On this episode of Mind Body Peak Performance, Nick Urban is joined by distinguished professor and expert in amino acids, Dr. Robert Wolfe of The Amino Co.
In this episode, they dive deep into the science of essential amino acids (EAAs). They explore the crucial role of amino acids on body and brain health, and the potential of EAA supplementation in promoting muscle recovery, performance, and overall well-being.
Episode HighlightsIf it's not a balanced mixture that has all the EAAs, then it won't accomplish the goal of stimulating protein synthesis Click To TweetProtein breakdown goes on 24/7, stay on top of it Click To TweetEven if you're eating insufficient dietary protein, you can still smooth that out with essential amino acids Click To TweetMaintain muscle with proper exercise and nutrition instead of trying to regain it Click To Tweet
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About Dr. Robert Wolfe
Dr. Robert R. Wolfe served as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School for nine years. Prior to accepting his current position in 2006, he was at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston, where he held the John H. Sealy Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research and was Chief of the Metabolism Unit at Shriners Burns Hospital. Dr. Wolfe has received the Herman Award from the American Society of Clinical Nutrition for his career contributions.
The focus of Dr. Wolfe’s research is on the regulation of muscle metabolism, particularly as affected by aging and stressors such as injury, sepsis, and cancer. He has developed models using stable isotopes to quantify a variety of metabolic processes including the various aspects of carbohydrate metabolism and the rates of muscle protein synthesis, breakdown, and the transport of amino acids between blood and muscle tissue. Dr. Wolfe is the Director of the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity at the Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Top Things You’ll Learn From Dr. Robert Wolfe
- The importance of essential amino acids
- The role of essential amino acids in protein synthesis for tissue and organ health
- Muscle breakdown and the release of essential amino acids for protein synthesis
- The impact of essential amino acids on mental health, cognition, and liver health
- Dietary protein and essential amino acids
- The importance of consuming essential amino acids daily
- The quality of dietary proteins based on the presence of EAAs and the concept of limiting amino acids
- The potential shortcomings of plant-based proteins in providing a balanced mixture of essential amino acids
- The role of essential amino acids in health
- The fundamental nature of essential amino acids as required nutrients for supporting metabolic health and muscle maintenance
- The significance of balanced amino acid formulations to maintain normal balance and function
- The potential benefits of specific amino acids in stimulating protein synthesis, neurotransmitter production, immune function, and anti-inflammatory responses
- Essential amino acid supplementation and muscle health
- The effectiveness of essential amino acids from different sources
- The potential of essential amino acids in weight loss and muscle-sparing
- The benefits of EAA supplementation for muscle recovery and synthesis, especially for athletes and older individuals
- Understanding muscle protein synthesis and turnover
- Role of muscle as the primary reservoir of amino acids and its impact on protein synthesis
- The continuous nature of protein breakdown and the necessity of optimal proportions of amino acids
- Discussions on the distribution and metabolism of amino acids in muscles and their relationship to protein and fatty processes
- Specific research done on EAAs
- The development and benefits of essential amino acid supplements for NASA and older individuals with heart failure
- The range of patented essential amino acid products targeting specific metabolic processes
- The composition and dose-response of essential amino acid supplements for stimulating muscle protein synthesis
- The potential use of cofactors or absorption enhancers to amplify the benefits of essential amino acids
- Supplement: AminoCo (Click the link or use code URBAN to save 30%)
- Article: Essential Amino Acids (EAAs): Benefits, Food Sources, List & Ultimate Guide
- Article: Top EAA Supplements Review: Buyer Beware
- Article: The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease
- Book: A Guide to Amino Acid and Protein Nutrition: Essential Amino Acid Solutions for Everyone
- Teacher: Hamish Munro
Nick Urban [00:00:05]:
Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. What do these 3 categories of nutrients have in common? I’ll give you a hint. They make up the entire human body and are arguably the most important nutrients to consume. Plus, most of us are not getting enough of them. Hi. I’m Nick Urban, host of the Mind Peak Performance podcast. And today, I’m excited to be diving into the world of amino acids with you. Now if that word mostly just brings you back to your memories of high school biology, Hang in there.
Nick Urban [00:00:43]:
I think after this conversation, you’ll be convinced that these are a very important class of nutrients to focus on. In fact, for me, This was one of those supplement game changers in terms of the way I look, feel, and perform on a daily basis. Once I switched over to using the right kind of amino acids, there was an almost immediate difference. And that was despite me following a high protein diet. In this episode, you’ll learn why a high protein diet does not guarantee that you’re getting enough of these nutrients, why virtually everyone stands to benefit from supplementation, and how amino acids can play a pivotal role in your health, your performance, your longevity, your recovery indirectly for your immune system, for your brain health and performance, for your energy, and, of course, for your body composition, your weight loss efforts, and your maintenance Mind even building of lean body mass, especially as you get older, or if you’re following a plant based diet, or if you’re just putting a lot of drain stress onto your body. Joining us on the show today is one of the world’s foremost experts on all things amino acids. His name is doctor Robert Wolf or Bob for short. He served as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School for 9 years.
Nick Urban [00:02:20]:
He was the chief of the metabolism unit at Shriners Burns Hospital. And for the science nerds out there, doctor Wolf has published over 452 peer reviewed research articles, 126 review articles, 3 books, and has 5 patents. His papers have also been cited over 50,600 times since 2011. Doctor Wolfe has also been continuously funded by the National Institute of Health throughout his entire career. His research has focused mainly on muscle metabolism, particularly as affected by aging and life stressors like injury, sepsis, and cancer. Doctor Wolfe is the director of the Center For Translational Research in Aging and Longevity at the Reynolds Institute on Aging. If you find this interesting and wanna give Some of his products I shot, and I suggest you do, you can go to aminoco.com/urban. The link to that will also be in the show notes.
Nick Urban [00:03:29]:
And you can pick up some of their products at 30% off. I suggest giving it 60 days so you can subscribe for a month or 2, and do a little before and after experiment. Write down how you’re feeling Mind compare notes after 30 or 60 days. The link to the products and a thorough review and comparison to all of the different amino products on the market will be in the show notes as well as a guide I wrote to the science on essential amino acids and everything they can do for you, at least based on my interpretation of the research. Those will all be at mindbodypeak.com slash the number 140. Alright. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy this conversation on all things amino acids. Bob, welcome to Mindbody Peak Performance.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:04:26]:
Oh, thanks for having me. I look forward to it.
