What are Amino Acids?

Amino Acids are organic molecules that form the basic constituents of protein. Proteins are simply collections of large particles of accumulated links of peptides (or poly-peptides). In the digestion process proteins are broken down, a process called hydrolyzation, from poly-peptides to smaller oligo-peptides, then to di-peptides or tri-peptides, which are made up of two or three links of specific amino acids, called free-form amino acids, that are finally absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, we can see that amino acids are, quite simply, the most basic building blocks of proteins.

Typically, discussions of amino acids revolve around about 20 or so amino acids that are involved in body function. Of these, 8 (some say 10) are deemed to be essential due to the fact that 1) the body cannot make them so they must be taken in from an external source, and 2) the body cannot survive with a deficiency of any one of them. The essential amino acids are: Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Methionine, Lysine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, and Tryptophan. The first three, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are commonly referred to as the branched-chain amino acids and are of particular importance due to their ability to provide the body with about 70% of its nitrogen needs. Studies have shown that a shortage of branched-chain amino acids, coupled with increased physical demands on the body, can lead to a cannibalization of muscle tissue in response to the body's need for nitrogen.

What do Amino Acids Do?

In the human body, amino acids not only form the building blocks of our voluntary, or skeletal, muscle tissue, such as the biceps, quadriceps, etc., but they also form the building blocks of our less ego-oriented involuntary muscles such as the heart. In addition to this muscle building function, each individual amino acid has a specific function in the body. These functions include: assisting in transporting long-chain triglycerides (dietary fat) into the cells for energy, stimulating the pituitary to secrete growth hormone, supplying the body with nitrogen, and many more functions.

Who Should Take Amino Acids?

From the previous discussion we can see that an obvious source of amino acids is from the dietary intake of protein. However, as we will now see there are some reasons that this source may not always be the most desirable. First, a quick look down the nutrition charts will reveal that foods high in protein tend to also be high in fat. Second, as we age, our levels of digestive enzymes tends to decrease, thus impairing our ability to efficiently utilize proteins. At best, our digestive systems are extremely inefficient. Third, for the athlete, meals that present an incomplete amino acid profile (i.e., a shortage of the essential amino acids) into our system will be of marginal use to the muscle-building process. Therefore, a well-balanced amino acid supplement can prove to be extremely cost effective to individuals desiring to maximize their protein intake at a minimal caloric cost.

What Kinds to Take?

As was mentioned earlier, the end products in the digestion (hydrolyzation) of protein are tri-peptides, di-peptides, and free form amino acids. Therefore, it stands to reason, that if we are looking to take in proteins with a minimal amount of further digestion required, then we should try to find protein sources that are already close to this end state. Free-form amino acids and high-degree hydrolysates with a good supply of the eight essentials are excellent choices to fill this need. Unfortunately, there are many suppliers of amino acid supplements that take the "short cut" (to profits) by producing products that are very little more than egg, milk, whey, or soy protein compressed into a pill and sold as an amino acid product. Do these products contain amino acids? Yes. Are you getting a supplement that is going to give you a large amount of usable end products without loss due to digestion? No. A quality amino acid product will either be a complete free form product or a free form/hydrolysate mix that identifies a quality base material, such as casein (milk protein) or egg protein, and that the hydrolyzation process was conducted using the same protein-splitting enzymes that are used in the human digestive process (pancreatic enzymes). As a side issue, there are constructional constraints that make casein the best choice for a base material. In addition, since the object of amino acid supplementation is to rapidly and efficiently supply the body with these protein end products, the notion of timed-release amino acids is rather comical.

Typically, due to its cost to benefit ratio, we will use the hydrolysates for individuals looking to maximize protein at a minimum cost. However, for certain individuals, such as athletes that are within 6 weeks of a bodybuilding contest, we will recommend specific free form configurations. In addition to satisfying an increased protein need, we will suggest specific blends of amino acids such as the branched-chain amino acids, the "GH" releasers, or other configurations based on the individual's needs.

When to Take Amino Acids?

It must be kept in mind that the timing as well as the presence of certain co-factors, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to the success of these programs. By understanding the processes that ultimately lead these building blocks to the muscle cells it is possible to optimize their usage. We always recommend that amino acids (with the exception of specific free form combinations) should be taken with meals. The reasons for this are threefold. First, we are not chickens. We do not deal well with swallowing hard masses. The meal serves as a buffering, or softening, agent for the aminos. Second, if we eat a meal that has a incomplete amino acid profile then the muscle-building benefits will be considerably reduced. A quality amino acid supplement can help us to "get more" from our meals. Third, the transport of amino acids from the bloodstream into the muscle cells appears to be regulated by the hormone insulin. Due to the fact that our meals traditionally have some carbohydrate value, the corresponding insulin release will facilitate the increased utilization of the amino acids. The prior reasoning combined with considerable clinical experience has led us to the practice of this administrative approach that, while flying in the face of traditional "gym wisdom", has allowed us to produce a considerable number of world class athletes.

