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  1. #1
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Do they serve any useful purpose when taken daily & cycling ?

    Just curious. Anybody have ideas about this?

    I once read that they help with muscle cell rebuilding and such... but I don't know that much about nutrition... I've been taking the regular over-the-counter GNC multi-amino gels for 2 weeks now... I really don't know if they help or not so I wanted to get some input from those that know more.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I use a complex amino and l-glutamine after rides and they seem to help with recovery..

    I just bought some of the amino vital so I will see how this works..

  3. #3
    lillypad
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    Amino acid supplements are really just a way of replacing what your body can get from complete proteins (either animal sources or the right combinations of plant sources). Amino acids are simply the building blocks of protein. When you consume protein, your digestive system breaks it down into these amino acid building blocks. It breaks it down from what it once was (be it chicken, fish, cow, or beans and cornbread) and turns it into what it wants it to be (human muscle tissue). So you can choose to get your protein either from your food or from a bottle but generally the food is cheaper (and tastes a lot better).

    -Lillypad

  4. #4
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    Look into Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's). BCAA's are a good source of energy, and can be utilized DURING muscular exertion, thereby SPARING the utilization and break-down of lean muscle mass.

    Food and dietary habit is always the first consideration, but since BCAA's can play a role during a ride, they're easier and more convienient than carry a porterhouse steak along with you.

    Studies have been mixed when it comes to running and cycling -- but you'll find folks in both camps (used most successfully in bodybuilding).

  5. #5
    lillypad
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank
    Look into Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's). BCAA's are a good source of energy, and can be utilized DURING muscular exertion, thereby SPARING the utilization and break-down of lean muscle mass.

    Food and dietary habit is always the first consideration, but since BCAA's can play a role during a ride, they're easier and more convienient than carry a porterhouse steak along with you.

    Studies have been mixed when it comes to running and cycling -- but you'll find folks in both camps (used most successfully in bodybuilding).

    Proteins are used by the body for energy only as a last resort. Your body much prefers to use carbohydrate (glycogen) or fat stores as energy. If amino acid supplements seem to give you energy, then it is more of just a placebo effect. If you need energy on the go, try something as simple as Gatorade (simple carbos for the short term) or granola bars (for complex carbos for a more extended activity).

  6. #6
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillypad
    Proteins are used by the body for energy only as a last resort. Your body much prefers to use carbohydrate (glycogen) or fat stores as energy. If amino acid supplements seem to give you energy, then it is more of just a placebo effect. If you need energy on the go, try something as simple as Gatorade (simple carbos for the short term) or granola bars (for complex carbos for a more extended activity).


    Then what is the point of taking amino's ??? LOL

    I don't feel any different when I take them, before or after riding...
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  7. #7
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillypad
    Proteins are used by the body for energy only as a last resort. Your body much prefers to use carbohydrate (glycogen) or fat stores as energy. If amino acid supplements seem to give you energy, then it is more of just a placebo effect. If you need energy on the go, try something as simple as Gatorade (simple carbos for the short term) or granola bars (for complex carbos for a more extended activity).

    Of course protein can give you energy; your liver can convert it to sugar. However, the amino supplements are not designed to replace food like so many interpret. They supplement the food you eat, so any answer along the lines of "just eating will give you that" is a partial answer.

    Take glutamine for example, it is a non-essential amino acid so in theory you donít ever need to eat it. However, during exercise (or other stresses) the levels of glutamine in the blood drops due to the demand being much higher than the production rate. In this situation it is called "conditionally essential." To get the amino in during this window you pretty much need a supplement as a steak etc will take far to long to digest.

    As a case study for supplements versus food look at doctors use of glutamine on burn victims. The burns cause so much stress that the body can't keep up with amino production/digestion. While your muscles love fat and carbs for fuel other organs/cells use amino acids directly for energy, specifically your immune system. With infection being the greatest risk for burn victims (and athletes) this is of primary importance thus the supplement. But of course they keep feeding them. Exercise is the same idea but with greatly reduced stressors.

    Donít confuse this with an endorsement of theses products. I am just saying that supplements are on top of food and that food canít always do the job. Also protein is more than just a source of energy like carbs or fat; your body is made of protein.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr
    Then what is the point of taking amino's ??? LOL
    Aminos are the basic building blocks of muscle. Aminos can also trigger anabolism, the cornerstone of muscle growth. While there are nearly two dozen different amino acids, only a select few are absolutely essential for igniting the anabolic drive, as new research has shown. Not surprisingly, these required aminos are the same ones found in human muscle protein.

    Once safely past the liver, uncoupled aminos enter systemic circulation, where they can exert their pharmacological actions-vasodilatation and anabolism. When combined with training, they can actually help your body deliver more nutrients to your working muscles, recover more quickly, and build new muscle mass by enhancing protein synthesis, improving net muscle protein balance, and preventing muscle breakdown.

    Over the years, words like "protein" and "amino acids" have been thrown together so much, they usually mean the same thing to a lot of people. An effective amino supplement can do things whole proteins can't. Now whole or intact protein from food and powders like whey, casein, egg or soy are made up of amino acids linked together by chemical bonds. In the small intestines, special enzymes get to breaking down the dietary proteins in smaller peptides and individual aminos. Whole proteins must first be broken down into these smaller peptides and individual aminos before they can be absorbed. Some measurements indicate that 70-80% of 15g of milk protein in a meal get absorbed in 3 hours.