Nick Urban [00:04:29]:
Yeah. Me too. So today, we are going to discuss something that’s your forte that I’ve been experimenting with for a number years, and that is amino acids, and a specific type of aminos that we’ll touch on in a minute. But before we get started, What are the unusual nonnegotiables you’ve done so far today for your health, your performance, and your bioharmony?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:04:52]:
Well, when I, first got up in the morning, I start the day with an amino acid beverage that’s Mind specifically to kinda get the engine going that, is called Perform that that, maximizes the ratio of the transmitters and it’s, like a double jolt of coffee, but only with biologically, functional amino acids. And then I do a workout every day for, twice a week, resistance exercise, or the other days, Some sort of a role with either HIIT training histidine state, for a longer period of time. And then I work for A few hours, and then pretty much every afternoon, go out and play golf. So, so that’s, an important aspect of my, I know I call it training, but we walked the course. So it was, you know, 6 to 8 miles depending on how stroking you’re hitting it that day.
Nick Urban [00:05:50]:
So let’s dive right in. Tell me something interesting or unusual or controversial about amino acids that we can use to start this conversation.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:06:00]:
Well, I think that, people view, amino acids as something that they don’t really understand or that are some kind of Wacky, nutritional supplement, but probably the the most, underappreciated aspect of the essential amino acids is the word essential, implies, and that is, that these, amino acids are crucial for many aspects of daily life, and yet they’re not produced in the body. They have to be eaten a daily basis, and they actually represent the only macronutrients that are absolutely required for life. So that, everything that we’re talking about today with regard to so called essential amino acids, is only amplifying or optimizing The fact that we eat essential amino acids every day Mind, and this is important, are actually mandatory for, health and well-being.
Nick Urban [00:06:52]:
Give us the 10,000 foot lay of the land. You’ve mentioned essential amino acids, but those are not the only aminos.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:06:59]:
To sort of start out, why do we need these, aminos to begin with is that there are about 3,000 approximately proteins in the body, they’re all different, shapes and functions, so to speak. They, are characterized by, different composition related to the specific amino acids that are in each protein, both the amount of each individual amino acid as well as The sequence in which they appear in the proteins, and these proteins are in a constant state of turnover, meaning that they’re constantly being broken down and resynthesized. And this is a very important biological function because what what this accomplishes is breaking down the proteins that have kind of Serve their purpose and are aren’t really functioning as well and replacing them with new better functioning proteins. And the best way to visualize this, I think, is if you think about exercise where You might do a heavy workout. It’ll actually break down some of the muscle fibers, the ones that are already, not functioning as well as, as maybe a brand new one would would be functioning, and those broken down proteins are replaced by New proteins that have a better function. Health, how does it work then? You need a dietary protein, and these dietary Proteins are composed of amino acids, the same amino acids that we need to produce the proteins in our body. These amino acids, there are 21 dietary amino acids. There are so over 300 different amino acids, but the dietary proteins are limited to 21 different amino acids that appear in the body proteins, and out of those 21 amino acids, 9 are Called essential, meaning that they are not produced in the body Mind they have to be eaten through the diet.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:08:47]:
And these are really, as I mentioned, the only real macronutrient Requirements that we have to eat. The other 11 or 12 amino acids, Debatable on 1 whether it’s really considered necessary or not, but, let’s say 12 amino acids are called nonessential or dispensable amino acids, And that, naming is because they are produced in the body by metabolic reactions. Now, if you were to eat nothing but essential amino acids, at some point, the nonessential amino acids might become limiting because they go into protein as well, and there may be a limitation as to how fast they’re produced. But, in the context of what we’ll be talking about today, and that’s dietary supplementation with essential amino acids, you get an absolute normal of the nonessential amino acids through your normal diet that you really don’t have to worry about those as part of a supplementation to optimize proteins, nutrition. The reason we need these essential amino acids to produce the new proteins is that when a protein breaks down, the amino acids that are released Can be used to be reincorporated into new protein, but they can’t balance the total rate of breakdown We’re set to this because about 15 to 20% of the amino acids that are released are irreversibly oxidized and Excluded in the code in the form of carbon dioxide and vitamins. What we found through our research, and what we’ll hopefully talk about today, is the fact that That defines a minimal amount of essential amino acids that’s necessary to maintain daily function to be basically alive, but not the optimal amount of each individual amino acids, and that’s what really is Nick, exciting aspect of the use of Formulations of essential amino acids to amplify what we know are basic requirements to optimize the nutritional intake so that we Can really target specific physiological functions that enhance them with the dietary supplement.
Nick Urban [00:10:50]:
I’m so excited about essential amino acids because, as I see it, You have vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that basically constitute the entire body and help enable everything to work as well as it should, and you’ll hear certain people talk about amino acids as the building blocks of life, and there’s also proteins, which are a lot more discussed, and we’re in 2023, which has been really the year of, like, resurgence in terms of emphasis on dietary protein and what that can do for you. Can you summarize what the role between amino acids and protein is?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:11:27]:
Well, as you said, the amino acids can be considered the building blocks of protein, and proteins have other components in some saves. But, Fundamentally, the protein is made of a chain of amino acids linked together in a specific Urban, and the nature of the protein dictates the Amount of each amino acid in its structure as well as the order. And the, dietary Intake of amino acids is conventionally in the context of dietary protein so that, we don’t really go to the grocery store And get, amino acids, lysine there next to in the butcher’s shelf next to the steak. It’s a component of the dietary proteins, Mind, as such, where we get our amino acids, both essential and nonessential amino acids, is through eating dietary proteins, Mind, and I don’t discount or minimize the importance of that. In fact, I, have been part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the WHO to define protein quality and how well different diet Sorry. Proteins can satisfy amino acid Performance and a variety of aspects, how how other nutrients eaten with Proteins can affect the optimal utilization of amino acids of dietary protein, and I think it’s, I I I wanna be clear that The use of dietary supplementation is only meant to augment the use of high quality dietary proteins as part of our regular diet. That being said, I think the exciting part of our research has been demonstrating that we, in fact, can really amplify the normal Dietary source of amino acids, namely dietary protein with 3 essential amino acid mixtures.