Capsules vs. Tablets.

One of the more controversial topics regarding aminos today is capsule absorption versus the value of using tablets. In past years, capsules definitely proved to have a quicker entry time into the system. However, this is no longer true. Due to advances in tabletting technology, using magnesium stearate and various brewers yeast bases, the modern tablet today can actually dissolve faster than most capsules. The true value of capsules today is the simple fact that you do not have binders, fillers, or coatings, some of which may contain potentially allergenic factors. Don't let yourself get caught up in the mass advertising hype pertaining to this matter. The simple truth is they are both good. It's simply your choice as to which you prefer to take.

Essential Amino Acids (cannot be produced in the body):

Leucine-Leucine is an essential amino acid that cannot be synthesized by the body but must always be acquired from dietary sources. Leucine promotes the healing of bones, skin, and muscle tissue. Because Leucine cannot be made by the body, it is very important to maintain adequate amounts in your diet or by additional supplementation.

Isoleucine-Isoleucine is necessary for hemoglobin formation, stabilizing and regulating blood sugar and energy levels. Deficiencies may contribute to muscle twitching and tremors.

Lysine-Lysine ensures the adequate absorption of calcium, helps form collagen which makes up bone cartilage and connective tissues, and aids in the production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine is known for its ability to fight the Herpes Simplex-1 virus and cold sores.

Methionine-Methionine is a principal supplier of sulfur which improves the tone of your skin, promotes the growth of and conditions your hair as well as strengthens your nails. The sulfur also protects the cells from airborne pollutants, such as smog, slows down the aging process in the cells, and is involved with the production of protein. Methionine is an excellent chelator of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, binding them and aiding in their excretion from the body. It can also help aid in some cases of allergies because it reduces histamine release.

Phenylalanine-Phenylalanine comes in two forms which mirror each other. L-phenylalanine has nutritional value and D-phenylalanine has painkilling and depression-alleviating properties. DL-phenylalanine is a 50/50 mixture of these two forms. Phenylalanine activity is enhanced by additional vitamin B6, which has been shown by studies on depression.

Threonine-Threonine is an important constituent in many body proteins and is necessary for the formation of tooth enamel protein, elastin, and collagen. It also has a minor role in controlling fat buildup in the liver, helps the digestive and intestinal tracts function more smoothly and can be helpful in some cases of depression.

Tryptophan-This essential amino acid, which many of us recognize with the "overdose" of turkey on Thanksgiving Day, is a great natural relaxant. But more seriously, it helps control hyperactivity, relieves stress, suppresses appetite and enhances the release of growth hormone. There is a common thread here. All of these things are affected by the level of serotonin, which tryptophan is a precursor of. Studies have shown that experimenting with tryptophan supplements with moderately obese people, while on a calorie-restricted diet, more weight was lost than the people who received the placebo.

Valine-Valine is helpful in building muscle (along with leucine and isoleucine) and in liver and gallbladder disease. Valine has a stimulant effect. Healthy growth depends on it. A deficiency results in a negative hydrogen balance.

Non-Essential Amino Amino Acids:

Arginine-Studies have shown that this amino acid promotes improved immune response to bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells. Also promotes wound healing and regeneration of the liver. Arginine also causes the release of growth hormone which is considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair.

Alanine-This non-essential amino acid, which may be considered essential under some circumstances, is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system. Alanine helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids, and may also help stabilize the blood glucose levels in people with hypoglycemia.

Aspartic Acid-Aspartic Acid aids in the expulsion of harmful ammonia from the body. When ammonia enters the circulatory system it acts as a highly toxic substance which can be harmful to the central nervous system. Its ability to increase endurance is thought to be a result of its role in clearing ammonia from the system. Athletes use it to promote stamina and endurance. The popular sweetener Aspartame is a combination of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid is considered nontoxic. Some research has shown that aspartic acid might be useful in opiate withdrawal.

Cystine-Functions as a powerful antioxidant and an immune support substance, neutralizing free radicals. It can help slow down the aging process. It is necessary for the formation of the skin, which aids in the recovery from burns and surgical operations.

Glucosamine-This amino acid consists of glucose combined with Glutamic Acid. Studies have shown that Glucosamine Sulfate may be of use in treating osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. This natural nutrient provides the body with an important raw material that appears to halt the disease process itself. In the body, the main action of glucosamine on joints is to stimulate the manufacture of substances necessary for joint repair. Glucosamine has also been shown to exert a protective effect against joint destruction and, when taken orally, is selectively taken up by joint tissues to exert a powerful therapeutic effect.

