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alpha-ketoglutarate

Also known as: AKG

Naturally occurring substance in the body that plays a role in energy production and when supplemented may increase oxygen uptake and athletic performance.


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What Is It?

Alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG) is a naturally-occurring substance found in the human body. Alpha Ketoglutarate is a salt form of alpha ketoglutaric acid often used in various dietary supplements to improve the bioavailability and absorption of other ingredients.

AKG plays a key role in the Krebs cycle, the body's primary means of energy production.a series of chemical reactions involved in the body's production of energy). Alpha ketoglutarate is required for the formation of the amino acid glutamine, which is needed for muscle protein synthesis and optimal immune system functioning.

What Does It Do?

Alpha ketoglutaric acid is often used as a means to enhance athletic performance. This is most likely based on the fact that AKG is used by cells during growth periods and in times of healing from wounds or traumatic injuries. Research using AKG found that administering AKG intravenously prevented a decline in protein synthesis in the muscles in patients following surgery.

Based on these studies, it's been hypothesized that oral AKG supplements may help improve strength or lean mass gains by weightlifters, but no clinical trials have been conducted to verify these thoughts.

Additionally, since AKG is heavily involved in the Krebs Cycle, oral supplementation with AKG is thought to improve energy levels and stamina during workouts as a result of increased energy levels. Again, this has yet to be clearly proven by research, but the theory at least holds water.

Benefits of AKG?

  • Improve strength

  • Prevent muscle breakdown

  • Increase energy

  • Improve endurance

  • Support lean muscle growth

  • Enhance immune system functioning

  • Speed injury recovery

  • Heal wounds

Takeaway

Alpha-ketoglutarate works in many pathways throughout the body, to help spur muscle growth and help recovery from injuries. While it may be beneficial in terms of increasing athletic performance, science has yet to verify one way or the other as to whether oral supplementation is truly beneficial.

However, AKG does increase the bioavailability of other ingredients and is a key player in the body's own production of energy, so it may be worthwhile to investigate its effects as a worthwhile addition to a supplement stack should you need a little boost in energy.

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