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Everything You Need to Know About How to Use Amino Acids for Muscle Gain, Appetite Control, Injury Repair, Ketosis and More

by Ben Greenfield

It seems these days that the building blocks of proteins, affectionately known as “amino acids”, are viewed as tiny little gold nuggets that bestow superhuman powers upon anyone lucky enough to stumble upon them in a sports gel, capsule, fizzy drink or cocktail.

After all, these little guys are starting to get put by nutrition supplement manufacturers into just about everything: from your engineered pre-workout snack, to your during workout beverage, to your post-workout smoothie mix.

But why are amino acids so prevalent now as the “darling” of the supplement industry?

And more importantly, do amino acids actually work any better or differently than, say, protein powder or eggs or a steak?

And of course, when it comes to your hard-earned dollars and which supplements you “prioritize”, do amino acids really help you exercise or function… or are nutrition supplement companies pulling a fast one on you?

You're about to find out and have a bit of educational fun in the process.

——————————

How Amino Acids Work

Let's start by taking a trip down memory lane.

When I took my freshman level biology class at the University of Idaho, my professor described muscle like a big Lego castle (or Lego pirate ship, depending on your tastes), and then described amino acids as all the little Lego parts that made up the giant Lego structure (your muscle).

Convenient explanation? Yes. Complete explanation? Not exactly.

See, the role of amino acids goes way beyond being Lego-like building blocks. Amino acids are essential for the synthesis of proteins, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolic pathways, mental stabilization, and just about every function that takes place within your body.

So, using the “Legos-are-amino-acids” example, a more appropriate analogy would be that you dump all the Legos out of the box and they self-assemble in a magic pirate ship, then float into the air and fly around the room shooting miniature cannon balls at pesky flies, fixing holes in the drywall of your house, and then tucking you into bed for a refreshing night of deep sleep.

In other words, the function of amino acids goes far beyond being simple “building blocks”.

In the nutrition supplement industry (when I use that word, it seems to denote big fat guys in black suits sitting around an oak conference table, but in reality, most of these folks are skinny athletes in white shoes and geeky shorts), amino acid supplements fall into two basic categories: Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).

And there's plenty of confusion about the difference between EAAs and BCAAs.

So let's start with the first category: the EAAs (and by the way, using the acronym like I do will make you seem super smart if you hang around any bros at the gym).

—————————–

Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids, as the name implies, are essential because they can't simply be made by your body like all the other amino acids can. Instead, you have to get EAAs from your diet or other exogenous sources.

Have you ever heard of Private Tim Hall, AKA Pvt. Tim Hall? If you're a biology or chemistry geek, you probably have, because his name is the mnemonic commonly used to remember these essential amino acids, which are, drumroll please:

Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Methionine, Histidine, Arginine, Leucine and Lysine.

Get it? PVT Tim Hall?

Thanks, Tim. We'll send you a check if we ever win money in Biology Trivial Pursuit.

Anyways, let's take a look at why the heck Pvt. Tim might do us good during exercise, starting with P.

P: Phenylalanine is traditionally marketed for its analgesic (pain-killing) and antidepressant effect, and is a precursor to the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine, two “feel-good” brain chemicals. This could be good because elevated brain levels of norepinephrine and dopamine may actually lower your “RPE” or Rating of Perceived Exertion During Exercise, which means you could be happier when you're suffering halfway through a killer workout session, an Ironman bike ride, an obstacle race, or any voluminous or intense event.

V: Valine, along with Isoleucine and Leucine, is a real player because it is BOTH an Essential Amino Acid and a Branched Chain Amino Acid. It can help to prevent muscle proteins from breaking down during exercise. This means that if you take Valine during exercise, you could recover faster because you'd have less muscle damage. More details on that below, when we delve into BCAAs.

T: Threonine research is a bit scant. I personally couldn't find much at all that explained why threonine could assist with exercise performance, but would hazard a guess that it is included in essential amino acid supplements because it is just that: essential. And many of the studies done on EAAs just basically use all of them, rather than isolating one, like Threonine. For example, (and this is a bit interesting for people who are masochistic enough to like working out starved) there is a significant muscle-preserving effect of an essential amino acids supplement when ingested during training in a fasted state, and this includes decreased indicators of muscle damage and inflammation. This basically means that if you popped some essential amino acids, even if you didn't eat anything, you wouldn't “cannibalize” as much lean muscle during a fasted workout session.

