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Aranson M.V. All About Food Additives

amino acids

Aranson M.V. All About Food Additives |

Products of high biological value (PPBC)

Products made from completely natural ingredients that have a high calorie content and / or high content of various nutrients. Dried fruits (dried apricots, raisins, prunes), chocolate, honey and some other products, including hematogen, a blood preparation rich in iron and glycogen, are referred to PPBC. It is enough to look at their composition (Appendix 1), and it will become clear why among these many products these.

In addition, scientists have developed a number of special products for athletes: halvot Vigor, especially nutritious chocolate, as well as proteins and protein-carbohydrate nutritional mixtures. All this is classified as PPBC. Alas, some of these products have disappeared somewhere, while others - for example, the so-called protein bars - are not worth the money that you pay for them.

In sports science, extensive experience has been gained in using PPBC to improve the nutrition of athletes at high loads. These products are also included in the diet of people who have to work in extreme conditions, such as climbers and polar explorers. Perhaps, PPBC are additives that cause the least amount of disagreement due to a completely natural origin. However, remember that their simple sugars have a number of negative qualities (see chapter 5).


These are preparations from food raw materials (eggs, milk, meat, soy), enriched with protein. Typically, a high protein protein contains 60-80 percent protein, although pure (almost 100 percent) proteins are on sale, as well as nutritious mixtures containing protein, carbohydrates and other necessary components, the so-called growth mixtures or food substitutes.

Whey protein is the highest quality protein available. Earlier, the first place was occupied by egg protein; however, there are not enough branched amino acids (although many are sulfur-containing). Due to the high consumption of branched chain amino acids during intensive training, their intake becomes one of the most important nutritional factors for an athlete. There are almost twice as much leucine in serum protein than in egg protein, so its more valuable in this indicator.

Mixtures for gaining mass or losing fat (mass gainers, weight gainers) are another story. The former are close in composition to the so-called "food substitutes", that is, full-fledged mixtures of high-quality protein, branched carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. Therefore, such a substitute can be consumed INSTEAD of ordinary food. The caloric content of such mixtures is usually quite high: on the market there are widely available preparations that yield up to 4000 calories per serving. The most famous is Met-Rx, however there are products of little-known companies that are not inferior in quality to branded ones, but much cheaper.

The second belongs to the category of "diet" mixtures that contain little fat (or do not contain it at all), but are rich in protein and branched carbohydrates. There are hundreds of such products. In principle, they can also be used for mass gain, diluting not with water or juice, but with milk.

Protein mixtures grew from nutrient mixtures designed specifically for the nutrition of patients. However, at the moment there are significant differences between the two categories of food products. For reference, I give the recommendations of the US Institute of Nutrition on the average content of nutrients in nutritional mixtures for children, critically ill patients (parenteral nutrition mixes) and athletes.

Serving Size 114 Grams (One Cup)

Servings Per Container - 4

Calorie content in one serving 90 calories (fat - 30)

Fat, total - 3 g (5 percent of daily requirement); saturated fat - 0 grams

Cholesterol - 0

Sodium - 300 mg (13 percent)

Carbohydrates, total - 13 grams (4 percent)

Dietary fiber - 3 g (12 percent)

Sugar - 3 grams

Protein - 3 grams

Vitamins: A - 80 percent of daily need; C - 60 percent

Calcium - 4 percent

most important

Iron - 4 percent

Compare the recommendations given here with the composition of a typical protein. As you can see, this mixture is more or less balanced in terms of the main components, but still does not quite meet the needs of a healthy body.

Very often, a huge amount of other additives are added to expensive proteins - vitamins, minerals, creatine. There is a category of "superfoods" packed with a variety of components, the value of which is sometimes doubtful. Its better to take separately the protein and supplements you need for one reason or another (creatine, vitamin-mineral complexes, ergogens).

Amino acids

In addition to protein, you can take amino acids in their pure form. Some of them have powerful anabolic properties and stimulate important processes in the body..

