Clinical and Scientific Research

Why Amino Acids

Muscle building and repair

The intake of the Conditional and Essential Amino Acids (AA’s) contribute to enhancing exercise performance by exerting its influence on fatigue substances, muscle damage substances, and energy metabolism substances.  For energy production, endurance, and recovery, exogenous amino acids provide the body with the fundamental building blocks for increasing muscle mass and repair [1,2]. Furthermore, AA’s decreases the rate of protein degradation during exercise and at rest, post exercise [1,3]. Furthermore, AA’s, especially essential AA’s are key in stimulating muscle protein growth, especially in individuals over the age of 55 [4].

When taken as a supplement, AA’s enter the blood stream within 20 mins of consuming and are quickly utilized for a myriad of metabolic process [5,6]. The uptake of free amino acids in serum can be up to 300% higher within 30 mins of ingestion than by eating a protein rich food, and is elevated for up to 120 mins (6,8). The subsequent fall in serum AA’s is due to skeletal muscle uptake; for energy production and anabolism/muscle growth [6,7]. 

AA’s enhance metabolic process all over the body which then promotes cell growth and cellular repair.  Subsequently, they result in improvements in exercise performance, exertion, and further increase total body recovery during and post exercise [1,2].  AA’s, depending on the makeup of the concentration, contribute as an immediate energy source for the body [8].  

Fatigue Mediation

It is further understood that AA’s can reduce the accumulation of 5-HT (serotonin), the main central fatigue sensation compound in the body [9].  It has been shown that serotonin is significantly lowered and maintains it lowered state for up to an hour after ingesting AA’s [10].

Inflammation Mediation

Blood CK (creatine kinase) concentration and blood LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) concentration are the main indicators that reflect the degree of muscle damage associated with physical exertion in both short and long-term physical activity [11, 12]. CK is the main enzyme that controls the ATP-PC system and LDH is the main enzyme that maintains the balance of sugar catabolism (breakdown) and anabolism (creation) [9]. There are a number of studies that point to AA’s decreasing CK and LDH levels during submaximal exertion compared to placebo groups [13,14]. This means there is less total body inflammation and stress during physical activity.


AA’s are essential for efficient immune function because they serve as the building blocks for protein synthesis, cell signaling, and muscle growth [15-17].  

It is well accepted, and understood, that protein deficiency and its associated AA deficiency impairs immune function and often leads to increased susceptibility to infections. This is due to various immune components that depend on adequate AA availability: such as cytokines, immunoglobulins and acute phase proteins [18, 19]. The severity of protein deficiency influences the magnitude of immune system impairment [16]. Therefore, availability of adequate amounts of all AA’s is required to maintain immuno-competence [17].


Amino acids are needed by the body for muscle repair during and after strenuous exercise.  Furthermore, amino acids aid in arresting fatigue by decreasing acidosis and boosting the immune system.


