Amino Acids

Image 1: Amino Acid logo by
Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D.
A.D.A.M., Inc. @ Medline
Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins and peptides in all living creatures - men (and women) included. While we could not live without them, most of us know little about their individual metabolic functions in the human organism. Unfortunately most supplement producers are aware of the general ignorance towards the effects of amino acid supplementation on health and exercise performance. The information collected in this faculty of the SuppVersity may well help you to stay ahead on the knowledge front.

This part of the page is updated whenever new articles are released, so check back on a regular base

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Essential Amino Acids
Leucine, Iso-Leucine, Valine, Methionine
Metabolits b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate (HMB)
Non-Essential Amino Acids Arginine, D-Aspartic Acid, Beta-Alanine, Glutamine, Ornithine, Taurine
Special features

Amino Acids for Super Humans, Part IV - Purported Ergogenics (1/3): Beta Alanine, The New Creatine?

Beta alanine, unlike l-alanine is one of the "beta-amino acids", indicating that it is neither essential nor proteinogenic, i.e. it is not built into proteins or used in the synthesis of major enzymes. Nevertheless, beta alanine plays a major role with regard to health in general and brain health and muscular performance, particular.

Taken orally, as a supplement, beta alanine (BA) has a slight sweet taste to it (the artificial sweetener suosan is derived from BA). It is highly water soluble and the funny tingles, which can be avoided by either taking it with food or by taking smaller servings (e.g. 5x 800mg for a total of 4g, which would be a reasonable amount for carnosine "loading") multiple times a day, aside, it is virtually side effects free (some people also develop benign allergic skin or mucosal reactions and/or diarrhea).

read all about beta alanine ...

Amino Acids for Super Humans, Part IV - Purported Ergogenics (2/3): L-Carnitine, ALCAR, LCLT, GPLC & Co.

Despite the fact that even my grandmother has heard of the miraculous energizing and fat-burning abilities of carnitine, most people - and even those who are buying those carnitine-enriched functional, or should I say disfunctional foods are not even aware that L-3-hydroxy-4-N,N,N-trimethylaminobutyric acid (l-carnitine) is a naturally occurring amino acid, all mammals (humans included) can synthesize from l-lysine or l-methionine in their livers and kidneys.

read all about the "carnitines" ...

Amino Acids for Super Humans, Part IV - Purported Ergogenics (3/3): Glutamine, the Anabolic Immune Booster?

Although glutamine is one of the non-essential amino acids, even the fact that your body continuously 'sacrifices' truly essential amino acids to synthesize glutamine in your muscle tissue, should go to tell you that, after all, glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in human muscle and plasma, cannot be so non-essential as its classification would suggest.

Under normal conditions it forms 50% of the whole body amino acid pool. In cells, esp. muscles, where glutamine makes up 66% of the amino acid pool. Within the cellular space, the purported cell-volumizer can reach concentrations that are up to 33 times higher than on the outside of the cell.

read all about glutamine ...

You may also want to check out the Amino Acids for Super Humans Series @ Carl Lenore's Super Human Radio, in the course of which I address some general and some more particular facts / issues of the nitrogen containing molecules, which turn out to be far more than just the building blocks of your muscles.
Super Human Radio. Listen live Mo-FR @ 12:00PM ET