Glutamic Acid-This amino acid has been shown to improve mental capacities, speeds the healing process of ulcers and gives a lift from fatigue. It also helps control alcoholism and the craving for sugar.

Glycine-Glycine is required by the body for the maintainence of the central nervous system and in men plays a pivotal role in maintaining healthy prostate functions. It helps trigger the release of oxygen to the energy requiring cell-making process as well as providing nutrients to support a strong immune system. Glycine is also a free radical fighter.

Histidine-This non-essential amino acid is found abundantly in hemoglobin. Histidine maintains nutrients for the myelin sheaths which surround and insulate nerves. Histidine is required for the production of histamine and is often used in the treatment of anemia, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory reactions.

Proline-Proline improves skin texture, aids in the proper functioning of joints and tendons, and also helps maintain and strengthen heart muscles. Proline is most effective when adequate amounts of vitamin C are ingested.

Tyrosine-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is used by the thyroid gland to produce one of the major hormones, Thyroxin. This hormone regulates growth rate, metabolic rate, skin health and mental health. It is used in the treatment of anxiety, allergies, and headaches. Tyrosine can act as a mild appetite suppressant. It may also be useful in the control of anxiety or depression. Tyrosine is known as the "antidepressant" amino acid.

Serine-Serine is needed for the metabolism of fats and fatty acids, muscle growth and a healthy immune system. There is some concern that elevated levels of Serine (especially in sausage and lunch meats) can cause immune suppression and psychological symptoms as in cerebral allergies.

Taurine-Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that functions electrically active tissues such as the brain and heart to help stabilize cell membranes. Supplements decrease the tendency to develop abnormal heart arrythmias after heart attacks. People with congestive heart failure have also responded to supplementation with improved cardiac and respiratory function.

Diamond 100% Whey Protein - Enjoy this high quality 100% whey protein isolates in an attempt to boost strength levels, enhance gains in muscle size, and prevent muscle tissue breakdown that can occur subsequent to strenuous exercise. Try supplementing this whey protein with our Primavar Xtreme in order to get maximum results in increasing your body muscle mass and supply your body with the right nutrients. Diamond Nutrition Whey Protein is a high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade protein supplement. Each serving delivers high biologically-valued protein, 1 gram of fat, and only 1.5 grams of carbohydrates which makes it an excellent choice for individuals on low-carbohydrate diets. Diamond Whey is made from non-denatured, ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate, cross-flow microfiltration and ion-exchange whey protein isolates, and low molecular weight whey peptides. This combination provides high biological value and absorbability while virtually eliminating the lactose. Diamond Whey Protein provides an excellent balance of essential and non-essential amino acids including glutamine peptides and a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids, this improves nitrogen retention and muscle growth. This product is an instanized formula that mixes easily with a spoon and tastes delicious mixed with skim milk or water. For added protein, try mixing one scoop with your oatmeal, yogurt, muffins or pancake recipes.

Diamond Creatine - Creatine Monohydrate is an essential player in one of the three primary energy systems used for muscle contraction. It exist in the muscle fiber as free(chemically unbound) creatine and as creatine phosphate. When your muscles contract, the initial fuel for this movement is a compound called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP provides its energy by releasing one of its phosphate molecules. It then becomes a different compound called ADP (adenosine diphosphate).For this ATP energy to continue, more ATP has to be produced, Creatine phosphate comes to the rescue by giving up its phosphate molecule to ADP, recreating ATP.

Diamond Anabolic Amino 10000 - Amino acids are organic molecules that form the basic constituents of protein. proteins are simply collections of large particles of accumulated links of peptides (or poly-peptides). In the digestion process proteins are broken down, in a process called hydrolyzation, from poly-peptides to smaller oligo-peptides, then to di-peptides or tri-peptides, which are made up of two or three links of specific amino acids, called free form amino acids, that are finally absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, we can see that amino acids are, quite simply, the most basic building blocks of proteins. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria & viruses; they're part of the enzym & hormonal system; they build nucleoproteins (RNA & DNA); they carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity. When protein is broken down by digestion the result is 22 known amino acids. Eight are essentials (can't be manufactured by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition).