Nick Urban [00:13:14]:
So Dietary protein, when you look on the back of a label and you see 50 grams of protein, which is kinda hard to find, but if you were to see that, then that would be a food that contains The essential amino acids as well as some of the nonessential amino acids, meaning you’re not getting as potent a bolus of the essential amino acids as you would be, obviously, if you’re taking a pure EAA supplement.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:13:37]:
Well, to some extent, you’re right, There’s a little wrinkle to that that I think people are really not aware of. The label on a package indicates how much protein is in the product. But, first, there are a few aspects that are crucial. It obviously has to be digested and absorbed to be biologically effective, And there’s quite a range of digestibility of proteins. The animal based proteins are There’s a range, but somewhere between 88 to 93% absorbed, so that’s not a big factor. But other sources, particularly plant based proteins, Maybe, absorbed by much less. For example, wheat protein is about 45% is absorbed. Other dietary proteins, Code low as 20% of the protein that’s eaten is actually absorbed.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:14:29]:
So as a starting place, we have the digestibility is not when you look on that label as to what the source of the dietary proteins is. And, in contrast, the free essential amino acids are not Digested, they are immediately absorbed through the same process that absorbs glucose so that a 100% of what’s eaten Is appearing in the blood. So that’s the first point that is an important distinction. And the second aspect peptides related to the protein quality beyond the digestibility, and that is that, that the dietary proteins vary quite a bit in the actual distribution and amount of essential amino acids. And, in fact, many, particularly the plant based proteins, don’t have all the essential amino acids. They’re considered incomplete Proteins. The animal based dietary proteins, like meat and vet and eggs and so forth, do have all the essential amino acids, but they May differ in the profile, meaning, 1 one protein may have 10% leucine, the other may have 15% leucine, so that the Profiles may not exactly coincide with the actual requirement or optimal intake of the, of those amino acids. the, of course, with a dietary protein, You’re fixed with that.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:15:49]:
You can’t formulate a mixture of essential amino acids in a protein. That is what it is. You can So to manipulate that to some extent by mixing different proteins, but pretty much you’re limited to what, that mixture Saves you, in terms of dietary protein, where with essential amino acid compositions, they can be composed, totally in line with the metabolic role that that particular supplement is providing. So, for example, if If you’re trying to supplement muscle growth or muscle strength, we have done a lot of research to determine what’s The optimal formulation of essential amino acids will maximize that process. Similarly, if your goal is to lower your liver fat and improve liver health, It turns out there’s a different formulation of essential amino acids that can be comprised to target, that specific metabolic purpose, and that’s the real beauty of the essential amino acid formulations is that not only are they directly absorbed, but they also can be formulated to target specific metabolic roles, whereas the dietary protein, even with a highly absorbed dietary protein, It is what it is. You can’t really manipulate it to target one particular, function or another.
Nick Urban [00:17:11]:
Well, I wanna circle back to something you said a few minutes ago, and that is Even if you’re on a high protein diet, say, I’m 200 pounds, I eat a 160 grams of protein per day, I could still be deficient in some very key amino acids, essential amino acids, just because I see I’m getting enough on the back of a label. I’m not actually getting that to where it needs to go because of issues with the profile of amino acids and also the digestibility. So if I was eating a high protein diet and I supplemented on top of that, I might still be just barely quenching a deficiency.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:17:47]:
Yeah. That’s a great point, and I think that one of the Accepted parameters that defines the dietary quality of a protein is what’s called the limiting amino acid. And so we just have to step back a little and and Think about how proteins are produced in the body, and the DNA dictates the structure of a protein that’s gonna be, produced. And when the process to produce a new protein begins, that starts with, an a messenger RNA being Transcribed from the DNA, and it becomes the backbone on which the new protein is produced. The way the new protein is produced is is dictated By the mRNA with the code on this mRNA that calls for a specific amino acid in each chain. So a sequential Hooking together or bonding of amino acids occurs that requires that that amino acid, the next in line, is present in adequate quantity to provide the precursor for the protein synthesis. It’s hooked on or bonded to the previous one, then the next one up has to be available. So with with 9 essential amino acids, one of unless you have a perfectly matched, mixture, there’s gonna be one that’s the limiting, Meaning that, let’s say, lysine.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:19:09]:
You get to the code for lysine, and there’s not enough lysine there, then the whole process of Whole process of protein synthesis stops, it’s degraded, and it goes back to square one. That is why that, in that case, the lysine would be considered a limiting amino acids, But it’s limited, and all the other essential amino acids are really provide no benefit because you’re stuck Meaning the lysine, and there’s no further, translation of that messenger RNA unless you can come up with that lysine. So, what we what we might see, and it’s very common in plant based proteins, is that a pretty good amount of a particular essential amino acid, But if it’s not a balanced mixture that has all the essential amino acids, then it’s not really gonna accomplish the goal of stimulating protein synthesis to any significant degree because you’re gonna be limited by that limiting amino acid. That information, of course, is not available on a product description, But it’s a it’s a crucial one to think about because it’s mostly plant based proteins, so the ones that may not even be a complete Mixture of all the essential amino acids are very low in a particular amino acids. And the idea, that is is put forward is that you should use supplements proteins. So Peak one that’s low in One particular protein Mind that need, amino acid and that need a different dietary protein that’s low in a different one, and the 2 together will balance out. And, you know, I remember when I wrote my book about this, the example that I used was red beans and rice is considered lysine a great mixture. Then I looked them up, and, actually, they’re both limited by lysine, so they provide no extra benefit at all Biohacking the 2 together Because they both have the same limiting amino acids so that there’s not only digestibility that we need to think about, but also what’s the limiting amino acids, and And how does that coincide with the rest of your daily intake of, amino acids? And and none of that information is available On the on the, on the product, that’s one of the major real factors behind the, use of essential amino acid supplements is that we can comprise it so that if we’re eating a diet that isn’t particularly high in certain amino acids, Now we can supplement that with the essential amino acids.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:21:35]:
And if and if you’re committed to a vegan or or vegetarian Approach is is the, the amino acids are ideal because they’re produced in a vegan manner so that the can be used with any source of dietary protein and, can can really balance out the, the intake To coincide with what the actual requirements are for the body.
Nick Urban [00:22:00]:
I discovered what are called branched chain amino acids maybe about 15 years ago because they are very big in the bodybuilding and sports performance arenas, and I used those for a number of years before I transitioned over to essential amino acids. Can you explain what branch chain is and why EAAs are better?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:22:20]:
Let’s not distinguish the 2 in a sense because Branch chain amino acids are leucine, valine, and isoleucine, and they are 3 important non essential amino acids. And, in fact, leucine It’s the highest percentage amino acid, essential amino acid in muscle proteins, so it’s a very important Amino acids, and it also, in high enough amounts, can trigger the molecular mechanisms that are involved the production of new proteins so that, leucine is a very important essential amino acid. The reason that The the valine and isoleucine must also be given along with it is that all 3 of those amino acids are degraded by the same mechanisms, And when you give a big dose of 1, it ramps up that degradation process, and the other 2 are gonna drop like rocks if you don’t provide them as well. So So the any sort of, composition of essential amino acids is gonna contain a significant proportion of the branched chain amino acids. The reason that they kind of max out as far as, useful nutrients is not because they aren’t Effective Mind both activating protein synthesis and providing those precursors is because to make a complete protein, you need all the essential amino acids. And as I just explained with the limiting amino acids, now you’ve provided branched chain amino acids, so you got 3 in Urban. But that still is irrelevant in terms of building new protein if you’re limited by a different essential amino acid that you haven’t provided in the mixture. So to sum it up, the branch chain amino acids are important, but they, in themselves, are very limited as to how much they can promote protein synthesis Because you still need the other, essential amino acids in proper proportion to be able to string the Whole chain of essential amino acids together in the proper order.