OK, sorry, I got sidetracked there.

T: Tryptophan is an interesting one. It is a precursor for serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that can suppress pain, and if you're taking some before bed at night, it even induces a bit of sleepiness. The main reason to take tryptophan would be to increase tolerance to pain during hard workouts, games or races. But studies to this point go back and forth on whether or not that actually improves performance.

I: Isoleucine, another BCAA that has some of the same advantages of Valine. Again…more on BCAAs coming in a sec.

M: Methionine helps your body process and eliminate fat. It contains sulfur, a substance that is required for the production of the body’s most abundant natural antioxidant, glutathione. Your body also needs plenty of methionine to produce two other sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine and taurine, which help the body eliminate toxins, build strong, healthy tissues, and promote cardiovascular health. Methionine is a “lipotropic”, which means it helps your liver process fats, prevents accumulation of fat in the liver and ensures normal liver function, which is essential for the elimination of toxins from your body. Methionine also supports liver function by regulating glutathione supplies – glutathione is needed to help neutralize toxins in the liver.

H: Histidine, as the name implies, is a precursor to histamine, and actually has some antioxidant properties and plays a key role in carnosine synthesis. What does that mean, exactly? Here's a clarification: histamine could help you fight off the cell-damaging free radicals you produce during exercise, and carnosine helps you get rid of muscle burn more quickly, and helps turn lactic acid back into useable muscle fuel. Interestingly, though histidine is often listed as “essential,” it is not technically essential, because when you take an EAA supplement, the levels of histidine in your blood will rise within one hour. But Tim and biology professors worldwide might be pissed if we abbreviate Tim Hall to Tim All, so we'll roll with the mnemonic for now.

A: Next is arginine, and if you're reading this and you're an old man who has relied on a little blue pill called Viagra to have a happier time in the sack, you can thank arginine. Arginine helps with nitric oxide synthesis, and nitric oxide is a vasodilator that increases blood flow and could help with exercise capacity (in the case of the blue pill, for one specific body part). Most of the studies on arginine show that it also helps folks with cardiovascular disease improve exercise capacity.

L: Leucine is yet another BCAA. Yes, as I keep promising, we will get to BCAAs very soon.

L: Lysine is something my Mom used to take to help cold sores that she got from eating citrusy foods. That's basically because it helps heal mouth tissue. But more importantly for exercising individuals, lysine may actually assist with growth-hormone release, which could vastly improve muscle repair and recovery, although if you take lysine in it's isolated form, the amount you'd have to take to increase growth hormone release would cause gastrointestinal distress, or as I like to call it, sad poopies. But combined with all the other essential amino acids, there may be a growth hormone response in smaller doses, and there is some clinical evidence that essential amino acid supplementation could stimulate growth hormone releasing factors.

OK, that almost wraps it up for good ol' Private Tim Hall.

The only thing I didn't mention is that the EAAs have a bit of an insulin and cortisol increasing effect, which confuses some people as to why EAAs would be good. But before you draw back in shock and go flush all your essential amino acids down the toilet because you heard insulin and cortisol make you fat, remember that both insulin and cortisol are crucial (in smaller amounts) for the “anabolic process”, or the growth, repair and recovery of lean muscle tissue.

So the amount of these hormones you get in essential amino acids is far different than the stress and insulin and cortisol response you get from, say, doing burpees with your mother-in-law while eating a pint of ice cream smothered in whiskey while working on an all-nighter project for work.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Next come BCAAs, the slightly less well-endowed (albeit much cheaper) cousin of EAAs.

BCAAs are quite interesting because they are metabolized in your muscle, rather than in the liver. This means that BCAAs, without any requirement for much digestion or “processing” at all, can be relied on as an actual energy source during exercise, and could, therefore, prevent premature muscle breakdown. There was actually one compelling study done by a guy named Ohtani that showed exercising individuals who got BCAAs had better exercise efficiency and exercise capacity compared to a group that didn't get BCAAs.

Other studies have found that BCAAs could increase a variety of factors that are really useful for anyone who cares about their physical performance…like red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit and serum albumin. They can also lower fasting blood glucose and decrease creatine phosphokinase, which means less inflammation, better red blood cell formation, and better formation of storage carbohydrate.