- Glutamine. Essential for the functioning of the immune system.

Supplements of this amino acid contribute to the body's resistance to various troubles (trauma, infection, poisoning). In addition, muscle tissue contains a large amount of glutamine, and it is especially necessary after hard training and / or injuries..

- Branched amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine).

They are indispensable. Their participation in the construction of muscle protein is twofold: incorporation into protein chains as bricks and effects on anabolic processes. In addition, these substances serve as a reserve source of energy, participate in the regulation of nervous processes, stabilize the hormonal background. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are not metabolized in the liver and directly affect muscle protein synthesis.

Leucine is one of the most important amino acids. It serves as a source of energy for muscle cells during the recovery period, saving muscle protein from "eating". Leucine is also involved in the synthesis of glutamine, so taking it before and after training (especially intense) helps to normalize the level of glutamine in the blood and muscles, prevent catabolism and normalize the immune system.

- Cysteine. It has powerful antioxidant properties. It is part of glutathione - a peptide that protects cells from damage by free radicals that are formed during oxygen utilization. It is of great importance for the formation of connective tissue. Usually found in the form of a dimer - cystine, the molecule of which consists of two cysteine molecules connected by a disulfide bridge. The same bridge forms the secondary structure of proteins, on which their biological activity depends;

- Methionine. Essential amino acid. Beneficial effect on the function of the kidneys and liver, accelerates the processing of fats. Serves as a donor of the methyl group in the biosynthesis of a number of the most important regulators of the body's vital activity. Cysteine can be synthesized from methionine in the body.

- Phenylalanine. Essential amino acid. Serves as a raw material for the biosynthesis of tyrosine, dioxiphenylalanine (a regulator of the functions of the nervous system). Beneficial effect on the brain. However, in some diseases, excess phenylalanine is harmful..

- Tyrosine. It is used as a raw material in the biosynthesis of such vital substances for the body as dioxiphenylalanine, norepinephrine, thyroid hormones;

- Arginine. Helps accelerate the synthesis of growth hormone and other hormones. Actively involved in the activity of the genital organs, that is, indirectly stimulates the release of testosterone in men. Participates in the utilization of nitrogen for the synthesis of essential amino acids;

- Glutamic acid. In addition to being a fairly common food component, glutamic acid has strong anabolic properties. The multivitamin preparation Glutamevit, intended for intensively working people and athletes, contains, in addition to the main vitamins and minerals, 250 milligrams of glutamic acid per tablet. A dose of 0.75-1 grams (3-4 regular tablets) per day increases the body's working capacity, reduces fatigue. However, taking large doses of glutamic acid (about 1 gram per day) causes adverse reactions: excessive nervousness, slight trembling of the hands, indigestion. According to my observations, 500-750 milligrams per day is enough to remove excessive fatigue and increase working capacity.

A few more amino acids that are not part of the proteins, but which are important for the life of the body:

- Ornithine. This amino acid is found in free form in some organisms. Promotes fat burning, activates metabolic processes. It has been shown that taking ornithine can increase growth hormone levels. Typical doses of 3-5 g per day.

- Carnitine (Vitamin W). Strong enough anabolic agent.

Promotes Fat Burning.

This substance has been very effective and safe. Side effects when using the recommended dosages seem to be absent. At high doses, effects characteristic of amino acids may appear: indigestion, increased gas formation.

Carnitine is one of the best means of "soft" fat loss. Everything spoils only a fairly high cost.

amino acids

Natural sources of carnitine: pork, meat of some other animals. Recommended Dosages 200-1000 mg per day.

- Paraaminobenzoic acid (PABA, vitamin H1). Growth stimulator.

Thus, if in order to achieve a certain goal you need to get a certain amount of an amino acid, you can take it in its free form or in a mixture enriched with this amino acid. Of course, individual preparations are very expensive and inaccessible, but protein hydrolysates of various compositions are presented on the market very widely and at very different prices. Some of them are enriched with amino acids that are not found in natural products. In addition, they are sometimes supplemented with vitamin B6, which is necessary for building protein in the body..

