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Amino Acids - Safe?
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A few months ago I started taking amino acids.

It started because I found out that lysine SIGNIFICANTLY improves the persistent rashes on my chin. I still get them but they recede quickly (and leave unsightly scars but that's a separate issue). So one day, I decided if one amino acid could do so much good why not take all of them?

It's been about 3 months now and amino acids are clearly making a difference. My muscle strength is incredible. A year ago I was struggling to get off the couch, now I bounce up the steps. My energy is very solid and I don't know how to explain it but my body is much more solid. I don't understand why amino acids are helping. Could it be that my body is unable to process protein?

My main question is - is it ok to take amino acids? Has anyone else tried them? they are advertised for working out and gaining muscle & of course I really enjoy that benefit but I don't want to inadvertently harm myself either.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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I take a protein powder that has added BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids). No issued whatsoever. Just make sure you read the label an call the 800# on the package if you still have questions.

Go for it.

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I think anyone involved with fitness, athletics, weightlifting, etc. has either tried or continues to take individual amino acids, BCAAs, etc. at one point or another. I used to take both BCAAs and a liquid amino acid supplement several years ago. I personally feel they helped with recovery but that was back before I knew what gluten even was not to mention the almost total lack of regulation and control in the supplement market and various other issues. Provided it's a solid, safe, reputable, gluten free product the worst that will happen is you're going to throw money away. On average, they will help fill in any amino acids you aren't getting enough of through food. At best they will aid in the recovery from a weightlifting session and, help your body from going catabolic.

Provided there is no allergy scenario, and that they aren't full of extra stuff that has been proven to be a danger, there is no reason they should cause any harm. All that being said though, you may have a medical condition that could be made worse by getting to much of a certain amino acid so talk it over with your doctor. It's not always a a clear cut issue.

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Thank you for your replies!

I'm taking the amino acid capsules made by Bluebonnet and sold at Whole Foods. I dont take them daily and take less than the recommended dose. There are Branch AAs in it but also some others. Unfortunately I don't have a doctor that would be helpful about this but I'll do more investigating.

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Thank you for your replies!

I'm taking the amino acid capsules made by Bluebonnet and sold at Whole Foods. I dont take them daily and take less than the recommended dose. There are Branch AAs in it but also some others. Unfortunately I don't have a doctor that would be helpful about this but I'll do more investigating.

I like Bluebonnet as a brand because, they take food allergies very seriously. I have only used their 100% Natural Whey Protein Isolate Powder though. I dropped it when I dropped all dairy and casein. A lot of their pills contain stuff like silica, and other things I stay away from. The BCAAs look like a fairly clean product though excluding the magnesium stearate. I just don't like chemicals in stuff I use regardless if they are natural. SkinDeep rates stearic acid (which is used to make magnesium stearate) as a 1. They rate magnesium stearate at a 0. Based on that most people would consider them pretty harmless and safe to ingest. The BCAAs only contain three amino acids though so I'm going to assume you're talking about either the 750 mg Amino Acids or the 1000 mg Amino Acids. Both of those contain both magnesium stearate and stearic acid but again, they are ranked pretty low at SkinDeep. They also contain silica which again is rated low. The debate is if your the body can process or even remove chemicals like those form the body or if they hang around as free radicals.

Anyway, both the 750 mg and 100 mg Amino Acids contain BCAAs as well as the entire spectrum of amino acids. All of them can be found in food. For example 1-2 oz of canned sockeye salmon with the skin and bones (which are edible) will give you at least the same amount of everything in the 1000 mg Amino Acids product if not twice as much along with protein, fat, a large amount of Omega 3 (DHA & EPA), and vitamins/minerals. The question which is better will be personal preference vs the cost. I don't know what they retail for but I'm guessing around $35.00 for a bottle of 90 pills which is about what I pay for Vital Choice canned sockeye salmon (8 cans a month) when I order 24 cans at a time. I also eat 3.4 oz a day so 24 cans lasts me 90 days. It would last you 180 days if you ate 1.70 oz a day and as a result would be about $17.33 a month. The BCCAs are definately cheaper but, there are also cheaper brands of canned sockeye salmon than what I buy. I have no idea if you like salmon though or just prefer to pop a pill once a day. I also have no idea if you are willing to eat the bones and skin. You would also need to freeze the unused portions as it will only stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days once it has been opened and stored in a "zip lock" bag.

Regardless of coming from food or a pill though, the body still has to "digest" amino acids and BCCAs in order to break them down and convert them to a form the body can actually use. I just wanted to give you some options and something to think about. The BCCAs from Bluebonnet are definitely affordable though if I guessed the correct price especially if you are not taking them on a daily basis. If they have truly put a "pep in your step", so to speak, then you are probably not meeting your daily requirements for each amino acid and total protein.

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