What is Aspartic Acid?
Aspartic acid, also known as aspartate, is a nonessential amino acid that plays a major role in the body (x). Amino acids are considered the building blocks of life. They combine to form proteins required for many important bodily functions. We can get this particular amino acid from the food we eat. However, as a nonessential amino acid, our bodies produce aspartic acid even if we do not get it from our diet (x, x).
Our bodies make aspartic acid in two forms: L-aspartic and D-aspartic. Both of these forms have the same chemical makeup; however, the structure of molecules distinguishes one from the other and determines the function of each (x).
While L-aspartic acid plays a major role in building proteins, D-aspartic acid primarily works to produce and release hormones.
D-Aspartic Acid Supplements
D-aspartic dietary supplements can be found as D-aspartic acid or D-aspartate. Aspartate is the salt form of the acid and often sold as tablets, capsules or powders. Don’t feel torn between choosing the acid or salt form, though. There is no research to suggest that one form of the supplement is better than the other.
D-Aspartic Acid Benefits
D-aspartic acid’s primary benefit is production and stimulation of hormones that improve the quality of life. Supplementing with it results in the enhancement of physical and athletic performance. According to many claims, D-aspartic acid acts as a natural boost for testosterone levels and regulates brain activity, which causes an increase in brain function, better mood and sharper memory (x, x, x).
Some men choose D-aspartic acid to enhance their physical and athletic performance. However, studies show that its effect on testosterone levels varies. Some studies found notable effects. Others did not.
Several studies that included men taking D-aspartic acid resulted in an increase in testosterone. However, men in these studies either had low levels of testosterone or led inactive lifestyles. Their habits did not include physical activity such as regular exercise and/or weight training (x, x, x).
Although results vary, several studies prove that D-aspartic acid positively affects testosterone levels for men who are inactive or have low levels of testosterone. There are proven advantages to including this supplement in your daily regimen.
Active and athletic lifestyles provide many benefits — one being high amounts of energy. Higher levels of testosterone decrease fat and increase muscle mass (x). Lean muscle that has replaced excessive body weight likely livens a once-sluggish body to engage in more physical activity. When this is combined with D-aspartic acid, the feeling of vitality results, therefore enhancing the ability to live with verve (x).
Not only does D-aspartic acid increase testosterone, but it also helps to stimulate hormones responsible for muscle development, sexual performance and reproduction (x). Without a doubt, these are three additional components of a vim and vigorous life.
Studies show promising results of D-aspartic acid’s effects on fertility. Men with higher levels of it had better sperm performance and more partners who conceived (x, x, x). Other studies also show that D-aspartic acid may contribute to egg quality in women (x, x).
Increased Brain Function
Concentration, clarity of thought and a good working memory enable you to independently and confidently engage in daily tasks. This sometimes becomes challenging with age. Thankfully, this supplement may be able to enhance one’s cognitive abilities (x, x). D-aspartic acid causes an increase in the growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and neurotransmitters that quickly send messages to and from the brain (x, x). This regulates and even speeds up the capability to think and remember. As a result, the decline of cognitive abilities becomes less of a concern, especially for aging individuals (x).
Nothing compares to just feeling good. D-aspartic acid contributes to this because it increases the level of neurotransmitters in the brain that release hormones such as Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine (x). When activated, those feel-good hormones can help you get through even the toughest of days.
Although the body naturally produces some levels of D-aspartic acid, it is not enough for those of us who want to heighten its benefits. Supplements are one option to include additional D-aspartic benefits; food sources are another.
Food Sources of D-Aspartic Acid
Some foods naturally contain aspartic acid as a mixture of L-aspartic and D-aspartic acid. The following are only a few of many foods that contain high levels of aspartic acid:
- Apricots (1 cup): 487 mg (x)
- Asparagus (1 cup): 681 mg (x)
- Avocado (1 cup): 354 mg (x)
- Garlic (1 cup): 665 mg (x)
- Kidney beans (1 cup): 5247 mg (x)
- Lupins (1 cup): 6979 mg (x)
- Peanuts (1 cup): 4594 mg (x)
- Plums (1 cup): 581 mg (x)
- Sunflower seeds (1 cup): 1125 mg (x)
- Cheese-swiss (1 cup): 2071 mg (x)
- Chicken (1 cup-diced): 3610 mg (x)
- Eggs (1 hardboiled): 1719 mg (x)
- Halibut (1 ounce): 844 mg (x)
- Mackerel (1 fillet): 2149 mg (x)
- Milk (1 cup): 578 mg (x)
- Oysters (1 cup): 1686 mg (x)
- Pork bacon (3 slices): 813 mg (x)
- Wild game (1 piece-1lb): 9646 mg (x)
- Salmon (3 ounces): 2214 mg (x)
- Sardines (1 cup): 3755 mg (x)
D-Aspartic Acid Dosage and Side Effects
The recommended daily dosage for D-aspartic acid powder is 2,500 mg (1 tsp) or 3,500 mg (1/2 tbs) to be taken once with the first meal of the day. It should not be taken for longer than eight full weeks at a time without a four-week break in between courses. For D-aspartic acid capsules, take five capsules to be taken once with the first meal of the day. Be sure not to exceed this amount.
Currently, no adverse health effects have been reported from individuals who have taken the recommended dosage of D-aspartic acid for no more than 90 days (x). However, there have been reports of irritability, headaches and nervousness (x).
You are encouraged to consider your individual situation before adding this supplement to your regimen. Avoid this supplement if you are pregnant, nursing or under the age of 18. People with medical conditions should consult their physician before taking D-aspartic supplements.
The Bottom Line
D-aspartic acid provides a wide range of benefits to our bodies. Although it is present in our bodies and the foods we eat, supplementation has its advantages. Consuming the recommended dosage of D-aspartic acid along with a healthy diet and lifestyle will yield positive effects on your every thought and move.