DNI LIQUID AMINO (32 fl.oz / 946ml) - DNI Liquid Amino 23000 is made from the finest quality and the most effective free form, peptide bonded and free-flowing amino acid sources. DNI Liquid Amino 23000 is a fast-acting, easily-digested liquid concentrate that provides a full spectrum of essential, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), and non-essential amino acids. Each serving of DNI Liquid Amino 23000 contains 23 grams of high quality protein, derived from natural enzyme hydrolyzed gelatin and whey protein isolate. Amino Acids are the building blocks of muscles and are essential to help create and maintain positive nitrogen balance, which is important for new muscle growth. Amino Acids also play a key role in preventing catabolic breakdown of muscle proteins, which help to rebuild muscle tissue after intensive exercise. Amino Acids are essential for the synthesis of structural proteins, enzymes, some hormones and neurotransmitters.

Weight Gainer XXXL 5 LBS - THE GREATEST HIGH-PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT IN THE WORLD CAN HELP YOU PACK ON THE POUNDS OF MUSCLES. TRIPLE XXXL 5 LBS  from DIAMOND NUTRITION is a powerful mass-gaining support formula designed to promote size on the hardest gainers. This powerful formula delivers more protein (52g) and calories(88g). We emphasize the amount of protein per serving since it is the essential nutrient that promotes muscle mass. We use only cross-flow micro-filtered, cold-processed, ion-exchanged whey. This protein has a superior amino acid profile, unbeatable Bio-availablility, is low in lactose and is instantized for easy mixing without a blender. You simply will not find a protein of this grade used in other weight-gain formulas. This formula also contains a unique blend of carbohydrates to help fuel and support weight training. Fat, although shunned by some, is a highly concentrated energy source (double that of protein or carbohydrates). Fat is also a necessary component of all cell membranes, nerve covering, digestive secretions, and most importantly, hormones production. A diet too low in fats are contained in TRIPLE XXXL. For best results, combine TRIPLE XXXL with a sensible diet and intense training program.

NOXIDEOLOGY (PRE-WORKOUT) - Noxideology delievers an advance formula of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidents that your body and muscles need when you
workout, without feeding you unnecessary fillers. Noxideology ignites Nitric Oxide production which expands blood vessels so your muscles get fed at the nutrients and minerals required for increased growth. Noxideology maximizes your strength, energy, and increase your focus during workout. Noxideology advance powerful formula helps you achieve your ultimate results better, and faster because every ingredient has been included to help you get the most out of your workout. Also Noxideology helps you reduce soreness, pain, and speeds up your recovery process.

AM. MAX FAT BURNERS - AM. MAX Fat Burners is an ultra-potent synergistic formulation that produces unprecedented increases in metabolic activity and caloric expenditure.It is an Ephedrine-Free Thermogenic formula to promote energy, fat loss, and lean muscle appearance. It's perfect for anyone who wants to decrease their appetite and lose weight. AM. MAX Fat Burners provides a premium blend of natural ingredients formulated to promote thermo genesis (fat burning), appetite control, and increased energy levels. AM. MAX Fat Burners will help you achieve your fat loss goals. AM. MAX Fat Burners also helps in cutting down on sugar cravings and assist you to create all day energy without the crash effect. It is simply a weight loss supplements that work to increase metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories while boosting energy.

GLUTAMINE - Diamond Nutrition L-Glutamine is 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Micronized (Crystalline) L-Glutamine derived from the purest source available Glutamine, a flavorless, easy mixing free amino acids. Glutamine is the most abundant single amino acids found in skeletal muscle and it is widely believed to help with muscle cell volumization. It is the most important amino acid because it plays an important role in strengthening the immune system, transporting nitrogen, and supporting protein synthesis. Glutamine is essential in repairing muscles and assists in the production of Human Growth Hormone. L-Glutamine may help to improve muscle recovery, and assists in recovery from Catabolic conditions. Glutamine can also enhance the uptake of the muscle fuel glycogen, and helps stimulate fat loss and increased metabolism. The usage of Glutamine helps balance lactic acid build-up and cortisol levels.

L-Glutamine plays an important role especially during periods of intense training, levels of this amino acid can decline and our bodies may not be able to make enough of it. This can result in depleted L-Glutamine levels in our muscles and thus cause muscle-tissue breakdown. Therefore, it is highly recommended that during periods of physical training, supplement the diet with 5 grams of L-Glutamine twice daily. Enhance your training and nutrition program with Glutamine powder. By supplementing the diet with L-Glutamine, weight training athletes may be able to prevent muscle tissue breakdown and help promote cell volumization.

DNI ANABOLIC AMINO 2222 - Anabolic Amino 2222 Caps (325 Capsules) contain 2,222 miligrams (2,222mg) per serving (2 Capsules) belnd of amino acids derived from Whey Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Peptides, L-Carnitne and L-Ornithine HCL.

Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, consume 2 capsules before each meal and again before and after training, or use as directed by a physician or licensed nutritionist

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