DAA Supplementation: Is it Important for Athletic Performance?

Know everything about DAA (D-aspartic acid) – from its functioning pattern in the human body to its benefits and side-effects to its recommended dosage. Read this research based article to update your knowledge.

D-aspartic acid (DAA) is an amino acid and is the similar in structure to L-aspartic acid (LAA), which is one of the 26 amino acids that make up proteins. DAA is found in the human body and various foods, but in much smaller amounts that its counterpart LAA; despite its scarceness, DAA appears to play a significant role in the neuroendocrine system of vertebrates, especially, with regards to production of male sex hormones and growth factors.

Hence, recently, supplementation with DAA has attracted interest for athletic performance enhancement. While DAA may certainly elevate endogenous production of hormones like testosterone, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF – 1), don’t expect supplementation with this supplement to produce anabolic steroid-like results. This isn’t to say youcan’t benefit from DAA supplementation (otherwise this guide would be useless), but that anabolic androgenic steroids, when taken for performance and physique enhancement, are generally administered so as to elevate anabolic hormones to levels well beyond normal physiological ranges. DAA may certainly elevate your endogenous production of different anabolic hormones, but not suprapysiological levels that could typically be achieved through administration of anabolic steroids.

Production of testosterone, GH and IGF-1 in males

The primary male sex hormone produced by the testes is testosterone. The production of testosterone is controlled by a stimulation connection between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, the liver and testes.

When the physiological concentrations of testosterone drops, the hypothalamus releases gonadotropin – GnRH which is then detected by the pituitary gland which secretes luteinizing hormone (LH), which when detected by the testes stimulates the production of testosterone.

GH and IGF-1 are also regulated by this same coordinating organs’ pathway. When the hypothalamus produces growth hormone releasing hormone, the pituitary releases GH in a pulsatile way. GH then goes on to signal the liver to produce IGF-1.

Benefits of DAA supplementation in males

Many of the benefits are based on user experience or anecdotes, animal studies, and suppositions. The effects of DAA supplementation will be variable from person to person and experimentation with dose, frequency and duration of use.

  1. Elevates physiological levels of testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 – all of which have positive ramifications on athletic and sexual performance.
  2. May act to increase thyroid hormone production (T4 and T3) via production of hydrogen peroxide from oxidation of DAA in the thyroid gland – elevating levels of thyroid hormones ultimately will increase metabolic rate.
  3. Testosterone, GH and IGF-1 – all have implications on speeding up recovery time from exhaustive resistance training, enhancing muscle growth, increasing work capacity, enhancing libido, and many other positive factors for an athletically active person.

It is important to cycle your use of DAA to avoid any possible side effects like increased dihydrotestosterone levels (DHT levels). This may lead to hair loss and acne. There may be occurrence of increased estrogen levels which may cause bloating, gynecomastia, prostate issues and inhibit libido.

Who can use DAA

Although all active individuals stand a chance to benefit from using DAA supplementation, but there are a few exceptions in which it is best to avoid use.

You can use DAA if you are:

  1. Male, over 21 years of age, and have low-to-normal testosterone levels
  2. Looking for a natural route to elevate endogenous anabolic hormone production
  3. Have low libido and feel like your ability to recover from training has been lacking
  4. It is advised that you have your testosterone levels overseen by a licensed medical physician prior to and during your time supplementing with DAA

Avoid using DAA if you are:

  1. Female
  2. Under 21 years of age or having elevated testosterone levels
  3. Dealing with excess levels of DHT or estrogen
  4. Dealing with hyperthyroidism since this would likely interfere with the issue

Dosage

It is advised to cycle your use of DAA. Take for 2-3 weeks and then discontinue for 1-2 weeks and repeat the cycle. Take your dose of DAA daily, mixed in liquid if it is in powder form, and with or without food. Split your dosage into morning and evening doses if you are taking 5+ grams per day.

  1. Start with lower limit of 3g per day and assess your results after one cycle
  2. It is suggested that maximum dose of DAA be limited to 20g per day (this is quite high so never put it above 5g a day before consulting a licensed medical physician)
  3. Most of the people come back with good response with 5-10 grams per day

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571970/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4384294/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10744627
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24074738
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19860889
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8699926

About The Author

Rajul Tiwari

Rajul Tiwari is the Editor-in-Chief at bodyandstrenth.com and has 18 years of experience in media, content, publishing and education. She has worked with media houses like Daini.... Read More..

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