Nick Urban [00:24:21]:
Now that we have that out of the way, we understand the basics of essential amino acids, total dietary amino acids, branching amino acids, how those are just 3 of the 9 essentials. What are some of the roles? I know you mentioned that EAA is the building blocks of life and that they’re used for neurotransmitters. What about hormones and immune system and, obviously, in muscle, but what are the other, like, main roles in the body?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:24:45]:
Well, without a doubt, the main role is stimulating protein synthesis. That’s the the predominant role. And, you know, it’s hard to assign priority to other roles, but, certainly, the neurotransmitters, in particular, are important Mind and and the the ones that we’re most familiar with is that, Amino acids tryptophan essential amino acid tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that, Induces sleepiness and slows you down. And, on the other side, the, phenylalanine and its breakdown products Produces tyrosine, which in turn is the precursor for dopamine, which is the sinusoid neurotransmitter that that balances or Sorta jacks you up as compared to the the tryptophan that that slows you down. There are other reactions in the body that, essential amino acids play a role, some of which we need to be careful about because, for example, methionine, an essential amino acid, Saves to be involved in the production of fat in the liver Urban, and actually can explain why, not all obese people have fatty infiltration of the liver Mind that the that occurs that, really has a negative effect on liver Function in a variety of ways. And, so, you know, it’s it’s essential that we not, provide amino is in a format that is gonna overdo that syndrome, particularly in people that are overweight. Immune function is, related to a variety of amino acids, Not only including, essential amino acids, but in particular, the amino acids that produce, Nick Oxide Mind that would be, Predominantly, histamine and alanine. Those amino acids are produced in part from the degradation of the essential amino acids so that, Indirectly, they, provide the precursors but aren’t so much directly involved in the immune response.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:26:48]:
But On the other hand, the anti inflammatory response is very much dictated by, essential amino acids and particularly histidine is a strong anti inflammatory Hey, John. And it’s, really explains why when you start taking a mixture of essential amino acids that you, Start feeling an effect within a few days even though your muscle turns over very slowly. It really takes a much longer time before you have significant effects in the muscle, But you start feeling better within a few days because of the anti inflammatory effect of the essentials and particularly histidine. So There are a variety of roles, but I think that it all comes back in terms of formulating approaches to, supplement the normal dietary intake, focusing on the ability to stimulate a protein because those are really the the vehicles by which the amino acids have their physiological effects for the most part.
Nick Urban [00:27:44]:
I’ve dosed histidine, which is a precursor to histamine previously, And I’ve used that in some of my energy nootropic stacks I’ve created, and it certainly has, like, an energizing effect for me. But I think it would be smarter to not just take it by itself because of what you’re mentioning earlier about how when you take 1 isolate, how it impacts all the others.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:28:06]:
Yeah. That’s a great point because, You can also get, tryptophan or tyrosine supplements, for example, which have the same effect. They’ll kinda jack up the, The dopamine, but, you know, I think these have effects, but I guess it’s more philosophical because, You know, I have a lot of experience with studies in which just leucine or just the Peak have been given, and, you know, these others aren’t as abundant, but I think we can learn from from those histidine, and that is that that in a physiological sense, nootropics wise, you really don’t wanna greatly disrupt the normal balance. And the balance of all these amino acids is really thrown out of whack when you give just 1, and it’s really preferable to give, that Amino acid in the context of an overall formulation that’s not going to throw all the rest out of whack. For example, If you, you have a load of Tyrosine, you’ll increase, the, synthesis of dopamine And it may jack you up a bit, but, the tyrosine is transported into cells by the same mechanism that transports Amino branch chain amino acids as well as threonine. So 5 of the essential amino acids are transported not only into muscle into brain, But but and to muscle by the same transport system. So when you give a lot of 1, tyrosine or any individual one, You reduce the uptake of the others even though they may even be given in the mixture, but if you give a large dose of Tyrosine along with BCAAs, for example, you won’t get the same effect of the BCAAs because that you’ve thrown the balance out of whack And the transport reflects the high abundance of that 1 amino acid at the expense of the others that you also need for normal functioning. So understanding that whole principle has been a guiding aspect in the development of compositions to To really be sure that you’re not resulting in unanticipated negative effects that occur as a result of an imbalance of all the amino acids in the blood.
Nick Urban [00:30:21]:
Yeah. I think it’s possible. I’ve seen some of the papers on just taking the BCAs alone or even just lysine one of the BCAA, and some of them show benefits, some of them show decreased performance, and they just don’t work as well. I was reading a book by doctor Carl Pfeiffer from the 20th century was mentioned and how he was using biochemical therapy and, like, specifically targeting single amino acids to help with neurological disorders. Brett, that was, like, very much the Mind west then. It still is. There’s not nearly as much research on it. So, like, unless you really know what you’re doing, I think it’s much smarter just to go with, all in one formula.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:30:57]:
Yeah. Well, I think that this we should distinguish, use of an amino acid as a nutraceutical that’s, Serving a particular purpose, which may be apropos for our disease state or some particular goal versus a general nutritional supplement that is focused on a particular outcome, but that really provides a good general Support of the metabolic histamine, as Health, and I think those are the 2 important distinctions. But, you know, you mentioned, You know, the 20th century, it goes back a long time that we, have known about essential amino acids or amino acids in general. I found an ad from Rexall Drugs in 1938 touting the benefits of essential amino acids. I think that we’ve learned an awful lot about them, but at the same time, that I think reflects the fact that we’ve known since the very early in hundreds that we have these so called essential amino acids and that they’re crucial for health Mind, That, you know, various experiments have been done to try to optimize the overall nutritional state by capitalizing on being able to formulate specific mixtures of these essential amino acids and and, and the other thing that’s interesting going back that far It’s the fact that when a balanced mixture of essential amino acids is used, there’s never been any report of adverse effects.
Nick Urban [00:32:25]:
Speaking of balance, I was reading your essential amino acids one zero one guidebook. And you mentioned how the EAAs are like a symphony with each individual amino acid being 1 instrument. And when you have them all together, it’s like the conductor that’s guiding each of the sections, and it really elegantly displays explains how exactly this works. And if you wanna have a really beautiful, rich, complex sound, You can’t just take 1 or 2 instruments and put them together. If you want, like, the full richness, the full effect, you wanna combine all of them at once in, like, a precision tailored blend.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:33:04]:
That’s the way it works. I mean, it’s it’s it seems pretty self evident, but, it it kinda goes against the current of of trying to Saves that these amino acids are drugs, but, really, just that they’re nutrients that all work together Urban and all of these different functions, are are ongoing continuously, and I think that’s the point that, is really crucial about the protein breakdown is that it goes on Morning, noon, and night, all night long, 24/7, and so that, you know, we need to keep on top of it on a regular basis Because it’s it’s unrelenting Mind, the individual components are the important factors, but they will really, you know, just to amplify what you said a little bit, You know, you can have a group of musicians where you have way too many violins or, you know, too many trumpets or whatever, and they’ve drawn out everybody else. To work together, they have to all be really in the optimal proportion with each other as well.
