Amino Acids, BCAA’s, EAA’s, Ketosis, Bonking & More With 41 Time Ironman Triathlete Dr. David Minkoff.

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Dr. David Minkoff and I go way back.

I first met this MD and 41 time Ironman triathlon finisher at the Half-Ironman World Championships in Florida six years ago, and interviewed him a few weeks later in the podcast episode “A Peek Into The Life of An Ironman, Natural Medicine Physician.

Then, he helped me with metal detoxification using a metal chelating spray he designed, and I interviewed him about this in the podcast “How Hidden Sources Of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health, And What You Can Do About It.”

He also helped me with my son's exercise induced asthma, which is now completely eliminated using the techniques Dr. Minkoff introduced me to in the podcast “Why More Kids Are Getting Exercise Induced Asthma, and What You Can Do About It.

Now Dr. Minkoff is back. And he's back to fill us in on amino acids, branched chain amino acids, ketosis, bonking and more! During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The shocking story of how Dr. Minkoff reversed his wife's MS by detoxifying the mercury build-up in her body…

-The exact dosage of amino acids Dr. Minkoff used to completely heal a hamstring injury…

-The important difference between amino acids, protein powder and food-based protein from sources like steak and eggs…

-Why BCAAs and EAAs are much different, and why EAAs are not turned into sugar in the body…

-How to use EAAs during periods of ketosis or carbohydrate restriction…

-How long before a workout to use EAAs and how many to use during a workout…

-How many amino acids you can safely take on a daily basis…

-How to use EAAs for intermittent fasting, controlling carbohydrate cravings and fat loss… 

-And much more!


More About Dr. Minkoff:

Dr. Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine until 1995.

In 1997, his interest in alternative and complementary medicine led him to open LifeWorks Wellness Center, which has become one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the U.S. His search to find a source of the highest quality nutritional supplements led him to establish BodyHealth in 2000, a resource that could provide doctors with the best possible supplementation and education for their patients. Today, his BodyHealth products are used by hundreds of practitioners and individual consumers who seek all-natural wellness and detoxification supplements with a demonstrated high level of quality and effectiveness.

In addition to their use by patients looking to heal disease, the BodyHealth products are also used by sports enthusiasts interested in achieving and maintaining optimal performance. As a 40-time Ironman triathlon finisher, (including 8 appearances at the Ironman World Championships) Dr. Minkoff has first-hand experience to help athletes achieve optimum conditioning. His expertise in protein synthesis, detoxification, and nutrition allow them to run, swim, and bike faster and longer.


This episode is brought to you by:

Four Sigma Foods – Visit and use code ‘bengreenfield' for 15% off!

Resources we discuss in this episode:

Essential Amino Acids

Pancreatic enzymes

ION Panel from DirectLabs

MetalFree detox spray

Interview with Dr. Minkoff: How Hidden Sources Of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health, And What You Can Do About It.

Interview with Dr. Minkoff: A Peek Into The Life of An Ironman, Natural Medicine Physician.

Interview with Dr. Minkoff: Why More Kids Are Getting Exercise Induced Asthma, and What You Can Do About It.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Minkoff? Leave your thoughts below and either he or I will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

146 thoughts on “Amino Acids, BCAA’s, EAA’s, Ketosis, Bonking & More With 41 Time Ironman Triathlete Dr. David Minkoff.

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  4. Michelle says:

    Hi, amazing information in this podcast, I really enjoyed it thank you! I ordered the Kion amino tablets and was taking eight in the morning and 5 at night, maybe some before my workout. After a week or two I felt like it was causing mass inflammation in my back and neck. I have food intolerances to dairy, gluten and corn, is it a corn derived product? Or can you take too much and this is a side effect? I’m 5’2 and 115lbs, does it go by height and weight? Thank you! I’d love to start taking them again so any info would be helpful.

    1. It is not corn derived. Could be taking too much. I'd stick to 5-10g starting out and see how that feels.

  5. Dave says:

    Ben, looking to start using the Kion. Is it safe to assume I can just add this to my pre-workout protein shake/concoction? Using the HUEL product as a pre-workout with added fiber.