In general, do not get carried away by individual amino acids. Remember that an excess of one of them can cause an increased need for others with symptoms of insufficiency. If you want, take amino acid mixtures in powder or tablets. However, 6-10 grams of such a mixture per day or several grams of an individual amino acid is sufficient. Excess amino acids, in addition to the disorder of their metabolism, can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract.

Carbohydrate and energy drinks

Contain easily digestible carbohydrates (dextrins and maltodextrins). The use of these drinks is common in those sports where increased stamina is required, especially in cycling and marathon. Energy drinks are made with the addition of amino acids, vitamins and biological stimulants.

It should be noted that some energy drinks, like mega-packages (see below), are unbalanced in composition. Be careful when choosing a drink..


The drug from the blood of cattle. Rich in easily digestible carbohydrates (glycogen) and iron. Used in medicine for iron deficiency. Found application as a high-carb supplement in various sports. Now also released "pantogematogen" with pantocrine.

Multivitamin preparations and vitamin-mineral complexes

Since the needs for various vitamins and minerals are quite floating, and it is difficult to monitor each of them, its good to take medications that contain most vitamins, macro- and microelements.

Naturally, the composition of such a drug should be balanced by the main components. Alas, most imported multivitamin-mineral complexes do not meet this requirement. In particular, they are overloaded with huge amounts of B vitamins (these substances are cheap) and absolutely unnecessary components, sometimes of dubious value. The only things that can really be beneficial are amino acids and plant extracts containing bioflavonoids.

Among our multivitamins with minerals, I can mention Glutamevit, Complivit, Oligovit and the recently appeared Selivit. Of the imported ones, the Daily Multivitamin and mineral by the famous MLO company deserves attention. For those who want to take just multivitamins, I recommend Undevit. Kvadevit and Decamevit (with methionine).

Megapackages and energy

In an effort to create a universal product, sports supplement manufacturers went even further. Now, in addition to vitamins and minerals, so-called mega-bags include a huge number of different biologically active substances. For example, there are energy packages (with stimulants), multivitamins with amino acids, protein-rich drugs with metabolic activators ...

Unfortunately, the real value of most of these packages is low. For advertising purposes, they are supplemented with new and untested substances, or they unreasonably overload the composition of the drug, for example, with B vitamins. So in general, it is worth to refrain. If you find a mega-package that suits your composition, take it first in the doses recommended by the manufacturer, and then choose the dosage for yourself.

N-Acetylcysteine (ACC)

An amino acid derivative of cysteine. A natural antioxidant that helps maintain glutathione levels in the body. Effective in relatively small doses (600-1000 mg per day). Used as a remedy for colds. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive.


The natural purine base contained in tea (especially green - there is twice as much there as in black), coffee, cocoa. Caffeine is usually used to relieve fatigue, improve performance, especially at night. A glass of strong tea or a cup of strong coffee (not the burda that is usually served in a cafe!) Contains about 1 medical dose of caffeine - about 100 milligrams, although the exact amount may vary depending on the type and method of brewing.

Its also interesting for us that caffeine helps to speed up metabolism, which means faster fat burning. However, to achieve noticeable results, about 600 mg of caffeine per day is required, which is sometimes unacceptable due to the strong effect on the heart. Those who constantly drink strong tea or coffee develop an addiction to caffeine, and its effect is weakened..

You can use caffeine pharmacy drugs, but I still recommend using it in the form of tea or coffee. Moreover, these drinks contain other useful components - alkaloids related to caffeine (theobromine, theophylline), tannins, vitamins. Methods for brewing tea - in the chapter "Healthy recipes".

A specific problem is the domestic consumption of caffeinated drinks. It causes the development of addiction, and consequently, a decrease in the thermogenic effect and the development of side effects (as well as withdrawal syndrome during a break in admission). In this regard, the most "harmless" cocoa.

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amino acid, amino acids, vitamins minerals, glutamic acid, most important