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Phenylalanine May Help Burn Fat During Workout

Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is not produced by the body, it must be gotten from food. A recent study suggests that taking the amino acid phenylalanine before working out may help stimulate whole body fat oxidation, which is commonly known as burning fat.


Participants in this placebo-controlled, double blind, randomized, and crossover study included six healthy, active men between the ages of 20 and 40 with an average body mass index of 22.7 at baseline. They were given either a capsule containing 3g of phenylalanine or placebo, along with a cup of tap water. After ingesting, they worked out for an hour and then rested for 60 minutes in a supine position. The researchers collected blood samples before ingestion and again at 30, 60, 90, and 150 minutes after ingestion.


After examining the data, the researchers determined that the respiratory exchange rate of the phenylalanine group was significantly less than that of the placebo group. The respiratory exchange rate is the amount of carbon dioxide produced in metabolism per oxygen used and is a measure of whole body fat oxidation.


The researchers also noted increased glucagon and glycerol concentration in the supplement group, when compared with the placebo. They hypothesized that glucagon secretion after phenylalanine supplementation may lead to fat oxidation.


Researchers from Food Science Research Labs, R&D Division, conducted the study. It was published on September 12, 2017, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.


Phenylalanine can be found in most proteins, including beef, poultry, pork, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, soy products, and some nuts and seeds, as well as the artificial sweetener aspartame. It can also be taken in supplement form.

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