    1. It's best to consume Aminos without another significant source of protein to ensure best absorption.

  6. CJ says:

    Ben, I’m enjoying your podcast. Thank you for all the information. Can I take essential amino acids like Kion Aminos during my fasted state without breaking my fast? I train in the morning and eat my first meal around 2:00 PM. Should I take Kion Aminos before my morning work out or before my first meal?

    1. I love Kion Aminos while fasting. They will not break your fast, and support improved energy, recovery, and maintenance of lean muscle mass while fasted. Best taken before the workout without food, especially protein, or before bed to aid in recovery while sleeping.

  7. Lauren Hoffman says:

    Hey Ben,

    For the last few months I’ve taken 10g EAA’s three times a day. I’ve had great results except one deleterious effect; both myself and a friend of mine who has done a similar protocol have had is an increase in really disturbing nightmares that seem to be from the EAA’s. Any explanations? (my brand does also have sucralose and acesulfame potassium of unknown amounts). Thanks.

    1. Haven't heard of this, but I would definitely look for a cleaner supplement, like Kion Aminos:

  8. Stephen says:


    I was wondering how Dr. Minkoff and his associates as PerfectAmino decided on this perfect ratio? Is it based on a double-blind, controlled study? A GRAS study? or just off of nitrogen balance in the blood? I think this is a critical questions that I have not seen yet (maybe I missed it). But, without a real clinical study, all of the evidence is anecdotal and not peer reviewed.

    1. This web page explains AAU: <a href="” target=”_blank”> at the bottom of it, it mentions PerfectAmino, and is basically an explanation of the study attached, which was done by INRC which is for the product MAP, all of which has the same formula.

  9. Mindy says:

    Hi Ben,

    How do I improve my ability to absorb amino acids? I’ve had a DNA test done and wonder if you have experience in reading them? I’d love a second opinion on the advice I’ve been given or do you recommend someone if you don’t read DNA results? I’m killing candida and have always had liver, kidney and gaulbbladder issues. Thanks for your awesome show and advice!

    1. Mindy, I do to read DNA test. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  10. Kris says:

    Hey Ben,

    I recently discovered your podcasts and I love them! Thank you for doing what you do. I also just received and started taking the Perfect Amino’s and for some reason after I take them they make me extremely tired. I’m just wondering if you had any thoughts as to why this would happen. (I have the powdered perfect amino xp)

    1. Very interesting. Possible neurotransmitter issue. Tough to say without seeing your full health hx and diet. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

    2. Tiredness can also be a sign of the body detoxing, be sure to drink plenty of water. Some supplements can help the detox process. Dr. Minkoff has one he calls Metal-Free, but it is a bit expensive. I’ve had excellent experience with NAC, a precursor to Glutathione, the body’s endogenous detox pathway. Jarrow makes one that is a sustained release formula. NAC is one of the components of Metal-Free, though a minor one in that formula.

  11. Thomas Shepard says:

    Why can’t I Listen to this as a downloadable podcast?

    1. You can download the podcast by clicking the little square with the arrow in it. Otherwise download the Ben Greenfield Fitness App here: and you'll be able to listen through there. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  12. Dave says:

    Wonder how this works with KETO since it replaces so many of the proteins you’d be eating… should I be checking blood sugar after meals if i’m keto and taking say 10 of these a day for body recomp?

    1. Yep… It would totally work for that.

  13. Steve says:


    Retired triathlete turned full time cyclist. I am 57, 166 lbs and fairly muscular (natural body builder in my late 20’s). I am not wanting to put on any more size, looking more to maintain and get back down to 161-162 which is easier on the climbs. Also looking mostly for recovery aid. Would it be more beneficial to lower the daily dose to, say, 5-6 grams to aid in recovery and not gain size weight if that makes sense. I eat mostly solid food on the bike, no GI issues at all. Allen Lim’s rice cakes are great on the bike, with a gel or 2 now n then. Also the larger dose is a bit costly for me. Thanks!

