It seems like a minor change. You continue eating the same diet and training as you normally do. The only difference is that now you swallow 5 tablets with water a few times a day. It’s hardly a difficult habit to maintain. You started on the first Monday of February. By the first Tuesday of June you haven’t missed a beat.
After one bottle – strength
Here comes the clincher. Over the course of those 16 weeks you gained 8 pounds. Has anyone else noticed? Yes. Are you panicking? No. Your pants don’t need to be let out in the waist. Your abs and biceps don’t look any less defined. Quite the contrary, your body fat has gone down as a percentage of your body weight because you’ve gained 8 pounds of lean mass –muscle mass. Swallowing the tablets was the only thing you did differently.
If the tablet described above sounds like a wonder drug, then you are wrong. It contains a nutritional formula, albeit an exceedingly rare one. The scenario described above needn’t only exist in your dreams, moreover. It was inspired by members of the “No Nonsense” bodybuilding public like yourself who supplement their diet and training with the very same tablet –consumers like Mecca, from Temple, PA, for instance.
The first time Mecca used Beverly International’s MASS Amino Acid Tablets, he took 4 tablets with each meal and 3 of them every 5 minutes during his workouts. Everything else about his diet and training program remained the same. Yet this minor change would have major implications for his physique. He relates:
“The addition of MASS Aminos was the only change. After one bottle my strength jumped 5-10 pounds on every lift and my bodyweight went up 5 pounds.”
Jeremy, another devoted BI customer, also takes MASS Aminos with each meal and during his workouts. He says it played a major role in taking his bodyweight from 178 pounds to 190 pounds while gaining zero body fat.
One of the most convincing recent testimonials comes from Rick, a diet and training consultant and National Physique Committee vice-chairman from Ohio. Twenty-six years ago Rick was building fitness equipment. Customers began asking him for diet and training advice. By 1997 the demand for his advice was so great that he decided to build bodies full-time.
Despite his busy schedule, Rick has never stopped building his own body. At 57 years of age, his physique is beyond exceptional, not just for someone his age, but for someone period. At a competition in 2009 his body fat was calculated to be a sliced 2.8%. He won his class at the NPC Indianapolis in June.
The rare properties of MASS Aminos left a lasting impression on Rick after breaking his neck in 2005. For 2 months the left side of his body was paralyzed, making the prospect of serious training a pipe dream. Suffering from extreme pain, he could barely manage to eat 1-2 small meals a day. These and other factors combined to create a perfect “catabolic storm”.
Rick wasn’t about to lie around and wait as his hard-earned muscle mass evaporated. “With my background in nutrition I figured that MASS Aminos might be just the ticket.” He continues, “I knew that this product contains the same ingredients used in medical settings to halt muscle wasting.”
To say that Rick gave MASS Aminos a try is an understatement. He swallowed them with water all day long, sometimes taking as many as 70 tablets in a single 24-hour period. The result?
“They worked great!” Rick enthuses. Members of the medical team that supervised his recovery were surprised at how much muscle mass and conditioning he was able to maintain under the catabolic conditions. “Every day since I’ve taken MASS Aminos. I find them especially valuable when I’m unable to eat properly due to my intense schedule.”
Rick recommends this staple BI supplement to almost every client in his busy diet and training consulting practice. “The key is to take enough tablets to make a difference,” he explains. He usually has clients take 3-5 tablets, 4-6 times per day. If they are preparing for a physique competition, then it is almost guaranteed that they will be supplementing with the product. Doing so allows them to maintain more muscle mass while achieving lower levels of body fat. As the day of the competition approaches, he closely monitors their lean muscle mass, body fat and strength levels. To date he has over 100 documented success stories with MASS Aminos.
Rick concludes, “In my opinion MASS Aminos offer more bang for the buck than literally any supplement on the market today. I feel that they are assimilated very quickly and efficiently. They are also easy to use. As easy as protein drinks are, MASS Aminos can be taken at any time and easily transported. We are all occasionally in a position where it is difficult to eat as we would like. If you have MASS Aminos available, it is easy to give yourself a quick shot of high-quality protein until you are able to get actual food in. These days I always have them at my side.”
“In my opinion the MASS Aminos offer more bang for the buck than literally any supplement on the market today.”
What makes MASS Aminos so incredibly rare among protein supplements? Which key ingredient allows it to produce dramatic results like those described here?
The “Hydro” Buzz
In some parts of the world, the term hydro, derived from the Greek word for water, is synonymous with electrical power. In the sports nutrition marketplace, it is the latest buzzword for hydrolyzed protein supplements and often regarded as synonymous with muscle-building power.