  1. Shimomura Y, Inaguma A, Watanabe S, Yamamoto Y, Bajotto G, Sato J. Branched chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2010; 20(3):236–244. [PubMed]
  2. Gualano A B, Bozza T, Lopes D E, Roschel H, Luiz M, Benatti F, Herbert L J. Branched chain amino acids supplementation enhance exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion. Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2011; 51(1):82–88. [PubMed]
  3. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. Journal of Nutrition. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Supplement):269S-73S. [PubMed]
  4. Volpi E, Kobayashi H, Sheffield-Moore M, Mittendorfer B, Wolfe R R. Essential amino acids are primarily responsible for the amino acid stimulation of muscle protein anabolism in healthy elderly adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003 Aug; 78(2): 250–258. [PubMed]
  5. Uhe A. M, O'Dea K, Collier G. R. Amino acid levels following beef protein and amino acid supplement in male subjects. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1997 Sep; 6(3):219-23. [PubMed]
  6. Rondanelli M, Aquilani R, Verri M, Boschi F, Pasini E, Perna S, Faliva A, Condino A. M. Plasma kinetics of essential amino acids following their ingestion as free formula or as dietary protein component. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s40520-016-0605-7.
  7. Abumrad N N, Miller B. The physiologic and nutritional significance of plasma-free amino acid levels. JPEN Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 1983 Mar-Apr; 7:163-170.
  8. Nogiec C D, Kasif S. To supplement or not to supplement: a metabolic network framework for human nutritional supplements. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 5;8(8):e68751. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068751. eCollection 2013. [PubMed]
  9. Kim D-H, Kim S-H, Jeong W-S, Lee H-Y. Effect of BCAA intake during endurance exercises on fatigue substances, muscle damage substances, and energy metabolism substances. Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry. 2013 Dec; 17(4): 169–180. [Pub Med]
  10. Lee H, Hong M K, Shin S A, Son T Y, An O S, Kim A S, Hong Y. The effect of BCAA administration on the central fatigue and endurance exercise capacity. Exercise Science. 2002; 11(1):25–37.
  11. Sorichter S, Puschendorf B, Mair J. Skeletal muscle injury induced by eccentric muscle action: muscle proteins as markers of muscle fiber injury. Exercise Immunology. 1990;5:5–21. [PubMed]
  12. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-Chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2008; 48:347–351. [PubMed]
  13. Coombes J S, McNaughton L R. Effects of branched chain amino acids supplementation on serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase after prolonged exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2000; 40(3):240–246. [PubMed]
  14. Greer B K, Woodard J L, White J P, Arguello E M, Haymes E M. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and indicators of muscle damage after endurance exercise International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2007; 17(6):595–607. [PubMed]
  15. Calder P.C. Branched-Chain amino acids and immunity. Journal of Nutrition. 2006; 136:288S–293S. [PubMed]
  16. Walsh N.P. Exercise, nutrition and immune function. macronutrients and amino acids. In: Gleeson M., editor. Immune Function in Sport and Exercise. Advances in Sport and Exercise Science Series. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; Edinburgh, UK: 2006. pp. 161–181.
  17. Li P, Yin Y L, Li D, Kim S W, Wu G. Amino acids and immune function. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007; 98:237–252. doi: 10.1017/S000711450769936X. [PubMed]
  18. Calder P C, Jackson A A. Undernutrition, infection and immune function. Nutrition Research Review. 2000; 13:3–29. doi: 10.1079/095442200108728981. [PubMed]
  19. Gleeson M. Can nutrition limit exercise-induced immunodepression? Nutrition Review. 2006; 64:119–131. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00195.x. [PubMed]


This research provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.

Updated: July 4, 2017


Why B-12


B-12 is important for many functions in the body: mood, energy production, and healthy red blood cell formation. The mechanism by which the body is able to absorb B-12 is dependent on availability of the glycoprotein intrinsic factor.  Moreover, typically only about 10 mcg can be absorbed at any given time orally [1]. People who may have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 from foods, like vegetarians, benefit from vitamin B-12 supplements [2].


B-12 supplementation has shown to improve mood due its critical use in forming SAM (S-Adenosyl Methionine) [3]. SAM, a universal methyl donor, is critical for the formation of Almost 100 different substrates: DNA, RNA, hormones, and proteins [4]. 

Energy Production

Succinyl-CoA, which is formed by SAM, is required for hemoglobin synthesis, lipid synthesis, and production of proteins [4,5]. Furthermore, Succinyl-CoA is instrumental in making many TCA cycle precursors; alpha-ketoglutarate is essential to the TCA Cycle [6]. This allows for immediate energy production and utilization. 

Red Blood Cell Formation

B-12 is utilized in proper red blood cell formation. When combined with Folate, they provide the fundamental building blocks, purines and thymidylates, for erythropoiesis (red blood cell formation) [7]. Proper formation of red blood cells allows for more efficient oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide release during strenuous physical activity.


Supplementation with B-12 improves mood, increases cellular production of ATP, and maintains correct red blood formation which all allows the body to


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  2. Markle H V. Cobalamin. Critical Review Clinical Lab Science 1996; 33:247-356. [PubMed]
  3. Clarke R. B-vitamins and prevention of dementia. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2008; 67:75-81. [PubMed]
  4. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1998.
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This research provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.

Updated: July 4, 2017


Why Magnesium


Studies show that the average male and female adult consume less than the daily recommended amounts of magnesium [1,2]. This holds especially true for people who are active; weight trainers, hikers, multi-day campers, and cyclist. We use magnesium citrate because it is more completely absorbed than other formulations [3-6]. 

Athletes, and enthusiast alike, suffer from fatigue and physical weakness associated with decreased levels of magnesium. Which often leads to muscle cramps [7]. A deficiency of any one of the following nutrients: magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphate, or nitrogen containing compounds; has a negative impact on retention of others via feedback loops and concentration ratios (8). Magnesium deficiency depletes potassium, and potassium depletion reduces cellular magnesium (9,10). This in turn has the adverse effect of decreasing lean body mass and causing acidosis (11). 


