Nutrition

The New Amino Acids

A groundbreaking patented essential amino acid formula promises more muscle and bigger gains.

by

Kevin Horton

ONLY THE ESSENTIALS

Anytime you hit the gym and curl your ass o , you’re breaking down muscle tissue by making micro tears in muscle fibers. This is Part 1 of hypertrophy. The second, and more important, part is the recovery phase. And this is where essential amino acids figure in. According to Marie Spano, R.D., C.S.C.S., co-editor of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition, “Essential amino acids are necessary for laying down new tissue in muscle.” One thing to keep in mind: Your body isn’t dumb. Take too much of an amino and it will dilute the natural amount of said ingredient that you already have in your body. More important, taking in uneven amounts of aminos can make them skew their effects and not give you the intended result.

The key is to take them all at once and in the correct amounts. When you do that, you’ll get a complete lineup that will work efficiently to assemble muscle proteins in the proper order and at the right time. It’s the opposite of the until-now scattershot plan of supplementing with a few separate aminos that can’t complete the genetic process of making more proteins. That’s where Robert R. Wolfe, Ph.D., chair of the nutritional longevity department at the University of Arkansas, comes in.

“The number and quality of muscle fibers are key to muscle health, and consumption of EAAs is the most effective way to positively influence muscle fiber number and quality,” Wolfe says. But muscle isn’t there to just help us physically navigate the world around us. It also plays an important role in our general health, since it serves as a reservoir of amino acids that are released into the blood when food is not being absorbed. “This discharge is needed to satisfy the continuous requirements of the rest of the body for a constant availability of amino acids in the blood,” Wolfe says. And this loss of aminos is why muscle will waste away if not challenged with resistance or properly fueled. To maintain and create muscle— and to be your healthy best—you must feed your muscles all the essential amino acids in sufficient and measured quantities.

Wolfe has spent most of his life grappling with how to create the perfect amino acid profile to build muscle, whether to help severely burned kids keep muscle while on bed rest or to provide the best and most efficient way for astronauts to build and maintain muscle while in space for long periods. After 17 years of research, $20 million in grants, and 23 human clinical trials, he has patented an essential amino acid formula that works, providing up to three times more anabolic response and a net gain of muscle protein compared with the same amount of whey protein. Some of his studies on young and old people confined to bed rest for 30 days even showed that his EAA blend actually reversed muscle loss and boosted strength by 28%. That sounds good to us.

 

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