, the word "ratio" doesn't specify anything. :/ Thanks for your input though man
That's a good idea bro!

Thanks for teaching me about the wordplay companies use!


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Default 10-04-2011, 03:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by emekajokammor View Post
That's a good idea bro!

Thanks for teaching me about the wordplay companies use!
Oh, lol I didn't think I was teaching but yeah no problem man. You guys are pretty popular on these boards
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Default 11-01-2011, 07:36 PM

So I have been reading about BCAA's and Im thinking about buying a tub of somthing that you guys are promoting but do you guys think it is a "need" or more of a "want". Does everyone on this board take some type of BCAA product?
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Default 11-01-2011, 08:16 PM

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Originally Posted by ShawnD View Post
So I have been reading about BCAA's and Im thinking about buying a tub of somthing that you guys are promoting but do you guys think it is a "need" or more of a "want". Does everyone on this board take some type of BCAA product?
I took scivation xtend throughout my contest diet and felt it really helped with recovery. I tend not to take in extra BCAA's when kcals are higher, but usually add them in when I start dieting.


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Default 11-01-2011, 08:22 PM

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Originally Posted by matt20 View Post
I took scivation xtend throughout my contest diet and felt it really helped with recovery. I tend not to take in extra BCAA's when kcals are higher, but usually add them in when I start dieting.
So lets say im just trying to build muscle and bulk up through the winter months, do you think i should get a tub?
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Default 11-01-2011, 09:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnD View Post
So lets say im just trying to build muscle and bulk up through the winter months, do you think i should get a tub?
BCAA's are not really necessary if you have other dairy products in your current diet and it's also in all whey protein naturally. That said, it is great like Matt mentions for adding them for recovery and also when dieting down without adding the calories of a full-on whey protein drink. I use all of these BCAA sources (on top of my dairy intake and whey protein):

Dymatize BCAA Complex 2200

Anabolic Addiction Anabolic Rehab

SciVation Xtend

You don't have to have any of them, but like Matt says it can help aid in recovery. And any of these will do you fine if you choose to go that route. BTW, the Rehab is unflavored and best to add a sugar free flavoring like Mio or Crystal Light to it.


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Default 11-02-2011, 05:54 AM

I was looking at reviews for rehab and im only 17 and that have some test boosters in it right? Would it be safe for me to take that?
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Default 11-02-2011, 07:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnD View Post
I was looking at reviews for rehab and im only 17 and that have some test boosters in it right? Would it be safe for me to take that?
I don't see that Rehab has any test booster ingredients in it. At 17, you just need to hit the weights hard, eat right, and sleep. The rest of this stuff is just minor tweaks.


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Default 11-02-2011, 10:48 AM

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BCAA's are not really necessary if you have other dairy products in your current diet............

You don't have to have any of them...........
I disagree.

BCAA's are one of the best ideas to add to your supplementation regimen ON TOP OF WHAT YOU ARE EATING in the form of whey proteins and dairy.

Keep in mind how fast your body will digest things.
Aminos are a simple and very very effective way to feed your muscles:
In the gym parking lot before a workout
In the gym
In the gym between weights and cardio
On the car ride home from the gym
In between meals
In the middle of the night
When you can't get to a meal

Also keep in mind that BCAAs bypass the liver and are absorbed through the small intestine and go straight to repairing and fueling muscles. Of course there are alot of other aminos with many other functions they serve as well. They are actually essential to nearly every bodily function.
AMINO ACIDS ARE NOT STORED FOR FUTURE USE so keeping a constant stream of them in very important towards repairing muscles that have been through serious hardcore training i.e. in between meals and in the gym.


I might be old school but still believe that more is better when it comes to aminos. They are an additional expense but IMO they are very important to my goals.


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Last edited by TimM; 11-02-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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Default 11-02-2011, 11:10 AM

Tim, BCAA's are natural in most all dairy products. I get what you are saying though and don't totally disagree. But I'm just saying that I don't think it will make a huge difference. If you have a good workout program, good diet, and plenty of rest....you will be successful. I'm just saying it's a tweak at best. AND....you trimmed off the most important part of what you quoted me saying imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
BCAA's are not really necessary if you have other dairy products in your current diet and it's also in all whey protein naturally. That said, it is great like Matt mentions for adding them for recovery and also when dieting down without adding the calories of a full-on whey protein drink. I use all of these BCAA sources (on top of my dairy intake and whey protein):


You don't have to have any of them, but like Matt says it can help aid in recovery.


Socrates: "All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine."
Current Supplements: Protein (varies) - ON Optimen Vitamins - PreSurge Unleashed - SciVation Xtend (Recovery)[FONT=Tahoma]








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