In our previous article, we discussed the 9 warning signs you could be protein deficient, including hormone problems, weight gain, decreased metabolism, osteoporosis, immune system problems, insufficient healing, digestive problems, slow muscle recovery and chronic fatigue. We discussed the need for amino acids to heal, build and repair the body and how they can be of significant benefit.
Based on the response we got, it became obvious that there were many myths and mysteries about Essential Amino Acids. It is certainly a very hot topic, Lots of questions and excitement about the possibilities, along with many people getting started taking the 8 Essential Amino Acids, with great results.
In this infographic you will find some interesting clarity on the amino acids themselves. What are they and what do they do? What does the L stand for? What is this about the “Catabolic vs. Anabolic” pathways? Are there 8 essential amino acids? Some say there are 9.. 10.. What’s the story? How and when do I take amino acids for the best results? All of this and more can be found in the article below.
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What are the individual aminos and how do they work?
Our good friend Ben Greenfield is a fitness expert, and an accomplished author who explained the essential amino acids in a very clean and concise way. Here is some of what he said:
"Essential Amino Acids (EEAs), as the name implies, are essential because they can’t simply be made by your body like all the other amino acids can. Instead, you have to get EEA’s from your diet or other exogenous sources."
Have you ever heard of Private Tim Hall, AKA Pvt. Tim Hall? If you’re a biology or chemistry geek, you probably have, because his name is the mnemonic commonly used to remember these essential amino acids, which are, drumroll please:
Get it? PVT Tim Hall?
Thanks Tim, we’ll send you a check if we ever win money in Biology Trivial Pursuit. Anyways, let’s take a look at why the heck Pvt. Tim might do us good during exercise, starting with P.
Phenylalanine is traditionally marketed for it’s analgesic (pain-killing) and antidepressant effect, and is a precursor to the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine, two “feel-good” brain chemicals. This could be good because elevated brain levels of norepinephrine and dopamine may actually lower your “RPE” or Rating of Perceived Exertion During Exercise, which means you could be happier when you’re suffering hallway through a killer workout session, an Ironman bike ride, an obstacle race, or any voluminous or intense event.
Valine, along with Isoleucine and Leucine, is a real player, because it is BOTH an Essential Amino Acid and a Branched Chain Amino Acid. Valine is an essential amino acid. It can help to prevent muscle proteins from breaking down during exercise. This means that if you take Valine during exercise, you could recover faster because you’d have less muscle damage. More details on that below, when we delve into BCAA’s. More information on this and BCAAs in my article.
Threonine research is a bit scant. I personally couldn’t find much at all that explained why threonine could assist with exercise performance, but would hazard a guess that it is included in essential amino acid supplements because it is just that: essential. And many of the studies done on EAA’s just basically use all of them, rather than isolating one, like Threonine. For example (and this is a bit interesting for people who are masochistic enough to like working out starved) there is a significant muscle-preserving effect of a essential amino acids when ingested during training in a fasted state, and this includes decreased indicators of muscle damage and inflammation. This basically means that if you popped some essential amino acids, even if you didn’t eat anything, you wouldn’t “cannibalize” as much lean muscle during a fasted workout session.
Tryptophan is an interesting one. It is a precursor for serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that can suppress pain, and if you’re taking some before bed at night, even induce a bit of sleepiness. The main reason to take tryptophan would be to increase tolerance to pain during hard workouts, games or races. But studies to this point go back and forth on whether or not that actually improves performance.
This amino acid is important for blood sugar regulation, muscle development and repair, as well as energy regulation. It is another BCAA and has similar advantages to Valine, which I discuss more in my article.
Methionine helps your body process and eliminate fat. It contains sulfur, a substance that is required for the production of the body’s most abundant natural antioxidant, glutathione. Your body also needs plenty of methionine to produce two other sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine and taurine, which help the body eliminate toxins, build strong, healthy tissues, and promote cardiovascular health. Methionine is a “lipotropic”, which means it helps your liver process fats, prevents accumulation of fat in the liver and ensures normal liver function, which is essential for the elimination of toxins from your body. Methionine also supports liver function by regulating glutathione supplies – glutathione is needed to help neutralize toxins in the liver.
Histidine, as the name implies, is a precursor to histamine, and actually has some antioxidant properties and plays a key role in carnosine synthesis. What’s that mean, exactly? Here’s a clarification: histamine could help you fight off the cell damaging free radicals you produce during exercise, and carnosine helps you get rid of muscle burn more quickly, and helps turn lactic acid back into useable muscle fuel. Interestingly, though histidine is often listed as “essential” histidine is not technically essential, because when you take an EAA supplement, the levels of histidine in your blood will rise within one hour. But Tim and biology professors worldwide might be pissed if we abbreviate Tim Hall to Tim All, so we’ll roll with the mnemonic for now.