    1. Yep, more of a maintenance daily dose would be the ticket in this case Steve… would be fine…

  14. Laura says:


    Thanks for all you do.

    This is a tech issue re web site. The links to pdf’s / print versions of your articles do not function. Actually, it seems there isn’t any link.



    1. Thanks for the heads up Laura! We've disabled this feature for now until we get it fixed. Thanks!

      1. Kyle says:

        Don’t see a way to leave a comment on the episodes from my phone, have to reply to a comment (Chrome, Galaxy Note 4).

        Anyways, it seems like Net Nitrogen Utilization seems to be the key measurement demonstrating efficacy, but I haven’t heard of it amd can’t find good research on why it is better than other amino/protein measurements. Any sources? Don’t mind putting my propeller hat on. Plan on spending 3mo backpacking through Asia and I know from experience that healthy protein sources are painful to find, so these would be a godsend if they work.

        1. Hey Kyle, Net Nitrogen Utilization has less to do with efficacy than with utilization. Consume 10 grams of protein from chicken and you will urinate out 6.8 grams of nitrogen, indicating that 68% was not utilized for body protein. Check out the studies on MAP here:… as NatureAminos is what this is based off.

  15. Ray says:

    If using these for neurotransmitter support when depleted, how would you dose when first starting out with these per day? And on empty stomach?

    1. I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. However, I would start with about 10g/day and gradually up that to 20g taken as 10g morning and 10g evening.

  16. Michael says:

    Hi Ben, do Nature Aminos count as calories for the purposes of intermittent fasting? Does my fasting period end when I take them, or are they so close to zero calories that I am still considered to be fasting? Thanks!

    1. They don't count no…

  17. Jason m says:

    How can you interview and legitimately call thus Dr knowledgeable? He sells oxygenated water, works for scientology, and sells different miracle supplements every year?

    1. Patrick Ryan says:

      I’m with @Jason on this point. I enjoyed the podcast but now that I see all the details about what Minkoff is up to, I’m surprised that there isn’t a bigger, bolder disclaimer. I know that there’s a note and a reply in the first comments, but Ben, if you honestly didn’t know about the history of this guy (which is a pretty serious oversight) then I question your judgement on presenting his advice here so prominently, in particular as an endorsement to some products you sell.

      Just leaving him with a “reply” completely minimizes the issues. This doctor was involved in somebody’s death while he was practicing medicine. Moreover, he’s a confirmed Scientologist (still today) and is open about his views on modern medicine (i.e., Scientologists, including Dr. Minkoff, believe that the entire medical branch of psychiatry is nonsense). He sells oxygenated water.

      This is an interesting interview, but it’s not up to your otherwise excellent standards. You can do better, but you can also fix it now by informing people up-front that there’s a qualifications issue that they should consider before they read or listen to the material.

    2. Hi Jason, here's a response from Dr Minkoff: The test of legitimacy is efficacy. We back up our products with a money back guarantee. If you don't get the results you want, send them back. We have thousands of testimonials from happy customers for over 16 years. Our products work and are the best that money can buy. As for religion, the test of that is also efficacy. Does it help the person to be happier, lead a more successful life and be a brother to his fellow man? For many including me, since 1982, I have been a Scientologist because it does that for me. You may have your own path and I respect that. But to judge another regarding his religion is a dangerous ploy. No one has any lock on the truth or god. It is for each mans heart to decide. I wish you the best.

  18. Ken says:


    Below is a link to a JSSM article talking about protien utilization. It seems to be contrary to Dr. M’s claims that his product is the only protien utilized at such a high rate. Could you please give some insight?

    1. Response from Dr Minkoff: The article you cited does not test net nitrogen utilization, which is the only real test of amino acid utilization. Other proteins work but most of the amino acids are not utilized for protein synthesis. Perfect Amino is 99% utilized and that makes it unique.