Nick Urban [00:34:03]:
Tell me more about how People are using amino acids, the benefits they’re seeing. You’ve mentioned muscle or, I guess, protein synthesis several times. Is that Exclusively referring to muscle protein synthesis, or is it does protein synthesis have other forms as well?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:34:18]:
We know the most about muscle Protein synthesis because we can actually directly measure. We can infuse, amino acids labeled with Tracer that enables us to follow that amino acid and take a sample of a very small amount of muscle protein and determine how fast it’s being produced. So you do see, a tendency to refer to muscle protein synthesis and just protein synthesis in general as The same thing, but it’s really not. Muscle protein synthesis constitutes about a third of the total protein Synthesis is ongoing in your body all the time. So that the liver protein, brain, heart, all of these tissues and organs saves a continuous I’m out of proteins synthesis occurring. And the important thing to recognize is that The, skin, Health, all of these tissues can’t afford any period of time without the protein synthesis balancing the protein breakdown, or you Start losing that tissue Urban. For example, if you went a couple of days without eating Mind yet And then in that time, the rate of protein synthesis didn’t balance the rate of breakdown of skin protein, for example. You’d start losing your skin within a few days, and, Obviously, that wouldn’t be compatible with life.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:35:39]:
What happens is that muscle is the only real reservoir of amino acids in the Body. So How the, body maintains protein synthesis in these essential tissues and organs is that muscle protein breaks down And releases the essential amino acids into the blood and they go to these other tissues, like skin, and they maintain, rate of protein synthesis that balances the rate of breakdown, and meanwhile, it is at the expense of muscle protein. So then when you eat dietary protein, A large amount of that dietary protein is directed towards depleting the amount of muscle protein lost in the absence of dietary intake. A study we did with 92 patients with heart failure, they’re divided into 3 groups, 1 with an essential amino acid mixture Formulated specifically to augment muscle protein in, older individuals with, what we call anabolic resistance, meaning that they really don’t get the same benefit from dietary protein as normal. A Mind group was given whey protein, the same amount of whey protein as the essential amino acids, and the 3rd group was given the placebo, which is just a nutritional Optimization. And what we saw was this particular group of individuals with older people with heart failure have Great trouble just mobilizing. Walking out to the get the mail is a is a big, effort for Mind every single subject, there was 32 subjects that got this 8 week treatment. Every single one improved the amount of Just saves they could walk at a given time and improve leg strength and improves muscle mass.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:37:23]:
We saw some of the beneficial effects of the whey protein, but significantly less Then the effects of the essential amino acids, the kind of alarmingly, the nutritional education group actually got worse Over the time, and they and that, in part, reflects just that these people are really debilitated, and they’re going downhill pretty fast, and they don’t have time To fool around with, waiting for something to be discovered. And and the the the important point is that You think about, well, why not exercise? But these people are so limited that they really can’t do enough of a workout to really gained any significant function, but the acids we’re undertaking now is the thesis that this improved Muscle function we get from giving them the essential amino acids will get them up to a level that they can now benefit more from exercise. So It’s a more elaborate study that’s being, gonna be done at a variety of institutions around the United Saves, the thesis being that if we augment muscle function with the aminos, Then this will make it possible for them to complete more rigorous exercise and get a interactive effect between the 2. And that was Really, the goal where we started when we first started this whole idea of an essential amino acid supplement was, In a project, funded by NASA to deal with a fact that in spaceflight, astronauts lose a lot of muscle, And as the goal of reaching a longer period of time and space was being considered, The loss of muscle that occurred over that time period because of the lack of any resistance in anything they did was debilitating to the point where, Health sort of epitomized that and what really motivated them into action was that there was a Russian astronaut or cosmonaut, They call them. But was in space for a year and then was incapable of even getting out of the, landing craft by himself because he couldn’t he literally code not stand or walk because he had lost so much muscle mass. And so what the challenge was, though, is not just a nutritional supplement, but one that gave much more bang for the buck because Every ounce that went on a spaceflight, mattered in terms of a, getting them up getting the rocket off the ground, And so that the, the charge was to develop a nutritional supplement that, that had a much greater impact on Retaining muscle Mind the absence of exercise that code be, condensed to a much smaller format than eating a steak extra steak or, You know, some sort of biological proteins. And, you know, that was where the whole concept of kind of, getting more bang for your buck evolved into the essential amino acid supplements, which turned out to be very relevant to older people as well because One of the reasons that older people tend to start losing a lot of strength and mobility is that they just don’t eat as much And, you know, to to try to say, well, you should eat this protein supplement, it just doesn’t happen. They don’t really wanna sit down and drink a big glass of whey proteins.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:40:40]:
And so the goal of making a very targeted nutritional supplement that could be easily ingested, was It was an important aspect of developing the the Optimization that that ultimately, Has been a great help to older individuals.
Nick Urban [00:40:57]:
I didn’t realize it about NASA, and I’ve also actually done something similar. Whenever I travel, I always bring Essential aminos with me because they’re such good, like, nutritional insurance to make sure that I’m getting what I need on the road When whey protein container for 30 servings would take up way too much space, very inconvenient, it’s just, like, not at all a good experience. And I find that when have my aminos with me that I’m able to, like, sustain my work better. I’m less worried about missing a meal. If it happens, I prefer not to. And my energy stays more steady. I feel more satiated if I can’t get enough protein in a single meal. There’s just so many reasons to Bring it with me.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:41:38]:
I did mention earlier that, even if you’re eating an insufficient dietary protein diet, you still can smooth that out with the essentials.
Nick Urban [00:41:47]:
I hate being on the road and being the one who orders a 2nd and 3rd entree at the restaurant simply because I can’t get enough protein to actually stay full, So this has been a lifesaver for me to be able to do that and be able to, like, have 1 entree Mind then supplement with a little bit of extra aminos Mind then feel good after the meal. And I think this is also probably the single most important supplement for athletes as well because I thought it was creatine for a while and certain other things. I thought it was BCAAs, but those have their pros and cons, and not everyone can use creatine. If you already eat a lot of red meat, for example, you probably already get a get enough creatine in your diet, and these just seem like universal across the board for almost everyone.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:42:28]:
Absolutely. They’re they’re required nutrients. None of these other things, you know, are required nutrients. Creatine can be produced in the body. At the same time, it’s possible to combine things, you know, at, if you are doing sports that require rapid burst of energy, Making sure that you have adequate stores of creatine is is, you know, very useful, but it doesn’t change the need for the essential amino acids Or the impact, of the essential amino acids so that when you have these, specific targeted things for your particular event or whatever Reason you have for wanting to take that supplements. For the most part, they’re not gonna interfere at all with the essential amino acids because essential amino acids are The fundamental component of of why we eat food.