Next is arginine, and if you’re reading this and you’re an old man who has relied on a little blue pill called Viagra to have a happier time in the sac, you can thank arginine. Arginine helps with nitric oxide synthesis, and nitric oxide is a vasodilator that increases blood flow and could help with exercise capacity (in the case of the blue pill, for one specific body part). Most of the studies on arginine show that it also helps folks with cardiovascular disease improve exercise capacity. Like Histidine, Arginine is sometimes listed as an “essential”, it is not technically essential, because when you add the rest of the EEAs, your arginine levels will rise.
Lysine is something my Mom used to take to help cold sores that she got from eating citrusy foods. That’s basically because it helps heal mouth tissue. But more importantly for exercising individuals, lysine may actual assist with growth-hormone release, which could vastly improve muscle repair and recovery, although if you take lysine in it’s isolated form, the amount you’d have to take to increase growth hormone release would cause gastrointestinal distress, or as I like to it, sad poopies. But combined with all the other essential amino acids, there may be a growth hormone response in smaller doses, and there is some clinical evidence that essential amino acid supplementation could stimulate growth hormone releasing factors.
Leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis and may be the major fuel involved in anabolic (tissue-building) reactions. Another BCAA, that I will discuss further in my article.
Why is there conflicting information about the number of Essential Amino Acids? Are there 8? 9? Or 10?
There are 22 amino acids in the body that must be present in certain ratios, in order for the body to build or repair protein. And since your body is comprised of proteins (hair, skin, bones, muscle, organs, etc), it is imperative that you have the proper balance of amino acids in order to live.
Your body is able to produce 14 of these on its own, without outside help. The other 8 must be obtained from an outside source, such as food or nutrition. When a human body is born, it is able to live and grow, as long as it is hydrated and receives protein from the mother’s milk. The body is programmed this way – and it carries on to being an adult.
However, if are missing just one of the essential amino acids, you will be unable to build or repair the needed body proteins. It can also be an issue if the ratios are off, as the amount you can utilize will be diminished or diluted thereby.
There are two amino acids that are sometimes referred to as “Essential”: Histidine and Arginine. However, with the other 8 Essential Amino Acids being present, the body can actually make these as needed.
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- Candy B.
I heard about PerfectAmino from Endurance Planet and Ben Greenfield It was the secret to my success in 4 days of consecutive mountain skiing in Colorado! I took a dose every morning and felt great without any aches and pains! Now, I use every morning before my HIIT/Strength Training session during the winter and will continue using it all year when I enter my marathon/triathlon training!
- Melissa M.
First thing to remember is that everybody is different. We are all in different states of health or disrepair. So if you take that in to account, along with the data below, you should be able to decide what to do.
First, let’s break it down between a male body and a female body. Males will generally need 20% more than a female as a general rule, because the male body is traditionally larger than a female body, with more muscle mass. If you are a female, with a very muscular body, of course you can take more.
Next, is the body in decent shape and health? When a person is in good shape and generally healthy with few symptoms or issues, that is when you take your maintenance or standard daily dose. PerfectAmino is basically pure protein, in the ideal ratios for the body to utilize. You must take in protein every day or your body will not survive. So everybody, at minimum, should take a daily dose.
Next, how is your digestive system? If you are not able to chew your food, or if you do not digest your food well, you are not going to get the amio acids from the food. And the truth is, most people have poor digestive systems.
Now what if the body is sick? You could have the flu, or a more serious condition ranging all the way to cancer. When this is the case, your body is once again, in dire need for amino acids to rebuild body proteins.
If you are recovering from a surgery, your body is recovering from a genuine trauma. It has been opened up and traumatized and is in full-fledged recovery mode - - depending heavily on the amino acids to rebuild the proteins that were traumatized, stitched together, or bandaged up.
Then there is recovery from injury, such as an Achilles tendon, hamstring or rotator cuff. The body wants to recover. It wants to reduce the inflammation and heal, but because you are always moving the body in your activities of daily living, it is constantly getting re-aggravated, re-inflamed and depends even more on amino acids to repair itself.
Digestive System Health: Your body, on an average day needs 30 grams of usable protein from external sources. More than that will not be used by the body. So think of it this way:
Daily maintenance dose for an average “healthy” male is 8-10 tablets. Female: 6-8 tablets. This theoretically should be enough of a supplement to keep you going, in addition to the food that you eat.
If you fall in to one of the other categories, such as if you are sick, recovering from surgery or injury, or have poor digestive health, then just double or triple the dose, depending on how severe your issue(s) are.