But that ain't all.

BCAA supplementation after exercise has been shown to cause faster recovery of muscle strength, and even more interestingly, the ability to slow down muscle breakdown even during intense training and “overreaching” (getting very close to overtraining). Just Google the branched chain amino acid studies by Sugita and Kraemer for more on that (yes, shocker, this is a blog post, and not a peer-reviewed scientific journal report with full citations, because if it was the latter, you'd be asleep by now – so if you're a science nazi, then go get busy on Google scholar).

OK, so continuing onto with the many cool things that BCAAs can do…

When you supplement with BCAAs, they can decrease the blood indicators of muscle tissue damage after long periods of exercise, thus indicating reduced muscle damage. They also help maintain higher blood levels of amino acids, which, if you recall from the EAA explanation above, can make you feel happier even when you're suffering hard during exercise. So as you may have guessed, low blood levels of BCAAs are correlated with increased fatigue and reduced physical performance.

Heck, they even use BCAAs in medicine. BCAAs could help people recover from liver disease, could assist with improvements in patients with lateral sclerosis, and could help recovery in patients who have gone through trauma, extreme physical stress (can you say “triathlon”, “Crossfit WOD”, “obstacle race” or “airline travel”?), kidney failure, and burns.

But here is what I think could be the two most interesting things about BCAAs, especially for fat loss:

1. In his book, “SuperHealth: The Last Diet You'll Ever Need”, my friend KC Craichy swears by them for significantly decreasing your appetite when taken 30-60 minutes prior to exercise.

2. When taken prior to a fasted exercise session, BCAAs could increase fat oxidation (and yes, I'll actually cite a study for this one, it was “Branched-chain amino acids supplementation enhances exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion.“, by Gualano, et al)

3. My friend Dominic D' Agostino, ketosis researcher at the University of Florida, swears by BCAAs for maintaining high-intensity performance while in ketosis, a strategy he recently outlined in a recent ketosis podcast with Tim Ferris.

——————————-

How To Use EAAs and BCAAs

So if you've stayed with me so far, here's the takeaway message about amino acids:

“If all EAAs are present, your appetite is satiated, muscle repair and recovery can start before you're even done with your workout, and when you need a fast, nearly instantly absorbable form of protein or you're mentally stretched toward the end of a tough workout, game or race, high blood levels of amino acids can allow the body and brain to continue to both repair and to work hard instead of getting cannibalized and shutting down.”

Based on all this, do I take amino acids?

You bet I do.

And I swear by them for enhancing mental focus during a workout, keeping me from cannibalizing muscle (especially during fasted morning workout sessions), and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

When racing triathlons or obstacle races or other long competitive events, I pop 5-10 grams of amino acids per hour, and after hard workouts, I'll pop another 5-10 grams of amino acids, often with a glass of wine (wine, although a tasty post-workout treat to finish off a hard evening workout, sadly does not contain any actual protein, darn it).

I also use these aminos when I can't get my hands on quality protein, such as when I don't have time to make a real meal after a workout, or on a plane flight when the “fish” that gets shoved in front of you in the airline meal appears to be a rubber doggie toy laced with chemicals, or during a week or a day when I'm limiting meat consumption (shocker for bacon enthusiasts: I actually do occasionally limit meat consumption as a longevity-enhancing technique).

Now here's what I didn't tell you yet, and something that is going to save you a ton of trouble when it comes to how many “bottles” of different supplements you use: any essential amino acid blend also contains all the BCAAs. So if you use an EAA formulation that is in the proper ratios, you get every single benefit you just read about in this article, without having to buy both EAAs and BCAAs.

That's why I don't use BCAAs. Not only are they only giving me less than half of the amino acid needs, but they also aren't necessary in a protocol that already includes EAAs. I only use EAAs.

So which amino acids do I personally take?

I can tell you that I do not take the popular brands that have artificial sweeteners like sucralose or added sugars like maltodextrin.

I also do not take any amino acids that don't come in the necessary ratios, because I do not want to completely waste my money, a concept Dr. David Minkoff has delved into when I've interviewed him for my podcast.

I rarely use powders simply because they're harder for me to travel with and more time-consuming to mix.

