How do I remember amino acids

Amino acids for recreational athletes - better than a small steak?

What should I look out for when using amino acid products?

  • According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, there were indications of possible health risks at higher intake levels of BCAA in isolated form. These relate in particular to undesired changes in laboratory parameters, for example increased blood ammonia levels. Animal experiments indicate neurological risks from high-dose amino acid preparations (especially leucine).
  • Healthy adults should not consume more than 4 grams of leucine, 2.2 grams of isoleucine and 2 grams of valine: per day. It is probably cheaper if BCAA are taken in combination and not individually. The values ​​do not apply to adolescents and people with impaired kidney function!
  • When using amino acid products, it is essential that you adhere to the daily amounts recommended by the manufacturer, do not take any more.
  • Excessive, long-term consumption of individual amino acids can lead to side effects in individual cases: For example, you must expect nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Increased calcium is excreted in the urine. This can be a concern for you if you take in little calcium, e.g. B. reluctant to drink milk or eat cheese.
  • Another disadvantage is that ingesting large amounts of certain amino acids can block your body from absorbing other important amino acids.
  • Caution: There may be drug interactions. If the combination of amino acids and medication has not been discussed with a doctor beforehand, the effect of the medication can be intensified or weakened, or even completely ineffective.


If you eat a varied diet, you are getting enough protein and thus all the important amino acids.

Very good sources are beef, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, grains, beans, and other legumes.

By cleverly combining, you can increase the value of the individual protein sources, e.g. B. potatoes with quark or pea stew with bread.

Difficult legal situation

In principle, according to the Food and Feed Code (LFGB), food in Germany no individual amino acids are addedbecause they are treated like additives there. However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has repealed the general ban on the addition of amino acids (judgment of January 19, 2017). Accordingly, there must be a separate safety assessment or justification for a ban or a restriction for each individual amino acid. A new version of the LFGB is currently being worked on.

The food supplements regulation or its European counterpart, Directive 2002/46 / EC, do not contain any regulations on amino acids.

However, this does not affect the fact that every manufacturer is responsible for the safety of their products and that they are not allowed to sell unsafe food.

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are a large class of organic compounds. A total of around 270 to 280 different amino acids are known. The proteins in the human body are only made up of 20 of these amino acids.

Eight amino acids are essential for the adult - they are often called essential amino acids designated. The body cannot make them itself and has to take them in through food: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. They take a special position conditionally indispensable (semi-essential) amino acids Arginine, cysteine, glutamine, histidine and tyrosine: the body can produce them, but this amount is not enough in certain situations. This can be the case, for example, during growth or in the event of severe injuries. You may then need these amino acids from food

The biological quality of a protein is determined by the essential amino acids it contains. The better the match between dietary protein and body protein, the higher the quality.

However, this principle does not mean that individual amino acids must be taken in the form of dietary supplements:

The value of the protein can be increased by combining different protein and thus also amino acid sources. In a lentil soup with bread, for example, the biological protein value even exceeds that of meat. For this reason, vegetarians and even vegans consume sufficient high-quality protein with dishes made from cereals, legumes, potatoes or nuts.

Amino acid products are available as pills, capsules, ampoules or powders. They can contain single or a mixture of several amino acids. In nutritional supplements for athletes, these are mostly: glutamine, arginine, beta-alanine and the BCAA. The latter stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids or "branched-chain amino acids" in German. The essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine are hidden behind these technical terms.