      1. Adam says:

        Hey Ben, I’ve been enjoying your podcast and some of the EAA info. Based on my reading of the linked JSSM article, the study clearly specifies that net nitrogen utilization of Whey protein is higher than beef or eggs, which Dr. Minkoff indicates to be superior.

        Also, I’m reading about some new science that has come out regarding the amino acid profile of hydrolyzed collagen combined with vitamin C and it’s ability to boost collagen synthesis when consumed prior to a workout session. Mostly based on the research of Eric Horst, Climbing Coach and trainer. I’d love to hear a podcast or read a blog post from you about how to incorporate this type of protocol into an EAA supplement protocol given the notion that co supplementing can reduce efficacy of the EAA’s. Or just your general thoughts on the subject. Thanks!

        1. Adam says:

          Also noting that I am supplementing with EAA’s and regardless of the conflict in science, I definitely perceive a benefit energetically and in recovery. Thanks!

        2. J Taylor says:

          Disclaimer, I didn’t have time to read the entire article. However, I looked for the numbers and want to clarify that you’re not referencing Net Protein Utilization which is very different than Net Nitrogen Utilization.
          The body may use protein in one form or another, but not necessarily for Body Protein Synthesis (BPS). If the amino acids take the catabolic pathway the nitrogen is removed and the remaining is burned as calories or stored in the fat and muscle, either way NOT used to build up the body. This could be considered “utilized” protein.
          If we measure the nitrogen that has been removed and discarded via the kidneys, we can take the inverse and know how many of the amino acids are actually being utilized for BPS and when comparing THESE numbers, whey falls way down the list.
          Hope that helps.

  19. Ken says:


    Is there any data out there on fasting coupled with EAAs? I know that test levels and GH levels increase due to a fasted state, is this impacted by the presence of EAAs in the blood?

    1. Here is a response from Dr Minkoff: Perfect Amino does not raise insulin in anyone that I have tested. It doesn't take me, or any of the athletes or patients we have tested, out of ketosis. It's good to take the aminos during the fast as you have the back up you need to detox what comes out and wont lose lean body mass.

  20. Chris G says:

    Hi, I’m a 32 yr old male 155 pounds. I just started working out 3 months ago, mostly weight lifting and some mixed cardio workouts 5 days a week first thing in the morning. My body is slim and muscles are forming rather nicely but I find my biceps are smaller now then they were when I started working out 3 months ago and 10 pounds ago. Am I losing energy because of a little weight loss? As of now I eat a banana and/or cottage cheese and fruit BEFORE my workout and then have 20g whey protein AFTER my workout. My goal is to tone my body and get cut. I do not want to bulk up. Do you recommend taking BCAA supplements before my workouts? If so, how much? I don’t diet but I eat healthy most of the week and my daily caloric intake is good.

    1. Tough to say. I would need to see your workouts, your diet, etc. I’d suggest booking a consult at <a href="” target=”_blank”> <a href="” target=”_blank”> and choose 20 or 60 minutes and we’ll get you scheduled. I do not recommend BCAA’s btw, and instead 5-10g EAA’s like NatureAminos if you are trying to build muscle.

  21. carmel correale says:

    Hi I have just stumbled onto this site, whilst trying to find a capsule which would contain all nine amino acids building blocks. Something I want to try out, I have suffered from Fibromyalgia or the progression of Sjogren’s. feels like every joint, tendon and cartilage and ligaments are in severe pain. Very bad reflux and heartburn that gives me coughing bouts, Sinus blockage at night even though my nose passages are dry,

    I have had a lot of medical treatment, cortisone shots, NSP drugs. The Non steroidal drugs burn a hole in my stomach and raise blood pressure. I’ve tried numerous suppliments, with little if any help.

    Once I was told by a Pharmaceutical Rep who’d been a client at our salon to ask my doctor to prescribe for me some drug with a growth hormone, that is prescribed to elderly to help muscle repair. Well my doctor said they are unable to as it is illegal? that it contains testosterone?..and that was that. But I do have some biological knowledge and understand that there must be some safe product to help us. So I’ve came accross the Amino acid thing and believe there must be somethin in it..

