If you’re a dedicated bodybuilder, then you’ll know how important hormones are, more specifically, testosterone. Increasing levels of T can help you to shred body fat, increase lean muscle growth with ease, whilst improving your sexual drive and desire.
It’s no myth that as men age, we lose significant amounts of testosterone when we hit our 30s. So, if you find yourself creeping into this age bracket or beyond you could be at risk.
For example, if your recovery, energy levels, and your desire to lift weights aren’t as it used to be, it could be due to low T levels.
Right now I’ll discuss how D-Aspartic Acid has been shown to improve strength and recovery. All thanks to a spike in testosterone.
Quick Overview: What is DAA?
D-Aspartic Acid is a non-essential amino acid that stimulates the production of hormones. It helps to create strong bones, and heals ligaments, among other benefits – DAA in-Depth Article.
The topic that we’re most concerned within this article is that it increases activity in your endocrine glands. More specifically, the glands that are directly related to hormone release.
When testosterone is increased (with the use of DAA for example) it’s been shown to help increase fat loss and also testosterone production. In fact, one study showed that when testosterone increased in young healthy males, it resulted in a lean mass increase of 9.6 % with a fat reduction of 16.2 %. (I)
And the reason why you might want to supplement with DAA is that it’s commonly found in vegetables grown in mineral-rich soils that are hard to come by. This is the main reason why you would choose supplements over whole foods.
D-Aspartic Acid and Testosterone
When looking into the research surrounding d-aspartic acid and testosterone, we can see that it has a positive effect on your body’s own mechanisms at producing more T.
One study that tested humans and rats showed that d-aspartic acid did, in fact, increase (LH) and testosterone. (II) This is because messenger cycles that are responsible for T production are stimulated when using DAA.
Furthermore, and what’s more interesting, is that DAA can increase T production without the presence of chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). (III) In simple terms, chorionic gonadotropin gets converted into testosterone.
Therefore, this tells us that even if your hormones aren’t being produced as they should, DAA will override this process to force more T to be produced. You can read more on DAA and Testosterone here.
Benefits of D-Aspartic Acid For Bodybuilding
- Bound Testosterone: This is a form of testosterone that isn’t released – it’s literally held in place to the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
- Free Testosterone: This form of testosterone is what makes the most difference in muscle growth and repair. Free-flowing testosterone gets into your muscles, allowing them to grow, to become bigger and stronger.
As you can imagine, the more T you can harness from your diet and supplementation, the more muscle you’ll be able to create. Here are the benefits of using DAA for increased testosterone production.
Increased muscle growth
When testosterone increases, it helps to activate additional muscle growth, even without the need for exercise. This is because it activates more muscle fibre precursor cells, called “satellite cells.”
Furthermore, the precursor cells, the same ones that increase when additional testosterone is present, can bind into already existing muscle fibres. By doing this, it makes them bigger.
And interestingly, the satellite cells can further attach together to create new muscle fibres independently, also known as hyperplasia. (IV)
Increased Muscle Protein Synthesis
Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is a mechanism that signals for the release of amino acids and other food sources. These are required to repair and build new muscle fibres. MPS is increased once your body is exposed to a training stimulus. Or if there’s a large amount of testosterone in your system.
One study which gave testosterone on male subjects for 12 weeks showed their muscle protein synthesis to increase by a massive 27%. The study from the Department of Neurology New York said: “Testosterone increased muscle protein synthesis in all subjects”. (V)
Apart from helping your muscles to go and shredding fat off your body, testosterone can also help you to recover at a quicker rate. This is because T has been shown to increase red blood cell count, which improves nutrient and oxygen delivery into your muscles.
When testosterone is high, it improves the function of the mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of your cells within your body All of this basically means is that your energy production system will become more efficient. Read more about the mitochondria here.
How Much D-Aspartic To Use For Bodybuilding?
While you may see large supplement doses of DAA in T boosters, this isn’t always such a good thing. In my opinion, and according to the research, taking less and often is a much better option.
DAA is a raw testosterone material – which directly stimulates T production in the endocrine glands. Some studies which used 6 grams a day showed that DAA reduced the natural stimulation of T.
Therefore, when you take large doses, it slows down the natural production of testosterone in your body. This is why it’s much better to use smaller doses and often, anywhere between 2000 and 3000 mg per day. (VI)
Read more on supplement doses here: High Supplement Doses: Why More Isn’t Better
Sport Nutrition Expert Recommendation?
For a way to increase testosterone naturally, there are a handful of supplements and dieting measures you can take – one of those is the use of DAA.
With the right supplement dose of 2/3000 mg per day, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your own natural production of testosterone. And as we’ve discussed, the more testosterone you can create, the more muscle you’ll be able to build with ease.
Not only that, you’ll recover quicker, have more energy. And, as an added bonus, your sex drive will increase which leads to greater confidence and well-being.
(I) Young, N. R., Baker, H. W., Liu, G., & Seeman, E. (1993). Body composition and muscle strength in healthy men receiving testosterone enanthate for contraception. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 77(4), 1028-1032. (source)
(II) Topo, Enza, et al. “The Role and Molecular Mechanism of D-Aspartic Acid in the Release and Synthesis of LH and Testosterone in Humans and Rats.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: RB&E, BioMed Central, 27 Oct. 2009. (source)
(III) “Stimulation of Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein (StAR) Gene Expression by d-Aspartate in Rat Leydig Cells.” FEBS Letters, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 9 July 1999. (source)
(IV) Sinha-Hikim, Indrani, et al. “Testosterone-Induced Muscle Hypertrophy Is Associated with an Increase in Satellite Cell Number in Healthy, Young Men.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2003. (source)
(V) Griggs, R C, et al. “Effect of Testosterone on Muscle Mass and Muscle Protein Synthesis.” Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 1989. (source)
(VI) Topo, Enza, et al. “Evidence for the Involvement of D-Aspartic Acid in Learning and Memory of Rat.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2010. (source)