Low intensity cardio before breakfast burns more fat if you take some L-phenylalanine
Low intensity cardio sessions on an empty stomach burn more fat if you take 3 g of the amino acid L-phenylalanine half an hour beforehand. Researchers at the Japanese Meiji [meiji.com] write about this in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
L-Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is needed for protein synthesis and for the production of insulin and glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that induces the body to convert glycogen into glucose, proteins into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids.
L-Phenylalanine is also a building block for a series of stimulatory pep hormones and neurotransmitters, such as adrenalin [epinephrine], noradrenalin [nor-epinephrine] and dopamine. Scientists call this group of substances catecholamines.
The researchers wondered whether L-phenylalanine could be an effective slimming aid, and decided to answer the question by doing an experiment with 6 participants. The participants had to cycle at 50 percent of their maximal oxygen uptake for an hour on two separate occasions. The participants - healthy men aged between 20 and 40 - did so early in the morning. They had not yet had breakfast.
On one occasion the participants took a placebo 30 minutes before the cycling session started; on the other occasion they took 3 g L-phenylalanine.
While they were cycling, the concentration of glycerol in the participants’ blood rose considerably more after they had taken a supplement, which would indicate that their fat burning had increased.
The glucagon concentration also rose by more when the participants had taken L-phenylalanine.
The respiratory exchange ratio was a little lower at various moments after the participants had taken L-phenylalanine. This is also an indication that their fat burning had increased.
"In conclusion, pre-exercise ingestion of a phenylalanine supplement significantly accelerated secretion of glucagon during both rest and exercise," the researchers wrote. "Furthermore especially serum glycerol levels increased significantly during exercise, indicating a shift towards fat oxidation."
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Sep 12;14:34.
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