When taking magnesium specifically before and during activity studies seems to show that it heightens strength and endurance, and decreases blood pressure [12].  Furthermore, it is seen that there is 1) decreased insulin utilization with 2) increased skeletal muscle glucose uptake, a 3) decrease in venous blood CO2 and 4) decrease in blood proton levels (indicative of acidosis buffering during aerobic/anaerobic conditioning), and 5) lower blood pressure and 6) stress indicators (c-reactive protein and others) [13]. With continual use, individuals have shown to increase aerobic and anaerobic training thresholds [13].   

Inflammatory Mediation

Inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and others), are decreased significantly in individuals taking magnesium supplementation [13–15]. This concludes that there are significant decreases total-body inflammation. The antioxidant nature of magnesium further decreases reactive oxygen species-induced injury in tissues [16].


Magnesium supplementation reduces inflammation, lowers heart rate, ventilation rate, decreases oxygen consumption, decreases carbon dioxide production, increases endurance performance, and increases total work output for a given athletic event. 


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  3. Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Consumers’ Research Magazine 2001; 14:257-62. [PubMed]
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  5. Lindberg J S, Zobitz M M, Poindexter J R, Pak C Y. Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. Journal of American College of Nutrition 1990; 9:48-55. [PubMed]
  6. Walker A F, Marakis G, Christie S, Byng M. Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomized, double-blind study. Consumers’ Research Magazine 2003; 16:183-91. [PubMed]
  7. Ed. Martin L J, Ogilvie I, Zieve D, A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Low magnesium level. 2017 [MedLine]
  8. Rudman E, Millekan W J, Richardson T J, et al. Journal of Clinical Investigation 1975; 55:94–104.
  9. Shils M E. Experimental human magnesium depletion. Medicine (Baltimore) 1969; 48:61–85. [PubMed]
  10. 10.Baldwin D, Robinson PR, Zierler KL, et al. Interrelations of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and creatine in skeletal muscle of man. Journal of Clinical Investigation 1952; 31:850–8. [PubMed]
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  1. Kass L S, Poeira F. The effect of acute vs chronic magnesium supplementation on exercise and recovery on resistance exercise, blood pressure and total peripheral resistance on normotensive adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015 Apr 24; 12:19. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0081-z. eCollection 2015. [PubMed]
  2. Golf S W, Bender S, Grüttner J. On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress. Cardiovascular Drugs Therapy. 1998 Sep; 12 Supplement 2:197-202. [PubMed]
  3. Bo S, Durazzo M, Guidi S, Carello M, Sacerdote C, Silli B, Rosato R, Cassader M, Gentile L, Pagano G. Dietary magnesium and fiber intakes and inflammatory and metabolic indicators in middle-aged subjects from a population-based cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006 Nov; 84(5): #1062-9. [PubMed]
  4. D. T. Dibaba, P, Xun and K, H. Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014 April; 68, 510-516 doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.7. [Nature]
  5. Tujague J, Bastaki M, Holland N, Balmes J R, Tager I B. Antioxidant intake, GSTM1 polymorphism and pulmonary function in healthy young adults. Journal of European Respiration 2006, Feb; 27(2):282-8. [PubMed]


This research provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.

Updated: July 4, 2017


Why Zinc

Immune Function

Strenuous bouts of prolonged exercise, like hiking and biking, are associated with depressed immune cell function [1]. Inadequate nutrition can compound the deleterious effects of heavy exertion on immune system competence [2]. Dietary deficiencies of protein and specific micronutrients have long been associated with immune dysfunction [3]. An adequate intake of iron, zinc and vitamins A, E, K, B-6, and B-12 are often touted [4]. 

One of the most potent elements used by the immune system is zinc [5,6].  Hiking Pro and Cycling Pro have zinc in the form of zinc citrate which is easily absorbed in the intestines.  Studies have shown that even mild zinc deficiency can have a serious impact on how the immune system fights infections [7-9].  During stressful times, both psychological and physical, seen in hiking and cycling, the body decreases levels of bacteria killing immune cells (macrophages and neutrophils) and virus fighting immune cells (T-lymphocytes) [8-11]. 