Nick Urban [00:43:14]:
In the whole muscle centric medicine paradigm, there’s a lot of people out there who actually believe that Muscle is the most important thing you can do for your health, your longevity, etcetera, etcetera. And based on our conversation, I’m thinking this is because of the pool of amino acids that your muscles saves, and if you deplete that too much, too long, then your body no longer has the required fuels, the substrates to build the organ organs and tissues and everything else it needs to build. So if you by increasing those stores, whether it’s from working out or ideally Biohacking out and getting enough amino acids in your diet and supplementation routine, that you’re setting yourself up for success over the long term.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:43:56]:
The most cited article I’ve written in my career was titled the underappreciated role of muscle Mind health and disease, And it really hit on that exact point that muscle, provides a very important role in many respects. For example, bone health is directly related to muscle strength because the tension applied on the bones by muscle contraction is a crucial aspect of Bone strength. There is just a whole variety of ways in which the the muscle is important, and Mind as I described earlier, When we’re not eating protein, the muscle breakdown provides those amino acids that are needed to maintain protein synthesis Mind tissues lysine heart In skin and lungs that can’t do without the proteins. This is so effective that the plasma amino acid levels, Particularly, the essential amino acids remains constant for days days in the absence of any dietary intake of protein The the muscle breakdown is so well tuned to the need of other tissues to introduce protein in the body that The muscle just keeps breaking down and maintaining those plasma levels constant. And it’s an interesting thing, which goes back to World War 2, the early 19 fifties where there was a big conflict, which, I guess, Continued for years years in Ireland, where the IRA, people were being Jailed Mind and several went on hunger strikes. And, Mind the context of those hunger strikes, they Gut asked the scientists to take blood samples with them throughout the course of starvation so that some benefit would come out of their sacrifice. And, what was interesting was that the plasma amino acid levels stayed constant up until 2 or 3 days before they died, And then when the muscle depletion was so severe that it could no longer maintain the plasma amino acid levels and they started to drop, Then, individuals die within a day or 2 of that so that it truly is, a central part of life. And, As you get older, you’re almost surely gonna have events that are gonna prevent you from eating the way you’d like to eat, you know, whether it be some severe illness or Intuaries or something.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:46:24]:
And and in that time period, you’re gonna have this breakdown of the muscle protein. And a lot of people are kind of at a threshold where they’re doing okay, and they don’t feel any need to improve their muscle mass or function, But then when they have some calamity and don’t do anything for a while and they don’t Peak, properly and get no exercise at all, They go over a threshold to where now their daily activity is absolutely impaired by Nick of muscle mass and strength. And so it’s one of those things that you just have to have faith and believing that I need this muscle because, Once you reach that point where you’ve depleted it, it’s really hard to put it back on. Much easier to maintain it with proper exercise and Nutrition than it is to regain it.
Nick Urban [00:47:13]:
Yeah. The muscle can be considered an organ of longevity.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:47:18]:
Yeah. That’s a good way to put it.
Nick Urban [00:47:20]:
Yeah. So we’ve talked about some of the performance benefits, how it can actually improve workouts. It can facilitate building strength and muscle. Also, I know that it can help with recovery based on muscle protein synthesis and other stuff.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:47:35]:
There’s 2 aspects of, Amino acid supplementation related to exercise. To first understand that during exercise Mind particularly resistance exercise, But also aerobic exercise, you have an accelerated breakdown of protein that occurs because of the effort. And if you take Amino acids before the exercise. Mind an optimal formulation helps, but any kinda mixture will do something. If you take them before the exercise, that really slows that process down of the breakdown of muscle protein by net loss of protein because you’re able to continue to synthesize protein during the exercise itself. So taking amino acids before the exercise is important, but then after is also important. Not The the the the beneficial effect of before is actually greater than after, but after is crucial because the muscle now It’s primed to respond to the amino acids, and and that priming lasts for a whole 48 hours after a resistance exercise where The muscle is really geared up to respond to increased amino acid intake, but you’ve got to provide the building blocks. Once you add the amino acids to the stimulatory effect of the exercise, you get this amplification where the combined effect is greater than either one by itself.
Nick Urban [00:49:01]:
Okay. So that’s the performance and recovery side. And then we also have, like, the mental health cognition, like, support because it’s providing the raw fuel for the brain to create brain chemicals and neurotransmitters. And then what else? What about energy?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:49:18]:
Amino acids do provide some amino energy, but, there’s actually a very efficient histamine minerals the oxidation of the essential amino acids so that as far as energy, we can improve the perception of energy quite a bit through, products like Performance that that amplifies the the relationship between dopamine and, tryptophan and and serotonin So that you get a a much more alert, wakefulness. But as far as substrates for energy Peak se, The amino acids are probably not the best source for energy. They’re the source for, staying alert, but the other thing which We’ve shown now in 4 different clinical groups, and that is the beneficial effects on liver Health. And it’s reflected in a variety of parameters that indicate liver function, as well as the Amount of fat stored in the liver and its ability to, process glucose properly and and perform all the metabolic bases. And this is the one, that’s really, in one respect, most exciting because we just got a large grant from the NIH National Institutes of Health To Performance much more detailed study of this proteins, and, In concert with that, we’re able to get the, formulation approved by the FDA as a new drug even though it’s a nutritional composition of of essential amino acids, the big benefit of that is that it it comes along with the FDA stamp of approval if you, You show the beneficial effects in this in this study.
Nick Urban [00:51:01]:
For longevity purposes and fasting, we’ve already established that this is gonna, like, help increase the pool of amino acids, which has knockover effects into other areas. But do you see that people combine this to great success with, saves, 24 hour fasts or intermittent fasting or anything like that?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:51:21]:
We don’t really have data. The rationale for the, the beneficial effects of fasting is, multiple, effects of fasting is, multiple and can, in particular, revolve around, An acute increase in fetosis, which is not affected by giving essential amino acids so that it should certainly be possible in fasting to maintain the beneficial effect of the fasting while simultaneously maintaining muscle mass to a greater extent. There’s a certain adaptation that occurs with fasting so that the muscle well, the body protein breakdown slows down some, And this helps, alleviate the breakdown in muscle protein that would normally occur in the absence of dietary intake, but it still occurs, and this can be Avoided with a balanced mixture of essential amino acids that will not disrupt the, ketotic state induced by the fasting. So So it should work well, but we have no actual experimental data to address that. So, You know, I think that, at this point, people that are doing that sort of approach need to Mind of experiment on their own with it because, I think it makes sense that I think that it’s, you know, I feel I’m right, but, you know, we only, act on actual experimental data.
