Possibly The Future Of Sports Nutrition Essential Amino Acids -Eating and Hydrating for Combat Sport Athletes Part 5

Posted: Sunday, 3 June 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , ,

Fast absorption of amino acids is incredibly important after training. I have discussed in great detail the importance of having carbs and protein that can be digested and absorbed at incredibly fast rates during and after exercise.

To me, it has always made sense that ingesting essential amino acids as a supplement would provide the fastest possible way in getting them into your blood. However, I had assumed that I must be wrong since I had not found this mentioned in common research literature. With all the focus on protein and branch chain amino acids, I figured I would forget about my hypothesis.

Well, forgetting about my hypothesis has turned out to be a mistake. Recently I have come across a fair bit of research in support of my hypothesis.

The majority of studies that have focused on nutrient timing have looked at the acute effect of amino acid ingestion, but the majority of training studies focus on the use of whole protein. It is interesting to note that the benefit from using pre-exercise protein in the form of essential amino acids has been well documented, but this affect is not always observed with the use of whole proteins.

It has been speculated that the differences in the delivery of the amino acids to exercising muscle may be responsible.

The Facts

  • The arterial amino acid concentrations are approximately 100% higher than resting levels after ingestion of essential amino acids  but only 30% after whey protein ingestion 
  • The delivery of amino acids to the active muscle are 7.5 fold greater after the ingestion of essential amino acids
  • But only a 4.4 fold increase when whey protein is ingested 
  • When protein/essential amino acids are combined with carbs, it results in a greater insulin response which resulted in a greater amino acid uptake by muscles.
  • When carbs are added, it has also been found to increase the duration of the anabolic response 

In my opinion, this area of research could create an incredible change in the sport nutrition world and supplement industry.
Before you get all excited about this and go running to the supplement stores and purchase essential amino acids, there are several things you should consider first:

  1. As noted before, almost no studies have looked at amino acids and training 
  2. Because nearly no studies have looked at training we do not know if it will produce significantly better strength, body composition, or the optimal amounts to ingest
  3. Are you getting significantly better results than protein users and are the results great enough to justify the extra expense of the essential amino acids? 
  4. Always remember, people have gotten big and strong for decades before we started amino acid supplementation.

All in All the science behind essential amino acids appears to be fairly amazing and promising. s


  1. Thank you I am glad you enjoyed it

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  1. I think a big reason a lot of people don't speak much about these topics is because they don't look to research. The average person is about 10 years behind whats developed in the academic world.

    It is true 99% of pills are not needed but the 1% when used at the write time can have a dramatic affect on your training and gains.

    As i have noted in previous posts you foundation should always be a good nutrition. Supplements should always remain as an accessory to your good nutrition.