    Could you help me out in picking a good quality complete amino acid supplement where I don’t have to take mouth full of pills as they make me gag and the reflux makes me bring them back up again I am 68 year old woman,

    1. Hi Carmel,

      I can only vouch for the product you see here, NatureAminos, and would suggest blending them into your smoothie if you have issues swallowing tablets.

      Hope that helps!

    2. And stay tuned because we'll be coming out with a powder form soon.

  22. Jordan says:

    Can you provide any references that show a majority of foods like whey/eggs/beef, even BCAA leave the body as nitrogenous waste? Claims like that sound highly suspect. Whey and eggs in particular have some of the highest biological value protein values of any food

    1. Jason m says:

      Yes you’re correct. He also said he doesn’t know what will. Happen with these aminos when you mix themWith food!lol. This dude is selling snake oil.

    2. Here's a response from Dr Minkoff: You are correct that eggs are a great source of protein. In the case of nitrogen, the nitrogen co mpounds through which toxic nitrogen is eliminated from organisms are ammonia, urea and uric acid. All of these substances are produced from protein metabolism. The studies that were done, were based on this fact, and were done to see how much protein the body either utilized by protein synthesis, or wasted in the form of nitrogen. For example, if you took 10 grams of protein from eggs (and not eat anything else) and examine all urine produced afterwards, you would find a certain amount of nitrogen. In the case of eggs, you would find approximately 5.2 grams of nitrogen per 10 grams of protein, which would indicate that your body utilized the other 4.8 grams to build or repair body proteins. There is more nitrogen wasted from meats. And in the case of whey, the body only uses app roximately 16% for protein, although it might have other value for the body, it is not in the case of protein.

  23. Aaron Hott says:

    Hey Ben, My question is about using BCAA’s or EAA’s while in Ketosis. I intermittent fast as well. So i weight train/cardio in the morning in a fasted state.I typically take 7 grams of BCAA’s right before i lift at 7 in the morning and another 7 grams at 10:30 to hold me over until i eat my first meal of the day at noon. Should I not be taking BCAA’s if they are being turned to carbs/ possibly spiking insulin and bringing down ketone levels? Are EAA’s the better choice for me? Thank you in advance for your response

    1. I highly recommend that you not use BCAAs and that you use essential amino acids if you are doing ketosis. Night and day difference.

  24. Jeff Muckenthaler says:

    Hi Ben, love the show! Leaning a ton! I recently suffered a pretty nasty lower back strain while deadlocking that I think was caused by not properly warming up that day. Hoping the EEAs will speed my recovery process as I’m having a very difficult time walking, sitting, laying, etc. The first day was so intense pain I actually passed out and fell into my bathtub! Do you recommend taking the 10 grams on empty stomach once a day or should I be taking more like Dr. Minkoff mentioned of up to 20 to 30 total throughout day? I’m hoping it can also help an old hamstring injury from years ago. Thank you!

    1. Jeff Muckenthaler says:

      Deadlocking, not deadlocking. Sorry for typo…

    2. I would be making the higher dose for recovery. And I would also check this out:…

  25. William Lim says:

    Hi Ben,

    Awesome episode! I just got my first bottle of NatureAminos. By some stroke of luck, Exos also sent me a free jar of the powdered EAA, just because my subscription of the Elite Multi was backordered by two weeks (what great customer service). I’ve used them for fasted lifting, and they’re awesome.

    Anyway, going through the comments, it appears that one can just interchange the use of NatureAminos and Exos Aminos. I checked the nutrition facts and noticed that the components of NA and Exos are not listed in the same order, which I presume means they do not have the same proportions of the EAAs. Does this mean that the two products have different utilization rates?

    I remember Dr. Minkoff saying that the proportions of the EAAs matter and was just wondering if the differences would make any significant effects.

    Thanks again!


    1. They're close enough to where you can get one substitute for the other. I personally use both.

  26. Matthew H says:


    Just trying to better understand the science. I am not sure that I fully understand why these cannot be taken with fat only. Does this completely negate the product? Also, why don’t I need insulin for uptake of the AA?