Especially on long hikes or if one is new to hiking, road biking, or mountain biking, a depressed immune system can cause an increases in opportunistic infections [12]. This is especially of concern for individuals hiking or cycling over the age of 50 [12,13].  Studies have also shown that about 25% of older adults, those over 50 years of age, were deficient in Zinc [13,14]. 

Cellular membranes and their integrity are dependent on adequate serum zinc levels [8, 15]. With serum levels at optimal, cell wall integrity will be stronger and could lead to fewer skin sores while hiking or biking. 

Furthermore, Tri Nordik’s level of zinc is in line with the National Institutes of Health and USDA’s recommendations [15-18]. 


Zinc also has an effect on red blood cells and their efficiency in carbon dioxide uptake and release: carbonic anhydrase activity [19]. It is further seen that zinc increases oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide release in the lungs during very strenuous exercise [18]


Zinc supplementation is needed to moderate viral and bacterial fighting immune cells and increases the efficiency of carbonic anhydrous in blood cells their allowing the body to push harder while simultaneously staying healthier. 


  1. Peters E M. 2000 Vitamins, immunity and infection risk in athletes. In Nutrition and Exercise Immunology (edited by D.C. Nieman and B.K. Pedersen). pp. 109–135 Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  2. Parry-Billings, M, Budgett, R, Koutedakis, Y, Blomstrand, E, Brooks, S, Williams, C, Calder, PC, Pillings, S, Baigre, R and Newsholme, EA. 1992. Plasma amino acid concentrations in the overtraining syndrome: possible effects on the immune system. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24: 13531358. [PubMed]
  3. King J C, Cousins R J. Zinc. In: Shils M E, Shike M, Ross A C, Caballero B, Cousins, R J, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005:271-85.
  4. Petersen EW Pedersen BK 2002 Exercise and immune function – effect of nutrition In Nutrition and Immune Function (edited by P.C. Calder, C.J. Field and H.S. Gill) pp. 347–355 Oxford: CABI [Cabi]
  5. Solomons NW. Mild human zinc deficiency produces an imbalance between cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Nutrition Review 1998; 56:27-8. [PubMed]
  6. Prasad A S. Zinc: an overview. Nutrition 1995; 11:93-9. [PubMed]
  7. Shankar A H, Prasad AS. Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998; 68:447S-63S. [PubMed]
  8. Wintergerst E S, Maggini S, Hornig D H. Contribution of selected vitamins and trace elements to immune function. Annuals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2007; 51:301-23. [PubMed]
  9. Sherman A R. Zinc, copper, and iron nutriture and immunity. Journal of Nutrition. 1992 Mar; 122(3 Supplement):604-9. [PubMed]
  10. Beck F W, Prasad A S, Kaplan J, Fitzgerald J T, Brewer G J. Changes in cytokine production and T cell subpopulations in experimentally induced zinc-deficient humans. American Journal of Physiology 1997; 272:E1002-7. [PubMed]
  11. Prasad A S. Effects of zinc deficiency on Th1 and Th2 cytokine shifts. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000; 182 (Supplement):S62-8. [PubMed]
  12. Meydani S N, Barnett J B, Dallal G E, Fine B C, Jacques P F, Leka L S, et al. Serum zinc and pneumonia in nursing home elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007; 86:1167-73. [PubMed]
  13. Hodkinson C F, Kelly M, Alexander H D, Bradbury I, Robson P J, Bonham M P, O'Connor J M, Coudray C, Strain J J, Wallace J M. Effect of zinc supplementation on the immune status of healthy older individuals aged 55-70 years: the ZENITH Study. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2007 Jun; 62(6):598-608. [PubMed]
  14. Ervin R B, Kennedy-Stephenson J. Mineral intakes of elderly adult supplement and non-supplement users in the third national health and nutrition examination survey. Journal of Nutrition 2002; 132:3422-7. [PubMed]
  15. Wood M. Zinc’s antioxidant potential probed. ARS News and Information. 2002 Oct. [USDA]
  16. Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes of Health. 2017. [NIH]
  17. Ogilvie I, Zieve D. Updated: Wax E. Zinc in diet. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. 2015 Feb. [Medline]
  18. McBride J. Athletes need enough zinc. ARS News and Information. 1999; Aug. [USDA]
  19. Lukaski, H C. Low zinc levels could take your breath away. ARS New and Information. 2006 Apr. [USDA]


This research provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.

Updated: July 4, 2017