Can You Have Too Many Amino Acids?
As a relatively new type of supplement, amino acids have a lot of potentials. The building blocks of protein, amino acids make up many of the most important compounds in the body, including enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various types of cells. Because of this importance, amino acids have been used to support different bodily processes, though the most common use of amino acid supplements is to support and improve performance before, during, and after exercise. However, since amino acid supplements are still a nascent product to some extent, many new and prospective users have questions regarding their efficacy – questions that are quite understandable, given how many products out there making promises they can’t keep. Amino acids, however, have the backing of sound scientific evidence, and they’re perfectly safe for the vast majority of people. Still, one might ask: Can you have too many amino acids in your system, and if so, what happens? To find out, keep reading as amino acid supplement company aminoVITAL® provide some answers.
The Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements
Though there is little demand for amino acids as a purely nutritional supplement, since these compounds are found in most well-rounded diets, amino acids make for an excellent fitness supplement. In essence, amino acid supplements are a more advanced version of traditional protein supplements, such as the popular shakes and powders found in stores everywhere. Protein shakes and powders do contain amino acids – after all, amino acids are the building blocks of protein – but these supplements have a few disadvantages compared to their amino acid-based counterparts.
For one thing, amino acids require very little digestion when consumed, especially compared to whole proteins. That’s because the body must break down proteins into the amino acids they contain before those compounds can be used; when you drink a supplement made from free-form amino acids, however, your body doesn’t need to break any bonds and can instead absorb these amino acids into your bloodstream up to three times faster than those that come from proteins.
In addition, amino acid supplements tend to be much leaner than protein-based products. A glance at the nutrition labels on many popular protein shakes and powders will reveal that these products often contain significant amounts of sugars and calories, which could easily undermine your health and fitness goals if you’re not careful. Amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL®, on the other hand, include only the essential ingredients that power your muscles and speed your recovery, with minimal calories and sugars – the perfect thing for building a leaner, stronger body.
One thing to note is that, where amino acid supplements are concerned, the compounds to know are the three branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids provide most of the exercise-related benefits in AA supplements, and they have therefore received most of the attention from researchers and others interested in learning about the effects of amino acids on the body.
How Much Amino Acids Should You Take?
There is no clearly defined limit for how much amino acids a person should take, though research into this question has revealed some helpful guidelines that can inform your decisions where amino acids are concerned. Recommendations made by the World Health Organization in 1985 set the requirements for BCAA intake at about 15 mg per pound of body weight, but more recent research has significantly increased the recommended amount to as much as 65 mg per pound of body weight; this means that a healthy adult woman should get at least 9 grams of BCAAs each day, and a healthy man should aim for about 12 grams daily.
Those who get plenty of protein in their regular diet probably do not need to supplement their amino acid intake, but more active individuals can benefit from greater levels of BCAAs. Some estimates suggest that those who exercise regularly could see benefits from as much as 20 grams of BCAAs per day, though this is generally the most that even the biggest fitness fanatic should be taking. That said, there is little to no evidence of danger when taking amino acid supplements, even when taken in excess of 30 grams per day, though there is also next to no evidence of any advantage to taking such a large amount of BCAAs.
In short, while it is likely possible to have too much amino acids in your diet, reaching a dangerous level would seem to require a willful effort; if the upper limit is set at about 35 grams/day1, you would have to take triple the recommended dose to even come close to having too many BCAAs in your system. And on the off chance you do take too many amino acids, the side effects are generally minor, at least in the short term: bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are among the more common side effects.
Keep in mind that these recommendations apply to healthy individuals. If you have kidney issues, are pregnant, suffer from ALS, or have a condition that affects how your body processes BCAAs (such as maple syrup urine disease), you may want to limit your intake of amino acids. If you have one of these conditions, be sure to speak to your doctor before integrating BCAAs or other amino acids into your diet, especially in large amounts.
High-Quality Amino Acid Supplements Available from aminoVITAL®
In the search for the best possible fitness supplement, many products present themselves as ideal. However, only amino acid supplements like those from aminoVITAL® have such an extensive body of evidence supporting their effects and benefits for the physically active. If you exercise regularly and would like to learn more about BCAA supplements and the advantages they offer, visit aminoVITAL® online or call us today at (888) 264-6673.