Instead, I use an essential amino acids blend called “Kion Aminos“, which comes in a convenient, portable tablet form. Each capsule contains exactly one gram of EAAs (easy for calculating your dosages) and contains every single amino acid you've just read about in the exact ratios necessary for achieving lean muscle maintenance, immune system health, injury healing, staving off central nervous system fatigue during exercise, controlling food cravings, and every other benefit you've just got done reading about.

So why are Kion Aminos any different than other protein sources?

It all comes down to quality. The Amino Acid Utilization (AAU™) that Kion Aminos offers is dramatically greater than dietary protein sources.

  • At the low end of the spectrum are branched chain amino acids – only 1% of their content is utilized by the body, with 99% resulting in waste that your body must then process and eliminate.
  • Next are whey and soy proteins – only 18% or less of their content is utilized by the body with 83% leaving as waste.
  • Food like meat, fish and poultry fare just a bit better, with 32% being absorbed and 68% being wasted.
  • Eggs are the winners in the food category with 48% being utilized and 52% converted to waste.

Now…

…compare those numbers to Kion Aminos – a massive 99% is put to work by the body, with only 1% leaving as waste. Not only that, but Kion Aminos is absorbed by the body within 23 minutes. And there is only 0.4 of a calorie per tablet.

So this means that unlike, say, whey protein powder or meat or eggs or nuts, which can take hours to digest and absorb, Kion Aminos is fully digested within 23 minutes from its ingestion.

In addition, Dr. David Minkoff, who helped develop the Kion Aminos blend, tested the top-selling amino acid blends on the market, including BCAAs. The net utilization of these blends, which is the percentage of them actually used by the body to make protein, only ranged from 0% (yes, 0%) to 20%. This seems pretty lousy when you compare to the Kion Aminos utilization of 99%. Even spirulina was tested, and I've talked about spirulina before as a much-hallowed protein preference of vegans and vegetarians worldwide. But of 24 different spirulina products tested, the utilization ranged from a low of 0% utilized to a maximum of 6%. So spirulina may grow whales, but it is not necessarily a good protein source when compared to Kion Aminos for humans.

On an airplane? I pop 10 with a can of club soda to crush food cravings and keep me from digging around in my bag for chocolate.

Post-workout? I take 5-10 immediately, which is much easier than mixing a protein shake (and zero calories for those of you wanting recovery without the calories).

Injured or sick? I'll take up to 30 in a single day to give my body extra protein without creating digestive strain or inflammation.

Click here to try a bottle of Kion Aminos now.

Enjoy, and leave your questions, comments or feedback about amino acids below.

 

96 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About How to Use Amino Acids for Muscle Gain, Appetite Control, Injury Repair, Ketosis and More

  1. Ive been taking the Kion EAAs post workout along with whey protein from Onnit. Is it redundant doing things that way? I workout in the morning fasted but don’t want to stop cellular autophagy until post workout, when I hit around a 13 hr fast

    1. Hey Jeff! It’s not redundant per se, but it is best to take the Aminos 30 minutes away from food as that hinders the absorption. Maybe try taking the Aminos directly after your workout, and then 30 minutes-1 hour later having your protein shake!

  2. I just went right to reply, so forgive if i am being redundant with the group

    Does the powder form of Kion Aminos break a fast? I am looking to take the powder form during the 5 day challenge next week and want to do the Non Calorie Liquid Fast.

    Thank you so much in advance !

    1. Hi Anthony – Curious if you’ve been able to check out the Fasting Decoded guide that comes in an email when you opt-in for the Challenge? We answer this question in depth in that guide! If you haven’t officially opted in, you can do so and get your Fasting Decoded guide here: getkion.com/fasting

      In short – No, Kion Aminos will not break your fast UNLESS you are fasting purely for autophagy. They can stimulate the mTor pathway. There is no difference between the powder and tablets when it comes to fasting. Hope that helps!

  3. Good morning, Team Kion…

    Are there any possible negative side effects to adding my EAAs to my diet? With some BCAAs there have been reported skin irritations, etc…

    Best,

    Michael.

  4. Hi Ben,

    Is there any research that clearly shows a statistically-significant benefit to using EAAs with regard to injury repair?

