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18.08.2010


Oxidised amino acids during intensive training

Maybe we'll hear nothing more about the study done by biochemists at the Federal University of State of Rio de Janeiro, soon to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Or maybe we will. If that's the case, this animal study marks the start of a new approach to sports nutrition: oxidised amino acids may become something like NO-boosters, hydrolysed proteins or creatine.

Oxidised amino acids during intensive training
A biological obstacle in the way of performance during training is the accumulation of ammonia in the blood. We experience this as fatigue. Under normal conditions ammonia is the waste product from protein metabolism, but during an intensive training session the main source of ammonia is the increased production of the energy molecule ATP in the muscle.

In all these processes the body first converts amino acids into their keto-analogues. And in this process the amino group separates from the amino acid in the form of ammonia. The body can also do the opposite, attaching amino groups to keto-amino acids. That's why doctors use keto-amino acids as a medicine to treat chronic kidney disease. In patients suffering from kidney disease the amount of ammonia in the blood increases dramatically, but the keto-amino acids in a medicine like Ketosteril [see above] lower the concentration.

So could this also work in athletes? Or people who do sports that involve high intensity training? This is what the Brazilians wanted to know.

They tested the idea out on young male rats, of which half had learned to do a kind of strength training on a machine. [Ex] On the day of the experiment, the fitness rats had to do a total of 50 reps at 75 percent of the weight at which they could just manage 1 rep. The remaining half of the lab animals did nothing.

Half of the fitness rats and half of the inactive rats were given 0.1 g Ketosteril orally one hour before the training session started. [KAAA] That's equivalent to 0.3 g/kg bodyweight. The human equivalent of that dose would be 3-5 g.


Oxidised amino acids during intensive training


The figure below shows that the Ketosteril lowered the concentration of ammonia and urea in the fitness rats. That would suggest that it's better to train after taking a dose of keto-amino acids.


Oxidised amino acids during intensive training


What's more, the supplement reduced the creatinine concentration in both the training and inactive rats. Creatinine is like creatine that's past its sell-by date. It seems that muscle cells become thriftier with creatine if there are keto-amino acids around.


Oxidised amino acids during intensive training


"Acute supplementation of KAAA can be used to reduce the increase in ammonia levels caused by resistance exercise", the Brazilians conclude. "The practical significance of these findings may be important for the individual exerciser and merits further research to examine the efficacy of chronic KAAA intake."

Source:
Br J Nutr. 2010 Jul 2:1-5. [Epub ahead of print].