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Are there Anabolic Amino Acids?

Anabolic Amino Acids?

A study was conducted on elderly people who don’t lift. The idea was that by infusing the elderly people’s digestive tract with amino acids, they would lose lean mass at a slower rate while hospitalized. Not surprisingly, they did not use amino acids in this experiment, but whole protein instead.

In this 6 week study the test subjects ate 1.31 g of protein per Kg of bodyweight.

2 groups were tested: one group divided their daily protein evenly over 4 meals, while the other group consumed 72% of their daily protein at one meal.

At the end of the study the test group had built up more muscle mass than the control group, but hand grip strength did not change! Likely this increase in muscle mass, but not strenght, is because the elderly test subjects aren’t lifting!

Bottom line, this is a terrible experiment for inferring much useful applicable data to a bodybuilder. The assumption most people would make is that if THEY were to have 72% of their protein at one meal, they would also gain muscle mass. The reason this would NOT apply to us, is the theory that in these elderly patients their bodies waste the first X amount of protein they consume at every meal. That NONE of the protein they eat actually can be used to preserve or grow muscle. Thus that by giving one large “PULSE” of protein this basal degradation of X amount would be overloaded and irrelevant.

For example: if Nancy the elderly woman eats 10 grams of protein at every meal, and her body destroys the first 15 g of every meal, then Nancy gets no usable protein! But if nancy ate 30 g of protein at one meal, she would get 15 g of usable protein for the day. Terrible diet, and the correction helps very little.

A more intelligent study would have been to have a third group which would have had more protein per day. 4 meals with the same amount as the one pulse group. So group 1 has 4 small meals, group 2 has 1 large meal and 3 small ones, and group 3 has 4 large meals. I bet you the 3rd group would build even more lean body mass than the second group.

Another option would be to use actual amino acids to fortify the smaller meals since the original idea was an amino acid deficiency, removing the variables of enzymes needed to digest whole protein would be ideal. Simply using pre digested protein (amino acids) makes more sense because not all elderly people digest food equally well.

BCAAs are the amino acids most important to building muscle, they should be a part of every iron warriors arsenal!




A large influx of dietary protein increased bedridden elderly subjects lean body mass. Although this is interesting it may not apply to bodybuilders. If you want to test the theory, have 72% of your protein post workout and see if your lean mass increases! Or use Amino acids for even better results.


Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside.  The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only.  All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise.  Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.