The appeal of hydrolyzed proteins seems pretty straightforward at first glance. When a whole, or, intact, protein is treated with a solution of water and enzymes, its molecules are broken down into smaller pieces. This is known as hydrolysis. The smaller pieces of protein can be absorbed more quickly. Faster absorption, in turn, is thought to promote larger increases in muscle protein synthesis and muscle mass.
A closer look reveals that hydrolysis isn’t nearly so black and white as the $5,000, 4-color advertisements littering bodybuilding magazines might otherwise suggest. Thus, if you walk into a sports nutrition retailer simply looking for a protein supplement bearing the word “hydrolyzed” on the label, you may end up wasting your money on a bottle full of disappointment. To avoid this, you need to learn a little bit about PBAAs.
Peptide-Bound Amino Acids (PBAAs): You only gain what you retain.
Amino acids are to proteins what letters are to words: building blocks. In the 1970s, scientists came to the realization that the intact proteins in the foods we eat are not completely digested into their amino acid building blocks before being absorbed. In fact, the main product of digestion was discovered to be small peptides consisting of 2 or 3 amino acids, known as dipeptides and tripeptides, respectively. Decades later it would be confirmed that cells lining the intestinal wall contain transporters capable of absorbing these peptide-bound amino acids (PBAAs). Once inside the intestinal cell, the peptides are thought to be hydrolyzed into free amino acids which can be released into the bloodstream and carried to tissues including muscle.
The presence or absence of PBAAs in your protein supplement can go a long way in determining whether or not you experience any satisfying results while using it. Bodybuilders know all too well that you only gain what you retain. To increase muscle mass, your body must synthesize more muscle protein. Protein is built of amino acids, and amino acids contain nitrogen. Thus, if your muscles aren’t retaining more nitrogen, then it’s a pretty safe bet they aren’t depositing more protein, which means their mass won’t increase. In short, if you want bigger muscles, then you need to increase muscle protein deposition.
“In short, if you want bigger muscles, then you need to increase muscle protein deposition.”
Absorption affects deposition
Protein deposition depends to a considerable extent on the rate at which a protein is absorbed after being consumed (Dangin et al., 2001). Since digestion precedes absorption, you might expect a mixture of free amino acids to win a speed test if pitted against intact proteins or PBAAs. In fact, studies show that you would be wrong: The gold medal goes to PBAAs. Not only are they absorbed more quickly, but they can also increase nitrogen retention as much as 16 times compared to a mixture of free amino acids and nearly twice as much as regular food. In bodybuilding terms, this means 2-16 times the potential gains.
The gold medal goes to PBAAs
Not only are they absorbed more quickly, but they can also increase nitrogen retention as much as 16 times compared to a mixture of free amino acids and nearly twice as much as regular food. In bodybuilding terms, this means 2-16 times the potential gains.
The size of the PBAAs may also be important. Studies performed in the 1970s revealed that PBAAs created by partial hydrolysis of milk proteins are absorbed most efficiently if they contain ample amounts of di- and tripeptides, in particular (Adibi and Mercer, 1973). Studies performed in the 1980s reported similar findings (e.g. Grimble et al., 1987).
At this point you may be convinced that a hydrolyzed protein supplement containing an abundance of small PBAAs is a great investment. Exceedingly rare is a properly manufactured one, as we shall now see.
Hydrolysis: It’s a matter of degree.
At 2.6% by weight, casein is by far the most abundant protein in bovine (cow’s) milk. It is also regarded as among the best quality proteins Nature has to offer. Casein is complete with all of the amino acids required to synthesize tissue proteins, it is absorbed efficiently, and numerous studies have shown that healthy subjects can stimulate protein synthesis and suppress protein breakdown by adding a casein supplement to the diet. Imagine, then, what kind of results one could expect by taking a hydrolyzed casein supplement.
Imagination was put to the test in 2000, when a group of researchers put a hydrolyzed casein supplement head to head with a whey protein hydrolysate in a study involving overweight police officers (Demling and Desanti, 2000). The officers were given either (a) a hypocaloric diet providing 80% of calorie requirements with no exercise, (b) a hypocaloric diet combined with resistance exercise and a casein hydrolysate, or (c) a hypocaloric diet combined with resistance exercise and a whey protein hydrolysate. The officers receiving the casein hydrolysate lost roughly double the body fat and gained double the lean mass of those receiving the whey protein hydrolysate. Chest, shoulder and leg strength was also about 30% greater in the casein hydrolysate group. The authors of the study concluded “This significant difference in body composition and strength is likely due to improved nitrogen retention and overall anticatabolic effects caused by the peptide components [PBAAs] of the casein hydrolysate.”