    1. Hi Krysten, great question. There are quite a few studies out there that show the correlation between EAAs and exercise-related injury recovery, but check this one out: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s41110-018-0084-z

  5. I teach Pound (a high intensity cardio drumming workout) and now that the warm weather is here we move our classes outside to a marina-type setting. Muscle fatigue sets in very quickly on the pavement and I just ordered Kion EAA powder hoping it will help keep me feeling energized throughout the hour workout and hopefully help my muscles (especially quads and posterior chain!) recover faster. Any thoughts?

    1. EAA supplementation is a great first step for dealing with sore muscles! You also might want to look into electrolyte supplementation since you’re training in the hot summer sun. We hope Kion Aminos help keep your energy up!

  6. If only 18% of whey protein is utilized, is the recommended grams of kion aminos per day less than the recommended grams of protein?

    1. We recommend five-gram servings of Kion Aminos and no more than six servings per day. Keep in mind that they’re meant to supplement other sources of dietary protein, not replace them altogether!

  7. I’m reading that EAA’s don’t really break a fast, but do they stall autophagy? I’m reading that Leucine in particular breaks a fast. I’ve been taking them during my 16 hour fasting windows and they are so helpful in regulating appetite. But I don’t want to use them if they get in the way of autophagy . Thanks

  8. Hello Ben and Team Kion,
    Wish I were in Boulder instead of Texas, but at least I’m in Austin…
    Anyways, thank you so much for making this Amino blend. I use the powder as I do not travel much. I recently started using the Kion Aminos as part of my morning routine and wow, what a difference they make.
    I am not the type that is generally very sensitive to supplements and such (at least not right away), but the Kion Aminos are different. I consider myself a high energy person and others would agree, but since I started taking the Kion Aminos, my energy has gone to another level. And I noticed this effect almost immediately. I am not sure why this is, but it is an amazing feeling and these will definitely [at least] remain a part of my morning routine indefinitely.
    Just out of curiosity, might you be able to explain the dramatic increase in energy from the Kion Aminos?
    Thanks again and please keep the Kion train rolling.
    Your Friend and Forever Fan,
    Levi Cardinal
    P.S. I also basically only drink Kion Coffe now and the Oregeno Oil is also part of my arsenal.

    1. It’s complicated. But you will still reap nearly all, if not all, benefits of your fast while taking EAAs, even if some consider it technically “breaking” your fast.

      1. Does over consumption of EAAs lead to an increase in blood glucose and inflammation like exceess protein intake does from steak, chicken, etc?

  9. I train pretty heavy MWSa at 10am, typically getting up at 8-8:30a. The outcome is to gain strength, be stable, flexible, look good naked, etc. Tarzan-like qualities if you will. So Im doing some heavier lifting and some kettle bell work in there also to add some more dynamic movements. I always workout fasted and the workouts last about an hour. I take a scoop of KION aminos 30min before my workouts and feel great typically. I just wanted to get some thoughts on consistently working out fasted in the mornings like that. I notice my hair will periodically fall out at a higher rate some weeks vs others but aside from that I seem to be doing well. I have achieved some great results but I dont want let any health consequences go overlooked for too long if there are any to training fasted all the time with just aminos early in the morning. Does this approach seem good? What could I change/add? Thanks for reading!

    1. Hi there, For something like this, I would recommend looking into coaching: GetKion.com/coaching. …or posting to the Kion Community where you’ll find like-minded individuals who both have advice and are seeking advice: Facebook.com/groups/GetKion.

  10. I read somewhere the insulin is needed to unlock the muscle cell door so that amino acids can absorb into the muscle cell. Is that the same with kion aminos? Do they also need insulin to unlock the muscle cell door to let in those aminos or will they absorb in without the insulin unlocking effect? Thanks

    1. Hi George, Your body’s own natural circulating insulin levels are more than enough for this, although pre/post workout they get amped up even more.

  11. I’m A woman 65 years old just went through gallbladder surgery that like I lost a lot of muscle with this be a product for me to rebuild muscle

    1. EAAs are great for building muscle, but we do recommend speaking to your doctor about any supplements you plan to take after surgery.

  12. I recently started taking the powder form EAA’s. I took 1 scoop before bed and it helped relax me and get a good night of sleep. However I tried taking 1 scoop fasted in the morning prior to my workout and felt drowsy. Is drowsiness a common symptom? Thank you.

