I am excited to share this one with you. When I take this combination I can actually see glimpses of who I used to be. It’s amaze balls!
Disclaimer: these supplements are by no means a cure for ME/CFS, and I am a what is considered a mild case. If you are in more serious condition I don’t know how they would effect you. If you are a more serious case and decide to try it, please let me know what your results are! And of course, talk to your doctor before you try anything new no matter what your condition is blah blah blah.
PS. It blows my mind that I can be considered a mild case when I could hardly stand for 10 minutes without crashing, and had to quit my job because I couldn’t work. GAH. Anyway…
Amino Acids- The Building Blocks of Cells
Alright. Amino Acids. Since I have been sick (13 years) I have been searching for things to make me feel better. After I saw Unrest I decided to look into things to help boost the cycles in our body that harness energy. I decided to pull out my personal trainer manual (yes I was actually a certified personal trainer at one point, but never had a chance to practice. $400 gone to waste!) and look into the scientific basis of these cycles and what I might be able to do to support them. I will do anything if it has any possibility of giving me more energy. I found amino acids.
Protein is the structure keeper in our body. It helps build and repair tissues like skin and muscles. Protein also helps make hormones and other important body chemicals. Proteins are made up smaller molecules called amino acids. There are three types of amino acids, essential, semiessential, and non-essential. Essential amino acids are not manufactured in the body and are obtained by the food we eat. Nonessential are actually produced by the body. Here is a list as shown in my NASM Certified Personal Trainer Manual:
Essential: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine
Nonessential: Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic acid, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine
Semiessential: Arginine, Histidine
Don’t ask me to pronounce any of those. Ha.
My theory was perhaps my body was low on some of these amino acids.
When you take amino acids your body will decide where it needs to go, whether in needs to be used for tissue repair or energy renewal. Body builders have used amino acids for many years to help them have better muscle endurance and energy during a workout. I thought, my body is in an energy crisis. It kinda feels like I’m bodybuilding when I am washing my hair. So I decided to try it out, along with some *very* light exercise (which I might post about later). vualá! I had more energy! I could move my muscles! As long as I am SUUUPPEEEERR careful and listen to my body cues that I am overdoing it. In the short term I am able to do more in the moment without feeling immediately fatigued. In the long term my muscles get strengthened, and I have increased mobility. Now to be clear, I am NOT talking about graded exercise therapy. We know that doesn’t work. But we do know we need to maintain a little bit of our muscle strength for mobility purposes. Now I take it with D ribose when I am going to do something I feel is going to cause a crash, or take it when I am in a crash. I believe it helps me recover.
Extra bonus about amino acids if you didn’t already know… CT38, the drug from the Cortene Trial is made up of amino acids. I am not sure which ones or how exactly it works but if you were hoping to try CT38, you might consider give amino acid supplements a shot.
When I am purchasing supplements I try to go for the best value for the best price. I also try to look for the supplements that are from the most natural resources. I find that vegan or vegetarian are often free of potentially harmful additives like gluten and soy. Here is what I came up with!
I am going to try the Optimal Nutrition Brand of Essential Amino Energy next. It seems to have even more of the essential amino acids and also has some caffeine in the mix. I haven’t tried it though so I can’t say it will make any more of a difference than Amino Slim has for me. I plan on taking a half dose of this daily when I get it because it has higher doses of caffeine.
Now for the second half. Caffeine.
I am not a coffee drinker. I have seen people around me who cannot live without their coffee and I never wanted to be like that, so I just don’t drink it. So it wasn’t until I started to get lots of migraines I started to realize the positive effects of caffeine. Particularly when I take Excedrin Migraine. Excedrin Migraine has a small amount of caffeine, 65 mg. Caffeine helps to constrict blood vessels, and also blocks the receptors in your brain that make you feel sleepy. This can give the illusion you have more energy! I don’t recommend Excedrin Migraine every day because it contains acetaminophen and that can actually have some dangerous side effects if you take it too much.
I asked Dr. Bateman about caffeine when I went to visit a couple of weeks ago. I was concerned that taking small amounts of caffeine could make me feel worse in the long run because it isn’t real energy. She said that’s true if you continually overdo it. She said she would def recommend caffeine and other stimulants for some patients and it’s a great way to feel better. She said it is a good idea to use it with caution and perhaps only when we need it, like if you are going to be around family all day. I asked her how much I should take and she said that it is up to me! I also asked her of a source and she said it didn’t really matter.
I think about 65 mg when I am going to participate in some activity where I need energy is good enough for me. I don’t want to take lots because I don’t want it to have a negative effect in the long run, I don’t want to get addicted to it, and I don’t want to be jittery. When I take the combination of amino acids and a little bit of caffeine, I feel almost human. It’s almost too good to be true. I wonder if it might make you feel almost human too? Let me know!
Have you tried amino acids or caffeine? What helps you the most? Please share so we can all benefit.
Alright, that is all for today. I hope you are all hanging in there! We got this!
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Sending all my hugs and love!