As mentioned earlier, hydrolysis isn’t black or white. To achieve the right level of PBAAs, you need to pay attention to the degree of hydrolysis: If you hydrolyze the protein molecules too little, you won’t get enough of the “gold medal” PBAAs referred to above; that is, the smaller peptides thought to be better suited for protein deposition. If you hydrolyze them too much, on the other hand, you’ll end up with a mixture of free amino acids that is also less than ideal for maximizing muscle mass. In practice, consumers need to be much more concerned about avoiding products that have been hydrolyzed too little, not too much. So what’s “too little”?
We can use the ratio of amino acid nitrogen (AN) to total nitrogen (TN) as a gauge of the degree to which a protein has been hydrolyzed and its content of PBAAs. Generally speaking, hydrolysates with a higher AN/TN ratio tend to contain more in the way of PBAAs. Unfortunately, consumers may encounter numerous products with low AN/TN ratios on store shelves. While some companies claim that their protein supplements have an AN/TN ratio of “no less than 0.05”, industry experts suggest that a minimum of 0.30 may be required before consumers will notice results.
With an AN/TN ratio of at least 0.31, the leading ingredient in BI’s MASS Amino Acid Tablet exceeds that of other products by as much as 500%. It also meets the FDA’s specific requirements for what is referred to as a partially hydrolyzed protein.
“Unfortunately, consumers may encounter numerous products with low AN/TN ratios on store shelves. While some companies claim that their protein supplements have an AN/TN ratio of “no less than 0.05”, industry experts suggest that a minimum of 0.30 may be required before consumers will notice results. With an AN/TN ratio of at least 0.31, the leading ingredient in BI’s MASS Amino Acid Tablet exceeds that of other products by as much as 500%. It also meets the FDA’s specific requirements for what is referred to as a partially hydrolyzed protein.”
In the Lead: BI’s Partial Hydrolysate of Casein
The “leading ingredient” referred to above is BI’s partial hydrolysate of casein. It is by far the most abundant ingredient in the MASS Aminos formula. It is also the most expensive to produce -so expensive, in fact, that MASS Aminos has one of the lowest profit margins of any product BI has developed since the company was founded in 1967. What motivates them to continue selling it? It works so well that consumers continue to buy it. The volume of business makes up for the cost of goods.
Manufacturing BI’s partial hydrolysate of casein is a complex task requiring the optimization of a number of different factors, including the blend of enzymes used during hydrolysis. Inside the manufacturing lab intact casein molecules are treated with a solution of water and an extract of porcine pancreatic enzymes obtained from USDA and/or Agriculture Canada inspected facilities. The treatment is carried out under pH-, time- and temperature-controlled conditions in order to produce a partial hydrolysate. The hydrolysate is subsequently filtered, spray-dried, sifted and tested. If the test results are positive, the other ingredients are added and all are blended together before being compressed to form tablets.
By itself, casein is hard to compress. To ease with compression, BI’s manufacturing lab added whey protein. (Though it is listed second on the label, whey is a distant second from the partial hydrolysate of casein in terms of quantity.) A small amount of milk protein hydrolysate -the fourth ingredient in terms of quantity- was also added to facilitate compression.
The addition of lysine hydrochloride to MASS Aminos is another distinguishing feature of the formula. It is the third ingredient in terms of quantity. Lysine is a dietarily essential amino acid whose main role is as a substrate in tissue protein synthesis. When MASS Aminos was first developed, lysine was considered a growth enhancing, or anabolic, agent. With so many satisfied customers, BI continues to put it in the formula to this day.
Guaranteed content of small PBAAs
It’s clear that BI’s partial hydrolysate of casein is what gives MASS Aminos its uncommonly powerful muscle-building properties. How can consumers be confident that this rare ingredient actually contains PBAAs? This is confirmed by repeatedly testing batches of finished product. BI’s proprietary hydrolysis process systematically reduces the intact casein molecules from a weight of approximately 23,000 Daltons (equivalent to roughly 170 amino acid residues) to an average of approximately 400-1000 Daltons. These figures are calculated using an alpha-amino nitrogen assay. They indicate that each tablet of MASS Aminos contains a wide assortment of PBAAs ranging from di- and tripeptides (up to 60-80%) to peptides of 4-8 amino acid residues, as well as some free amino acids and intact proteins.
“The results indicate that each tablet of MASS Aminos contains a wide assortment of PBAAs ranging from di- and tripeptides (up to 60-80%) to peptides of 4-8 amino acid residues, as well as some free amino acids and intact proteins.”