    Thanks for all the help!


    1. Hey Matthew, proteins from other sources have a low utilization rate. These EEAs have 99%. Chicken has 32%. If you take an equal amount of each, you would take 99% and 32% and end up with an average of approx 65% utilization. So of these 20g of protein, you can utilize approx 13g. Fats sit around in the stomach and delay utilization and can bind with the amino acids, slowing the absorption and utilization. So as you can see, neither of them negate the EEAs altogether and if people happen to mix them, it is not a big deal. These EEAs need to be taken as part of a daily habit or routine. Daily. If people allow the issue of mixing with fats or proteins to stop them from taking it altogether, that is muuuuch worse than if they happen to mix it a little bit here and there.

  27. Rebecca says:

    Hey Ben,

    I just listened to the podcast with Dr. Minkoff. THANKS FOR BEING AMAZING. I turn to your podcasts and website as my dictionary and encyclopedia. This podcast was super uplifting for me as I have been managing crohn’s disease for a number of years, in remission, off medication however, I still am having issues and I think metabolically, a lack of EAA’s is a key player.

    Thanks again,


  28. Craig says:

    Hi Ben, would you mind pointing me in the direction of some peer-reviewed / published info on this concept of 99% absorption when the ‘perfect’ ratios of EAAs are supplied? Just a term to search for would suffice, but a reference would be nicer! Can’t find anything of the sort on either the NatureAminos or PerfectAminos pages. Love what you do. This is all the way from South Africa, have no idea how to get my hands on something similar at a reasonable price, so just investigating the evidence so long. Thank you either way!

  29. Grant says:

    Hello! I recently listen to this podcast pertaining to the EAAs and was greatly intrigued as to how they can aid it muscle enhancements, recovery, performance and well-being.

    I’m an elite-caliber swimmer and I with my training regimen I was wondering as to when and how much of either the pill product or Exos is should take? I was recently given the chance to try Exos first and wanted to give it the proper trial run.

    Currently I train 2 hours swimming intensely in the afternoon combined with either a strength session in the morning or immediately following the swimming portion. When do you suggest I take and how much for optimal sports performance?

    Also, is this the best avenue for asking question and reaching out to either of you?

    Thanks for all your work on this topic and with how much both of you help the general public, it’s inspiring!

    1. About 10 g per day of either the tablet or EXOS is fine. For you, with two hours of swimming, I'd take 10 g before the pool. You could also take 10 g before your strength training sessions.

  30. Sarah says:

    Hi Ben, Thanks for all the amazing info. I’m learning so much about so many things. A quick question. Sould I take amminos every day, would I just use them on hard training days/races, or sould I just lower the dosage pre and post workout on easy/recovery days? Thanks for your time and knowledge.

    1. I take them everyday, and increase the dosage on hard training days.

  31. Sarah says:

    Hi Ben,

    Fantastic podcasts every time, thank you. I’m a 40 year old, 140lb triathlete, competing up to Iron distance. I’m fat adapted but not in Ketosis. My question is if I’m using your amino acids, how much real food could I consume if any, on an Ironman tri? Plus could I use real food on the bike and then use aminos on the run, when I start having digestive issues? many thanks from the UK.

    1. Yep, you can totally use that approach, and MY RECOMMENDATION for bike is 50-100 calories of solid food (e.g. half a bar) at the end of each hour. A full bar if you're 150+lbs.

  32. Richard says:

    Hey Ben! Thanks for the podcast. Are your NatureAminos and Dr.’s BodyHealth Perfect Aminos the same product. Everything seems to line up as such.

    1. Richard, yes, they are the same product!

  33. Daniel says:

    I have a question for you. What are the capsules made of? If they are made of gelatin, is that not another protein source, and if so, does that not violate the idea of taking the essential amino acids without another protein source? If you are making them out of a different material, I’d like to know what that is. Just curious.