Another thing to consider, is the fact that you should avoid mixing PerfectAmino with other proteins or fats, as they will dilute the absorbency. Think of it this way: If you eat 5 grams of protein from chicken (of which you will only utilize 32%) and 5 grams of PerfectAmino (of which you utilize 99%). You would average the 99% with 32%, meaning you'd absorb only 65%.
The last thing to think with is, if you are exercising a lot, Dr. Shallenberger recommends taking 5 grams of PerfectAmino, along with a half of an apple (or equivalent) before bed.
For anyone wanting to lose weight, the key is taking in less calories than those which are burned. Proteins have 4 calories per gram and so to restrict calories, protein intake is often also decreased to a level below what is required to keep the body healthy. By substituting food proteins once or twice a day with PerfectAmino, 300-600 calories a day can be saved and weight can be lost more quickly without the body breaking down.
Almost all vegetarians are protein deficient. While eating a vegetarian diet has many health benefits, it lacks optimal amounts of essential amino acids. This causes poorer body performance and health. PerfectAmino is vegan sourced and can be supplemented so that the vegetarian does not suffer from lack of protein. Since PerfectAmino is 99% used by the body, it does not produce acidity in the body the way animal proteins do, so it can contribute to an alkaline condition in the body.
Growing bodies need essential amino acids but most children don’t eat enough protein. Processed junk food is all too common for a child’s diet these days, and getting them to eat healthy can be a chore for many parents. You can give PerfectAmino to children. It only takes a few tablets a day to make a difference and allow optimum growth, bone health, immune health and intelligence.
During exercise and training, the structural proteins in the body are damaged. Muscle fibers are torn and stress is put on the body. This breakdown causes the soreness felt after hard workouts, and sometimes injury. To repair and rebuild, the body needs the essential amino acids in abundance. And because most people do not get enough in their diets to maximize this, repair occurs slowly or not at all and soreness and injury can result. A lowering of immune proteins can also occur and result an illness. By taking adequate amounts of the 8 essential amino acids in PerfectAmino, repair can quickly and fully occur.
Senior citizens almost always have protein malnutrition. They often have low stomach acid, and so have impaired protein digestion. Poor teeth make it difficult to chew meats, and tend to eat less quality protein than required. This leads to weak muscles, easier falls, soft bones with increased risk of fracture, low neurotransmitter levels that can cause depression, poor memory, and poor sleep. Seniors should always be supplementing with the 8 essential amino acids to improve their condition.
For both males and females who have low hormone levels. Many of the body’s essential hormones are made of protein - growth hormone, thyroid hormone, insulin and others. Sometimes when the body is not getting enough protein, it will not be able to make the levels of hormones that should be present. This leads to premature aging, fatigue, weight gain, and other problems. By adding PerfectAmino, the body can get enough essential amino acids to enable it to manufacture hormones in the amounts needed.
I take PerfectAmino daily and also use it to support long endurance efforts (running or cycling). It helps fuel my efforts and recovery. Great way to supplement protein intake without the added calories. I recommend both the tablets and the powder.
- Zachary H.
PerfectAmino is the answer to recovery and I can push harder. As a larger endurance athlete coming up on 50 recovery and higher intensities is tougher but with PerfectAmino it is a huge difference. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is almost non-existent after my long runs while using it. Looking to set some PR's this year - Thanks PerfectAmino!!
- Brian C.
As a nutritionally oriented MD and an avid runner, my goal is to help restore and maintain optimum health for everyone I see. An athlete in peak health can enjoy running and can keep their youthful performance levels far beyond what they believe is possible. At 67, I’m not as fast as I was, but I’m just as intent on improving my performance and continue to look for things that make me feel better, have more energy, recover faster and build strength.
Years ago, I found myself with an amino acid deficiency that was manifesting as a nagging hamstring injury for 4 years. I came upon a specific formulation of amino acids that I had never seen before and started taking it. Within 4 weeks, my hamstring was healed and I was able to do long, hard workouts. That year, I competed in the Ironman Canada Triathlon and improved my best finish time ever.
Other world-class runners & triathletes started taking it and began experiencing incredible results, winning races and being able to sustain their workout gains longer.
You have heard about protein and amino acids, but do you know what they are and how they work?Read More
Is it right before exercise, right after, or some other time? The answer is in a new study in the peer reviewed journal, Nutrition, and it just might surprise you.