Nick Urban [00:52:41]:
Okay. On to something that I’ve wanted to ask you about, and that is the essential amino acid profile of the products you you carry because your profiles are unique, and they are the subject of use in clinical research. And when I did my own research into other products in this category, I saw profiles of the ratios of each the different aminos all over the place, lysine, not even remotely similar between companies. So I’m curious how you decided on each of them. And the way I saw it. I’m not sure if this is accurate, but I see each amino acid individually having a couple different primary roles. You’ve already elucidated some of them in this conversation. And then based on that and the outcome you’re looking for, you would choose the appropriate ratio.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:53:34]:
The 4 different products our company sells are all patented, so all of the, Different formulations have different profiles specifically targeting, a metabolic process and Mind in the same vein now that they All have some effect in terms of enhancing protein synthesis. Some are more effective than others, but that’s always a background aspect of all of Optimization. So if you target, getting up for a workshop, for example, with Perform, The balanced mixture there still will provide some stimulation of protein synthesis as well as optimizing the dopamine to, serotonin ratio. So that’s true of all the bioregulators, that any combination of essential amino acids will have some beneficial effect on protein synthesis. If that’s the specific target, then we need to really look at exactly what the circumstance is because some exercise will activate mTOR, Others will not have that kind of an effect. How do we provide enough of the, amino acids to Overcome the lack of activation Mind insulin histamine saves, all of these different sort of metabolic issues. We started first from the clinical standpoint and then, developed the formulations based on what we would anticipate, and then, Of course, the final proof of the whole issue is the most important, and that is testing the formulation over a period of time And the actual clinical setting that it was designed for, and I think that’s where we really saves, distinguished ourselves from other Compositions where we have, no products that haven’t had significant amount of actual clinical research Mind the, Looking for the actual physiological or clinical outcome that we’re targeting.
Nick Urban [00:55:27]:
That’s huge. So many companies don’t actually test. Actually, majority of supplement companies do not test their final product, so you don’t actually know if what you’re reading in the research is gonna translate to you when you go to apply Mind actually consume the product. What I heard you say a minute ago is that with all of your products, they all are gonna stimulate muscle protein synthesis to some degree, and then the exact composition and formula within each of them is gonna give a special favorable boost towards a specific thing, say, to towards performance, towards liver health, towards recovery, etcetera.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:56:05]:
Nick Urban [00:56:06]:
Also, in your book, I noticed that you mentioned something that was a debate amongst in my circle, and that is why not just use the same composition of essential amino acids that you find in muscle if you wanna stimulate muscle protein synthesis maximally.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:56:24]:
Yeah. Well, that was actually the starting place with the NASA studies. And there are a couple of snags to that Nick, and that is that so if you eat a composition exactly equal to muscle protein, that they don’t appear inside the muscle cells exactly in proportion to what you ate because the transport the amino acids go into the muscle Health Biohacking transport, they’re working against the concentration gradient Mind those transporters vary considerably in how rapidly they Transport amino acids into the cell. For example, lysine is transported into the muscle cell less than a third as fast as Phenylalanine is. And so that, these different transport rates mean that whatever you’ve eaten doesn’t actually correspond to what becomes available For the proteins and fatty processes within the muscle. And, furthermore, there are aspects of the, Muscle metabolism of amino acids that differ so that if you increase all let’s say that you get this formulation right And the transfer rates are exactly the same for all of the amino acids. Some of the essentials, most notably, the branch chain amino acids, are oxidized in muscle And others are, like Phenylalanine and creatine, so that you have to provide extra of the branched chain amino acids to get the same effect Because some of the breast chains that you give are gonna be oxidized in the muscle, and and, therefore, the other essentials are gonna be disproportionately Greater than the than the ones that were oxidized. So all of these factors have to be taken into account to actually come up with a Profile that that actually corresponds to what’s needed to produce new muscle protein.
Nick Urban [00:58:14]:
Let’s talk a bit about dose because when I was on the road, I only had space for 1 container. I brought Life With Me, I believe it’s called, And I was using that a couple times a day just to get in some extra aminos. And one of the things I liked about it is you don’t need a huge jug. You don’t need 20, 25, 30 grams of or maybe even more, maybe even 40 or 50 grams of powder just to get 1 serving.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [00:58:40]:
Well, there’s a dose effect, so up to a point, the larger the dose, the bigger the effect, but we’ve shown a very robust, consistent response To as little as, 3.6 grams of the essential amino acids of life, which corresponds to about Five to 5 Mind a half grams or 1 scoop. So that that’s, a small amount that can easily be just chugged down, and you’ll and Particularly if you take 2, you know, doses separated twice a day, that that’s gonna give a nice response. Up to 15 Peak grams, you consider you continue to get a bigger response, but it’s kinda curve curves off so that As you get close to that maximum dose, it’s not gonna be any more effective than a smaller dose. So anything more than about 6 or 7 grams of the essentials, which is With 2 doses, that’s gonna, pretty well maximize the effect, which is, gonna be much greater And any amount of dietary protein you need.
Nick Urban [00:59:41]:
And so if I’m taking 2 doses per day, let’s just say 1 to 2 doses per day is good enough for most people, Would I be best suited taking it first thing in the morning if I’m not eating breakfast, and then again right around training? Or if I’m not eating enough protein Mind a meal, is it better to take it one of my doses then to, like, really just make sure I’m maximally engaging muscle protein synthesis, or is it better to spike muscle protein synthesis more times to a lesser extent throughout the day? Say, like, 1 dose in the morning, I have brunch, 1 dose in the afternoon, then I have dinner. How would you take it?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:00:17]:
Well, I think that a lot depends on what’s convenient and what your lifestyle is. I think that taking, taking 1 in the morning, well, in my case, coincides with a pre workout, does. So, but even without that, I think that it it’s beneficial because you’ve gone the whole night without absorbing any kind of essential amino acid Intake. So first thing in the morning is, I think absolutely, a good point. And then sometime mid afternoon, you can do it with a meal, though, it will still have a beneficial effect, but you run the risk of reaching, the maximal effective dose, with the dietary protein plus the meal. When you take the Health dose in between meals, there’s no competition. And, so, I think it’s it’s far preferable to do it between meals and you can even do it Before you go to bed as well. But the disadvantage of doing it before you go to bed would be that, the potential that you kind of get jacked up before you go to Body.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:01:25]:
And that’s why the only one that would be useful before bed would be Health, and that’s gonna prolong, and that has a mixture of amino acids plus way of protein, and that will prolong the effect over a few hours of bedtime. But from a practical standpoint, what I recommend and do myself is first thing in the morning and the and midafternoon.