  13. Lots of information and technical terms, I am trying to keep up! I just turned 40, and I want to be leaner (way leaner) and have more energy. This works for those things as well. I have BCAA powder but I never really knew what I was doing with it. I’d love to try the Kion Aminos if you think it aligns with what I’m trying to accomplish.
    TIA.

    Amy

  14. Hi Ben and team,

    I’m on strict keto diet + fast regularly to combat brain cancer. I feel great and workout. I bought the Kion Aminos in powder form to help with muscle recovery and stress on kidneys from being on extended fast and doing hard workouts. It seems some AA’s promote cell growth (glycine) while others are beneficial to thwart cancer (lysine). Is your product recommended for folks who may be battling a disease like the one described? Also, is the Kion Amino mix EAA or BCAA’s or both? Its not quite clear to me what AA’s are included and what type it is? I’m a layperson. Sorry. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Oscar, we can’t recommend our products to treat any particular diseases, so I would recommend discussing this with your doctor. As far as your question about Kion Aminos – They are EAAs. EAAs include BCAAs, they are just more complete you could say.

  15. What if you never work out? My doctor has me on a very strict keto diet (high fat, low protein, no carbs) and only light exercise. Looking at amino acids to heal the body, reduce inflammation, and increase fertility.
    Would these EAA’s be beneficial for me?

    1. Bonnie, Aminos aren’t just for people who work out. We always recommend checking with your doctor before adding any new medications or supplements to your regimen, but check out this supplement guide for all the ways you can use Kion Aminos.

  16. I read on the instructions today while taking them that you should not use any dietary fats for 20mins. Curious why this is? Sorry if I missed it in the article but cant remember any mention of the “why”.

    Thanks

    1. Good question, Adam. You get optimum absorption on an empty stomach. It’s OK to have fats, you just won’t get quite as complete an absorption.

      1. So following on this question, it says that consume after 2 hours of protein and fat intake. But when I go to the gym on an empty stomach I do feel hungry and weaker even though I take EAAs. Is eating some type of food like banana could help while protecting fully absorption?

        1. Yes, a clean source of carbohydrates would be better to use with Aminos than something that is more protein/fat dense from an absorption perspective… However, the carbs in the banana would cause a blood glucose response that may kick you out of ketosis.

  17. Hey Ben, I bought some a while ago and have used them to train.. great stuff. More importantly , I used them on a 52 mile Rim2Rim2Rim Grand canyon run… they were absolutely phenomenal, lightened my load and kept me going strong!! I popped 4 tabs every 2 hours.. probably could of used more!!

    1. Nowell, We can’t tell you what you should do with your BCAAs. If it were me I certainly wouldn’t want them to be thrown away. Even though we sell and recommend EAAs, the article still highlights some benefits of BCAAs.

  18. You guys say that only 18% of whey and soy protein is utilized by the body, but is this still the case for other sorts of protein? i.e. pea protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin protein

    1. Hi Christopher. Yes, but a little trick for increasing their availability is taking digestive enzymes first.

  19. I keep reading conflicting info on whether it is best to take pre or post workout? For someone that is not an intense athlete, just fair 30-60 minute work outs.

    1. Hi there, we think it all depends on the person and whether or not you need a little pre-workout boost. Post-workout supplements can be great for recovery. You could read more about that in this article.

  20. Does this list include sulfur? I have heard a lot about sulfur, but ensuring it is not in a toxic form…. thank you.

    1. Methionine helps your body process and eliminate fat. It contains sulfur, a substance that is required for the production of the body’s most abundant natural antioxidant, glutathione. Your body also needs plenty of methionine to produce two other sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine and taurine, which help the body eliminate toxins, build strong, healthy tissues, and promote cardiovascular health. Methionine is a “lipotropic”, which means it helps your liver process fats, prevents accumulation of fat in the liver and ensures normal liver function, which is essential for the elimination of toxins from your body. Methionine also supports liver function by regulating glutathione supplies – glutathione is needed to help neutralize toxins in the liver.

  21. I’m a moderately skinny guy trying to put on strength and weight. Is it overkill to take Kion Aminos + Creatine? Will the Kion Aminos give me what I need on their own? Any kidney or liver issues to look out for?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Sam, It’s always best to speak with your doctor before taking/mixing supplements, and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. We think that sounds like a great stack though and have seen zero evidence of kidney or liver issues with those supplements.