Researchers studied a group of 44 young, healthy men. They put them all on a resistance (weight lifting) exercise training program for three months. They gave half of them a protein supplement consisting of 27.5 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.1 gram of fat every night before sleep. The other group received a non-caloric placebo. Before and after the experiment they used whole-body, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to measure their muscle mass. They also assessed their muscle fibers using a muscle biopsy. And they measured the men's overall strength. Here's what they found.Read More
For people with fatigue. Energy production is protein dependent. The parts of the cell that manufacture energy out of food are made of protein and the enzymes that actually create the energy particle (ATP) are made of protein. So getting enough essential amino acids has a lot to do with being energetic.
Most menopausal women are protein deficient and a lot of the symptoms of fatigue, altered mood, poor sleep, dull hair, fragile finger nails, and bone loss may be the result. Having sufficient quantities and proper balance of the 7 essential amino acids, they will be able to optimize their body proteins, including hormones, neurotransmitters, hair, nails and bone.
For people who are detoxing. All of the detox pathways in the body are dependent on essential amino acids. Since most people are protein deficient (essential amino acid deficient) they will detox slower or with more difficulty. By adding the 8 essential amino acids, the detox process can be sped up significantly and is much easier.
For pregnant women and nursing mothers, the protein needs are much higher. Many do not eat enough essential amino acids to protect their body from breakdown and to build a baby. By adding PerfectAmino, the mother can preserve her lean body tissue and help make a perfect baby.
Lack of vital amino acids can cause hormonal issues, decreased metabolic function, weight gain, delayed healing and other health problems; Dr. Minkoff recommends PerfectAmino for maximum absorption and utilization, and improved quality of life.
Countless adults cannot digest the proteins they consume, which can lead to “a range of problems from a buildup of toxins, aging, weight gain and lowered immunity” (1). According to Dr. David Minkoff, M.D, many people who struggle with protein digestion are also dealing with serious health issues such as Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory or autoimmune diseases
At the other end of the scale are scores of high-intensity athletes such as triathletes and ultra-runners, who may eat a high-quality diet but still have significant amino acid deficiencies. Per Dr. Minkoff, when the body cannot digest amino acids, they are discarded as toxic waste instead of being utilized throughout the body. This is the missing link: amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is essential to proper function of the digestive and central nervous systems, skeletal, hormonal and muscular systems, detoxification mechanisms and other vital life processes.
“In my medical practice, I routinely see very sick patients who are deficient in one or more amino acids,” said Dr. Minkoff, founder of BodyHealth. ”Amino acids affect every aspect of the body, and a deficiency in even one can adversely affect health.”
In fact, amino acid deficiencies can lead to a host of issues, including:
As Dr. Minkoff explained, amino acids support healthy body function in every way, from muscle development and repair, to blood sugar regulation, metabolism and antibody production. “The problem is that most amino acid sources are not fully absorbed by the body, leading to deficiencies and less than optimal health,” he said.
Proper absorption of these essential amino acids allows the body to build proteins and support the immune cells and hormones, skeletal and muscular systems, and every other bodily function. Of particular importance is maintaining the barrier tissues, which protect the brain, intestines, lungs and other organs. These barrier layers are made of amino acids; when compromised, they leak—allowing toxins to cross over into these sensitive organs. In an effort to help the public improve their health through better absorption of amino acids, Dr. Minkoff created the unique PerfectAmino formula, which is perfectly balanced and 99% utilized by the body.
PerfectAmino’s balanced formula requires no digestion; rather, it is absorbed into the bloodstream within 23 minutes, so the body can quickly utilize the complete amino acids to make every protein needed for life.
While alternative protein sources such as whey, egg white and pea protein are currently gaining in popularity, per Dr. Minkoff, they present issues with absorption rates. A case study showed that PerfectAmino was 99% utilized throughout three different test groups, compared to 48% for egg protein. The same is true regarding other amino acid formulas—PerfectAmino is more completely and readily absorbed by the body, with virtually no waste.
PerfectAmino contains the eight essential amino acids:
Moreover, PerfectAmino ingredients contain no fat, sodium, sugar, GMOs, preservatives, animal products or allergens such as yeast, gluten, soy, corn, wheat, rice or dairy.
For more information about Dr. David Minkoff and Bodyhealth, please visit www.BodyHealth.com
PerfectAmino™ contains the eight essential amino acids the body needs to support and maintain its muscular, skeletal, enzymatic, and hormonal systems. The essential amino acids in PerfectAmino are in the exact proportions needed for maximum utilization by the body, and have been used by Tour de France athletes to improve muscle recovery. Perfect Amino balances protein deficiencies for optimal natural health, performance and healing. It contains no fat, sodium, sugar, yeast, gluten, soy, corn, wheat, rice, GMOs, preservatives, excipients, dairy or animal products. Visit our website by clicking HERE