Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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94 INSIDER September/October 2017 Known as "the building blocks of protein," amino acids are crucial for protein synthesis and are frequently used in sports nutrition. Perhaps less known is the role amino acids play in other areas of health such as immune and cognitive health, where studies have examined amino acids' multi- faceted roles in benefi ting these areas. Amino Acids Assist in Sports Nutrition Amino acids are recommended by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) for building muscle mass. The recommended overall daily protein intake is in the range of 1.4 to 2.0 g of protein per kg body weight per day for exercising individuals. "In addition to a balanced array of the essential amino acids, protein doses for acute use should contain 700 to 3,000 mg of leucine and/or a higher relative content, and the doses should be distributed every three to four hours across the day," said Joseph Antony, Ph.D., research scientist at KGK Science. Amino acids are found in protein, which is crucial for strength trainers to support protein synthesis and muscle building. Products with amino acids can offer benefi ts to consumers in both pre- and post-workout applications. "Amino acids can offer a wide variety of benefi ts when it comes to sports nutrition," said Elyse Lovett, marketing manager at Kyowa Hakko. "Some offer benefi ts during pre-workout while others are more benefi cial for post workout." She explained amino acids in sports nutrition are important for muscle building and recovery, in addition to rehydration. It is important to consume essential amino acids since they cannot be synthesized, especially for sports nutrition, to help with recovery. The branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine are the only amino acids used directly by muscle as energy during exercise. "Whey protein, which is rich in leucine, is particularly effective at protein metabolism and plays a key signal in the translation initiation pathway of muscle- protein synthesis," Antony added. Whey protein is considered a complete protein because it includes all nine essential amino acids—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Whey derives from dairy, however, so those with dairy intolerance may want to consider a combination plant-based protein instead to obtain the essential amino acids in the diet. BCAAs offer crucial benefi ts in sports nutrition. One study found daily intake of 20 g of BCAAs a week prior to exercise provided benefi ts from decreased muscle soreness and muscle damage, as well improved performance during recovery. 1 The BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine account for 40 to 45 percent of total essential amino acids. BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis primarily in skeletal muscles, and can directly transport to circulatory bloodstream bypassing the liver. One study found supplementation of the BCAAs L-leucine (6 g/d), L-isoleucine (2 g/d) and L-valine (4 g/d) over a 10- week training season improved sprint performance in endurance cyclists. 2 Furthermore, BCAA supplementation before and after exercise decreased exercise-induced muscle damage and promoted muscle-protein synthesis 3 "BCAAs are especially important for reducing fatigue during a workout and unique dipeptides are important for re- hydration and recovery," Lovett added. A study showed an oral amino acid mixture containing essential and non- essential amino acids when supplemented for a three-month period in subjects with sedentary elderly participants showed improvement in six-minute walk distance and improved muscular strength in an open-label study. 4 Supplemented protein may not improve endurance performance when administered for days, weeks or immediately prior to and during endurance exercise, but when added to carbohydrate beverages, it suppressed markers of muscle damage (creatine kinase), 12 to 24 hours after exercise. 5 Another important amino acid for sports nutrition is beta-alanine. Beta-alanine with carnosine, which is a dipeptide, has been shown to decrease fatigue and increase workout capacity. 6 Additionally, acid build- up in muscles can be counteracted with beta-alanine. Carnosine is a dipeptide made in the muscles from amino acids histidine and beta-alanine. Kyowa Hakko's Sustamine ® , which includes L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine, is a dipeptide that can help assist with hydration during exercise. Researchers found it delayed exhaustion and may boost endurance in endurance-trained men. 7 They noted increased glutamine levels in both the low- and high-dose Sustamine groups 45 minutes after ingestion. Amino Acids Amino acids are important for muscle health, but also play a part in immune and cognitive health. The essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine must be obtained from the diet. Delivery systems for amino acids include powders and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. Amino Acids: The Building Blocks for Health by Courtney Johnson INSIDER's Take Amino acids are found in protein, which is crucial for strength trainers to support protein synthesis and muscle building.

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