MASS Amino Acid Tablets are meant to be swallowed with water, not chewed. Nevertheless, if you get courageous and bite into one, you will be greeted with a very bitter taste. The tablets also smell rather offensive. Consumers can regard both the bitter taste and bad odor as a sign of unusually high quality: They provide further confirmation of presence of PBAAs in the tablets. It has been suggested that a partial hydrolysate of casein produces a more bitter taste than that of whey due to the exposure of hydrophobic amino acids, which casein has a higher content of.
Endless Bodybuilding Applications
Mecca, Jeremy and Rick are far from the only BI customers to have experienced outstanding results while supplementing their diet and training with MASS Aminos. BI receives letters daily from people of all ages and backgrounds who have enjoyed remarkable gains in muscle mass, reductions in body fat and increases in performance while using this unusually qualified product.
Besides the results, one of the things that makes MASS Aminos so appealing is its flexibility. This arises from the fact that MASS Aminos is (1) a tablet and (2) exceptionally dense in nutrients, protein, in particular. Because it is so flexible, consumers can use it for a wide range of bodybuilding applications every day of the year. Below are some examples:
- Recovery from injury or illness: Whether it’s H1N1 or a sore rotator cuff, even a minor illness or injury can create a “catabolic storm” that threatens to steal your body of muscle mass and strength. Protect yourself with MASS Aminos.
- Extended layoffs from training: We all know that the most powerful muscle-building stimulus is training. Even a few days off can cause rates of protein synthesis to collapse, resulting in a loss of muscle mass. Of course, sometimes layoffs can’t be avoided. This doesn’t mean losses can’t be avoided. Minimize if not prevent them entirely by supplementing your diet with MASS Aminos.
- Endurance training: Endurance training can cause your muscles to “melt” off your body. Use MASS Aminos to avoid suffering this fate.
- School/Work: It’s not easy eating properly when you are in class or at work for hours at a time. MASS Aminos allows you to easily give your muscles a quick shot of PBAAs whenever they need it.
- Poor diet habits: Most of us don’t eat perfectly all the time. We’re only human. In fact, the less perfectly you eat, the more likely you may be to notice impressive lean mass gains while using MASS Aminos.
- Contest (physique competition) dieting: Rick’s clients successfully use MASS Aminos to maintain more muscle and achieve lower levels of body fat while preparing for physique competitions. You can do the same.
- Weight-loss dieting: Use MASS Aminos to protect your muscle while you strip away body fat.
- Improve the mass-building quality of regular meals: Taking MASS Aminos with meals boosts the protein quality and anabolic power of the food you eat.
- Nighttime anti-catabolic aid: Even hardcore athletes would prefer not to have to get up and prepare a meal in the middle of the night. Now you can give your metabolism some anti-catabolic aid simply by swallowing a few tablets of MASS Aminos with water.
- Traveling: Tablets don’t require mixing, cooking or chopping. They’re ready to go anywhere you are.
Few sports nutrition products generate dramatic testimonials like those written by consumers of BI’s MASS Amino Acid Tablets. Its rare muscle-building powers stem from its partial hydrolysate of casein, an ingredient with properties that consumers will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the marketplace.
Scientists have known for decades that the principal products of digestion after eating a protein-containing meal are not free amino acids, the building blocks of protein, but rather small chains of amino acids, known as peptides. It has also been demonstrated that peptide-bound amino acids (PBAAs), particularly di- and tri-peptides, are absorbed faster and increase nitrogen retention to a larger extent than either free amino acids or regular food. As bodybuilders know, you only gain what you retain, where “retain” refers to the retention of nitrogen in the form of new muscle protein.
Hydrolyzed protein supplements have enjoyed considerable recent popularity. On paper, the idea behind them seems fairly simple: Hydrolysis breaks down intact protein molecules into PBAAs which can be more quickly absorbed. Quicker absorption leads to greater increases in muscle protein synthesis and muscle mass.
Hydrolysis is not a black-and-white affair, however. When comparing products, consumers need to pay attention to the degree of hydrolysis, the ratio of free amino acids to amino acids in peptide linkage, and the size of the PBAAs.
From a starting size of over 20,000 Daltons, BI’s manufacturing lab treats intact casein molecules with a carefully optimized blend of pancreatic enzymes under tightly controlled conditions in order to create a partial hydrolysate containing molecules in the range of 400-1000 Daltons corresponding to a wide assortment of PBAAs including but not limited to di- and tripeptides. These figures are confirmed by alpha-amino nitrogen assays performed on batches of the finished product.
- Adibi SA and Mercer DW (1973). J Clin Invest, 52: 1586.
- Dangin M et al. (2001). Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 280(2): E340.
- Demling RH and DeSanti L (2000). Ann Nutr Metab, 44 (1): 21.
- Grimble GK et al. (1987). Gastroenterology, 92(1): 136.