Anyone who is keen on taking dietary supplements or pre-workouts to fuel a good training session would have noticed the ingredient called AAKG added to it, but what is it and what are the benefits of taking it?
What is AAKG?
AAKG is an acronym for the compound arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate. It is a natural substance that plays several essential roles in the body, including the creation of creatine, the formation of signaling molecules, and of most importance in sports nutrition, is an essential part of the nitric oxide cycle. AAKG can increase energy levels and improve blood flow which is why it is often found in pre-workout supplements, providing that great pump feeling. AAKG is effectively a nitrate supplement.
What are nitrate supplements?
Nitrate is a naturally occurring organic compound of nitrogen and oxygen that can be found in many natural foods we eat especially leafy greens like spinach, silverbeet, and even bok choy. Nitrate supplements work through various pathways to increase nitric oxide levels in our blood. Nitric oxide relaxes and opens our blood vessels, promoting blood flow and nutrient delivery to our muscles.
What are the benefits of AAKG?
1.Increased endurance – the delivery of more oxygen and nutrients to muscles increases exercise capacity. For endurance athletes this means being able to run longer or faster. In the gym this means being able to pump out more reps or use heavier weights.
2. Reduced muscle fatigue – the delivery of more blood to muscles allows the muscles fatigue slower and recover faster.
3. Bigger pumps – the opening of blood vessels, promotes blood flow and maximises pumps in the gym.
What should I mix AAKG with?
As pure AAKG is unflavoured and may taste slightly bitter, it can be mixed with any other VPA® products. AAKG can be mixed with water, juice, or electrolyte drinks – pretty much anything you want, however, be aware that you may still be able to taste it in these fluids.
The optimal dose of AAKG is 3-6g. One 200g tub of AAKG has 66 3g serves. One serve is about ½ a teaspoon, but for accuracy we recommend weighing a serve of AAKG using microscales.
What is the best time to take AAKG?
It is best to take the AAKG powder about 20 minutes before training to give it time to enter the nitric oxide cycle and start working. To maintain high AAKG levels for the entire day, you can take AAKG up to three times a day to a maximum dose of 15-18g.
How to store AAKG and amino acid clumping
Amino acids tend to take on moisture. Once your AAKG is opened, it should be stored in a cool dark location to keep it as moisture-free as possible. It is highly recommended to be consumed within 60 days once it is opened. If your AAKG starts to clump, rest assured that although it may be more difficult to scoop but it will still work just as well.
Does VPA® have AAKG samples?
Unfortunately, we do not have samples of AAKG available. You can view our sample range here. We sell 200g AAKG in plastic bottles, and 1kg AAKG in bags.
Can I take AAKG and protein at the same time?
Yes, you can. You can mix them together in the same shake or take them separately but at the same time if you choose.
Does AAKG have side effects?
Taking the recommended dose of AAKG should not have any side effects. Gastric discomfort and diarrhea may occur if too much AAKG is taken in one sitting.
Sally Mitchell (BSc, MHumNut) is a scientist, university qualified nutritionist and VPA staff member. She brings a nerdy love of numbers, data, and science wit her to VPA. Her favourite VPA product is coffee Breakfast Shake. She enjoys powerlifting and running but, sadly, does both poorly.
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