    While it takes a lot longer for it to get digested, dietary protein is important because it gives your body the basics building blocks it needs-a wide range of amino acids that can be used to restore amino acid levels in the body to help new tissue growth and regulate important bodily functions. For accomplishing these very basic functions, supplement wise, you can't beat protein powders. But think of protein in foods and shakes as gold ore. There's pure gold in the rock, but you've gotta get it out to be able to use it. You can definitely get it out, but it takes more time and work.

    Individual amino acids can produce pharmacological and physiological effects such as anabolism, hormone regulation (growth hormone, insulin), immunomodulation, neurotransmitter function, and the like. Amino acids, in other words, have the ability to be more than just building blocks for the body. Unlike protein powders, aminos can exert certain anabolic and anti-catabolic effects and impact hormonal functions.

    In the real world, what this means is that the right ratios, forms, and kinds of individual aminos can increase strength, shorten recovery times, reduce fatigue, and increase lean mass.

    There are studies that argue that increasing protein intakes too much can actually hurt, not help. This is the Protein Paradox. By eating more protein-rich foods and protein shakes, scientists believe this can actually reduce the availability of aminos in tissues due to wastage (catabolism). This reduction of aminos can then put the brakes on protein synthesis. For example, drinking a lot of whey protein shakes may give you a lot of BCAAs, but with high protein diets, these BCAAs can be quickly catabolized. Over the long run, researchers speculate that high protein diets can lead to metabolic imbalances, deficiencies of key amino acids in the body, and suppress protein synthesis.

    Uncoupled aminos are different in a more fundamental way. They can actually bypass the liver (where aminos are usually deaminated and ultimately converted to urea) and enter systemic circulation. When this happens, the pharmacological benefits can be realized. Here's how it works. When you eat a steak or drink a protein shake, the aminos get caught up and processed in the liver. Uncoupled amino acids, on the other hand, have the ability actually bypass the liver. Once ingested, uncoupled aminos can form a "bolus"-think of this as a therapeutic mass of aminos.

    Due to this protective bolus, when the uncoupled aminos reach the liver, they can escape the liver's processing. In other words, these aminos can enter into systemic circulation quickly and reach their target areas to exert the pharmacological and physiological effects.

    Additionally, only with free "uncoupled" aminos can you precisely complex and formulate the right kinds of aminos, in the right ratios. It's not just a matter of throwing uncoupled aminos in there. You have to also choose the right aminos and in the right amounts relative to the other aminos.

    There are two accepted categories of amino acids: essential (indispensable) and non-essential (dispensable). Essential amino acids (EAA) are those that are, well, essential. The body can't make them on their own; it must obtain them from the foods and supplements you eat. Non-essential amino acids (NEAA), on the other hand, can be synthesized by the body.

    The human body can maintain nitrogen balance on just the essential amino acids if necessary. Non-essential amino acids aren't necessary to stimulate net protein synthesis and anabolism. In concrete terms, researchers at the University of Texas found that a 6g dose of essential amino acids was about twice as effective as a 6g serving of mixed amino acids in stimulating protein synthesis.

    All in all, amino acids are pretty simple things, but supplementation can be complex. It's not just a matter of popping a few amino tablets or drinking a protein shake. With the body in an anabolic state, the body can recover more quickly and efficiently for gains. By taking BCAA's pre- and post-training, the anabolic switch is turned on and remains on during the most critical nutritional window of opportunity.

  9. #9
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Check out the amounts of the most useful aminos in a BCAA's supplement and compare that to a few egg whites or a whey protein drink or bar. Not much need for BCAA's supplements with such good "food" options.

    -Warren

  10. #10
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    ye oldecrank... Thanks for the info.

    Here is a link to what I've been taking for about 2 weeks now. (let me know if you think this is any good, or if you know of a better product).

    http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp...entPage=family

    I have been taking a little more than the dose listed but not all at once.

    what I mean is that sometimes I take it twice a day, once in the morning before I ride to work, and then once in the afternoon when I get home from work.

    I think that might be ok considering the dosages I've seen on the body building equivalents but perhaps you can let me know if its safe to do that or not.


    Thanks !
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  11. #11
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    fordfasterr, the particular GNC product that you're taking is basically powdered protein put into capsules and called an Amino supplement. Actually, they're not being dishonest because it IS an Amino supplement. But that specific one is casein protein -- which is found in most of your bulk protein powders that you mix as a drink. Many companies do this, and they really make a big profit off of it. However, it's not illegal, and it's not dishonest (on the surface anyway).

    What we were talking about above is called uncoupled branched chain amino acids. In addition to the info. that I posted above, continue to do some google searches if you're interested. As mentioned in an even earlier post above, not all studies have reached the same conclusion when it comes to benefits to sports such as cycling, running, etc.

    I'm also involved with bodybuilding and boxing and BCAA's have been around for a long time. I continue to rely on them when cycling season comes around as well.

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