  22. I am trying to change my body composition. From 28% body fat to 17-20% body fat. I easily do hiit exercising early in the morning fasted, will this help my fat burning shredding if I take it 30 minutes before my work out? Do I take it after my workout because I am on calorie restriction plan eating only whole organic nutritious greens, vegetables, and organic chicken, organic eggs?

    1. Hi Tamara, Kion Aminos can help you stave off hunger during fasted workouts. You may want to also check out Kion Lean. Also, refer to this Supplement Guide for more information on when to take Aminos and other Kion supplements.

  23. So is a supplement like this necessary if you already take whey protein? I see that Kion AA are absorbed faster but will i still the same benefits from Whey? Thanks for the interesting article!

  24. I don’t buy Proprietary Blends, i like to know exactly what i’m taking in individual dosages listed in the ingredients.

    1. Hi Scott, there are countless amino acid products on the market, and we are unable to speak to the quality of any but our own.

      Kion Aminos tablets contain one gram of essential amino acids per tablet, with NO binders, fillers, stearates, coating or dye. Just eight essential amino acids formulated to be in the perfect ratio for your body’s absorption and utilization.

      Kion Aminos are also free of nuts, soy, dairy, gluten, and GMOs.

      The powdered version of Kion Aminos has citric acid, malic acid, sunflower lecithin, stevia and lemon-lime flavor.

      1. They do break down fast! Get your water glass ready. I threw a few back and they started to dissolve right away.

    1. Hi Austin, thank you for your question. Yes, we believe they will when partnered with an adequate diet and strength training routine as they contain protein/the building blocks for muscle recovery.

    1. Hi Ian,

      There is debate as to whether histidine is an essential amino acid because the body can produce it on its own. It seems best classified as semi-essential because adults can typically produce enough histidine from other amino acids in the liver to support the body’s daily needs. However, children must obtain histidine in their diet. It is easily obtained in foods such as meat, dairy and some grains.

      As far is arginine is concerned, this is classified as a semi-essential or conditionally essential amino acid, depending on the developmental stage and health status of the individual. Preterm infants are unable to synthesize or create arginine internally, making the amino acid nutritionally essential for them, but not for healthy adults.

  25. What about a powder form? I would rather drink than take 10 tablets. Powders also seem to be more cost effective. 10-20. Tabs a day will be 1-2 bottles a month.

  26. Would these Aminos be good to take before and after playing in golf tournaments? I seem to lose stamina toward the end of rounds?

  27. More of a question….taking NO Xplode 1/2 before on lifting days…now that I have the Aminos..can I continue to take the NO or should I stop? Also…I can use them before aerobic activities also…correct?
    Thanks
    Jim

    1. Ryan, 30 grams of EAAs are equivalent to 30 grams of protein, so yes that could replace 30 grams from other sources. Hope this answers your question!

      1. I’m trying you decide weather I want to add the amino acids onto the amount of protein I’m already consuming in a day for muscle gains, or whatever to replace some of my protein intake from other foods with amino acids. I take the powder form. I count micros and protein intake but idont know how much of that is coming from the amino acids.

        1. Hey Shannel. Good question, but a little bit of a complicated answer 🙂 Technically there are 5g of protein in one serving of Kion Aminos, and with a 99.9% absorption rate your body is able to absorb virtually all 5 grams. When tracking for macros, you could log one serving of Aminos as 5g, but please be aware that the Aminos have a much higher absorption rate than dietary protein (eggs, chicken, etc.) which you may end up logging as 15-30g. So you’re technically getting more absorbable protein per serving from the Aminos than you would from most other food sources. Hope that makes sense!

          Check out our FAQ on Aminos for more info on how the absorption rates compare. https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-aminos/

        1. While it’s true that leucine can slightly spike insulin, it’s important to remember that insulin is crucial (in smaller amounts) for the anabolic process or the growth, repair and recovery of lean muscle tissue. The amount you’re getting from EAAs is far different than the insulin response you’d get from, say, eating a pint of ice cream.

        1. Amanda, the powder form of Kion Aminos contains the same EAA formula as the tablets, just with some additional ingredients for flavor.

  28. Ive been using your Kion Aminos for my hard training runs. 10 grams mixed with beet root powder and Maca and I feel like superman. Thanks for the great product.

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