Nick Urban [01:01:47]:
Simple enough. And then last on this front before we start to wind down, that is if there are any cofactors or Absorption enhancers, I’ve seen certain products use, lysine, AstraZyme, something like that that apparently increase the ability to utilize Amino acids, I’m not sure if it’s necessary. And if that’s not, then what are the possible things that we can use to amplify the benefits?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:02:12]:
I’m in New Zealand now and we did a study using kiwifruit prior to eating a beef meal And, the kiwi fruit contains an enzyme called actinidin, which is also in pineapple and guava and a few other, tropical fruits That absolutely digests, protein better, and it definitely speeds the point of digestion. And The only thing is that it doesn’t have a big effect on the amount absorbed because, with meat Peak Sources, they’re pretty completely absorbed ultimately anyway, but it clears the stomach much quicker. That would be similar to the substance you’re referring to. But keep in mind, with the amino acids, free amino acids, they’re directly absorbed. There’s no digestion involved, so they’re a 100% absorbed. So the question is, is it better to to eat the aminos with some source of energy as well, like carbs or, fat? And we know, for example, that the research we did showed that with the same amount of dietary protein, whole milk Actually, it stimulated a greater response than skim milk because of the extra fat. And we also have shown that carbohydrate added to aminos will Amplify the the amino effect. However, you have to think about dosages because, for example, with the carbs, The response to 3 grams of essential amino acids was compared to the response to a 100 grams of carbohydrate.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:03:48]:
And adding a 100 grams of carbohydrate to 3 grams of essential amino acids was the same as adding just another 3 grams of the essentials Rather than the 100 grams of, of, carbs. So the bottom line is the energy substrates can have a beneficial effect, But it’s nowhere near as effective as just taking more of the aminos. But, if you’re trying to both store up energy as well as, meet your essential amino acid supplements, then absolutely code take them together, but I wouldn’t look for anything to have a lot of effect. We focused almost entirely on just the direct effects of the essentials. They don’t really require other components to, To have maximal effectiveness.
Nick Urban [01:04:37]:
And for reference, the calorie content of each of these is incredibly low. Like, each serving of all your incredibly low. Like, each serving of all your products is very low.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:04:46]:
Yeah. Well, that makes it ideal for, meeting, Yeah. Requirements without all the obligatory calories to go along with meat or whole milk or other sources of high quality protein.
Nick Urban [01:04:58]:
And if someone wanted to work on their weight to work on weight loss, this might not directly stimulate weight loss in the same saves way that Certain other things do, but if they were using the GLP ones or anything that make the weight loss better and more effective, it seems to me that amino acids could help reduce the amount of weight loss that’s coming from lean body tissue, which you don’t you really don’t wanna lose when you’re losing weight.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:05:23]:
Absolutely. And we’ve published 3 different papers showing that, meal replacements with, based on EAAs It’s, more effective, in terms of sparing muscle and promoting fat loss than other even high protein products. The problem with, the high protein products is that the total caloric intake, if you get enough protein with the high, the caloric The caloric intake that goes along with that makes it hard to lose weight, whereas you pointed out with the EAs, you’re getting almost no calories code that It’s effective without really increasing the caloric burden.
Nick Urban [01:06:00]:
Awesome. Well, Bob, I have 1 more question for you, and then I’ll let people know how they get in touch with you, and then we’ll start to wind this one down. And that question is, if there was a worldwide burning of the books and all knowledge on earth is lost, you get to save the works Of 3 teachers, who would you choose and why?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:06:18]:
Well, I think the first person is when I, Graduated from graduate school, I went to work as a postdoctoral fellow for, John Spitzer, who, was Really instrumental in in giving me an enthusiasm for research. You know, I tend to go to graduate school just with your head down, just grinding away, and it’s absolutely Not exciting. I then, shortly went to Boston and and and became a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and I was At the Shriners Hospital For Burnt Children, I really, could see that the muscle loss was a tremendous Problem that not only hindered recovery, but also survival, but recovery to any Mind of normal function. And I really haven’t been trained in any aspect of this Mind honored a class by a world famous guy at MIT named Hamish Monroe that was tremendous Inspiration in terms of understanding all the aspects of protein metabolism and, and then metabolism, regulation As far as protein metabolism would go. And I guess the third point Mind have to mention my wife, who I worked with me for several years, and, she’s probably listening, and she’d kill me if I didn’t mention her mention her as as being one of the most supplements. But she really has been Because my training was very much more on basic science and nutrition, and she, has a degree in nutrition and and is very It turned into how do these things relate to what people actually eat, and so I I think those are probably the 3 people that have had the biggest influence on me.
Nick Urban [01:07:57]:
Beautiful. Okay. If people want to connect with you to try some of your Amino Co products, how do they go about that?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:08:06]:
The amino company has a website, which is the best way to look at the website. If they have a specific question, Regarding, you know, what we’ve covered here today, they can email me directly at my email address or through the through the, I’m in a company web page. I think there’s this place you can ask questions, but firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address and, provided that, the questions don’t get too unwieldy. I I used to be able to get to those in a reasonable length of time.
Nick Urban [01:08:41]:
Awesome. And you and your team set up a code, URBAN, so if people use that, I believe it saves them 30% on their order. Thanks for doing that, and now on to the quick rapid fire round before we call it a day. Okay. What are some of the biggest myths around essential amino acids?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:09:03]:
Well, I think that this probably that the, branched chain amino acids are something different from essential amino acids and that, as I explained, they’re just they’re they also are essential amino acids, but only part of the total equation.
Nick Urban [01:09:17]:
What’s one thing the AminoCo tribe does not know about you?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:09:20]:
Well, since my son is the president, he knows a lot about me, but, probably not I’m probably unaware of the The amount of, of effort and interest I’ve had in doing different sports in my life.
Nick Urban [01:09:35]:
And how would you like to wrap up this episode? If people have made it this far, any final messages for them?
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:09:41]:
Well, congratulations for hanging in there. I guess it’d be the first, first point, but, I I think that what I really would leave is the message is to take a look at the ImmunoCode website and the book And educate them, themselves as to why these different formulations of amino acids are distinct from other Products that are available and the kind of research that has gone into the their development.
Nick Urban [01:10:08]:
Yeah. I’ve long said that protein, just Increasing the amount of dietary protein we’re all consuming is one of the most important impactful things we can do for our Health. And to make it even easier and more potent, Instead of focusing on really getting more and more and more dietary protein, which I hate to say between, like, 60 80% of the people that I work with tend to drastically overestimate how much protein they’re consuming. The simple solution there is just to start adding some essential amino acids. And after a month of use to see how you feel, see how any of your biomarkers have changed, whether it’s in a lab test, whether it’s your weight, whether it’s your arm size, you name it. And so thank you for creating products that help people accomplish that. And without the guesswork of random formulas with, like, actual peer reviewed research behind empowering each of the products you’ve created.
Robert (Bob) Wolfe [01:11:02]:
Oh, thanks. Appreciate that.
Nick Urban [01:11:04]:
I’m Nick Urban here with doctor Robert Wolf signing out from mindbodypeak.com. Have a great week, can be an outlier. I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe Mind hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. For all the resources and links, meet me on my website at mindbodypeak.com. I appreciate you Mind look forward to connecting with you.
Connect with Dr. Robert Wolfe @ AminoCo
This Podcast Is Brought to You By
Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, German New Medicine, etc), and modern science.
Music by Luke Hall
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