    1. NatureAminos are actually not capsules. They are tablets. These are pharmaceutical grade amio acids that have been broken down to powder form, mixed to precise ratios, and then compressed in a 15-ton tablet press. This is also why some of the tablets might be broken during shipping, as there are zero additives or excipients to help them stick together.

  34. Jason Leal says:


    Just received the nature aminos. They look like pills you swallow. In the article you and the doc talk about chewing them up. Is that how they are supposed to be taken? Thank you.

    1. They're tablets. You can chew them or swallow them. I chew them.

  35. Jason Leal says:

    Hi Ben,

    The Doc kept saying he uses 10 tablets a few times a day. Would one see results by using just once and only like 6 to 8 grams? Is so when would the best time be to eat them. Also If someone is in ketoisis how would you calculate how much protein you ingested when taking this? THanks!!

    1. Yes, you can do that and it would count as 10g of protein if you had, say, 10 tablets. Best time would be pre or post workout.

  36. Scott Whalen says:

    Great pod cast and great stuff on EAAs. I just recently got some and am introducing them to my daily use. When you noted above to one of the questions about using a protein powder after workout were you saying the powdered form of Perfect Aminos?

    If other do you have one you recommend?

    1. Scott says:

      Just to be clear when you responded to Jason (comment 23 above) you said you would take the protein powder after. Did you meant like a whey protein powder or the powder form of the amino. thanks!

      1. protein powder, but aminos would work too.

  37. Alecia says:


    I usually take aminos before bed to help my body recover overnight so I feel less sore in the morning. My goal is to maintain lean muscle and to decrease my fatigue.

    What is your opinion on taking the normal dosage before bed? Would you recommend that it’s more beneficial to take before or after my workout?

    Love your show, always learning!

    1. Yep, you can totally do that. No need to exceed 10 grams. But yes, high blood levels of amino acids can maintain an anabolic state, even while sleeping.

  38. Seth says:

    Where can I find the Pan Immune product and how long should it be taken? Will it over-stress my body if I take it too long and should any other supplements be taken after halting the use of pancreatic enzymes. Should use of Pan Immune be cycled?

  39. daniel says:

    thx for your feedback. yes i understand that protein through natural food sources (even together with EAA’s) is important, but my question was more referring to the consumption of BCAA’s and protein powder.

    1. Lots of questions here…you may need a consult honestly Daniel! We can really dive in. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  40. daniel says:

    still a bit confused about EAA’s, BCAA and protein powder products. according to my understanding it does not make any sense to consume BCAA or any kind of protein powder as the NNU is ridicolous low compare with 99% of the EAA’s. why consuming a protein supplement of which more than about 70% is nitrogen catabolites only. ben what is your take on this? thx.

    1. Well, you're still getting CALORIES, glutathione precursors, creatine, omega 3's, fat soluble vitamins, etc. from things like whey, steak, eggs so there are other components to consider here in addition to nitrogen that dictate not getting ALL your protein from EAA's.

  41. Jason says:

    Hi Ben,

    excellent podcast. As an athlete looking to build muscle and gain weight, would you suggest taking NatureAminos prior to working out and using a different protein powder post workout? or only using NatureAminos?

    1. If I were trying to build muscle as fast as possible I would take the nature amino before, and then I would take the protein powder after.

  42. nitsuj25 says:

    When using chelation therapies is there a possibility of also removing the good minerals present in your body? Can the chelation agents actually discriminate between harmful heavy metals and essential health-promoting minerals?

    1. Response from Dr Minkoff: Yes. All chelators (EDTA, DMPS, DMSA, etc) except one that I know of remove good minerals also. So extra minerals must be given at a separate time. Metal Free does not bind with healthy minerals. That is why it is my first choice when I want to remove mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, uranium, etc from the body.

  43. Wade Wilson says:


    I would love to have the transcript of this episode, but I’m not finding it listed in your transcript section.

    1. Its not out yet – it might take a little while!

  44. Justin says:


    Where do the amino acids come from in NatureAminos/Exos aminos? I am participating in a plant based diet challenge in January and want to make sure I am compliant. I think the EAAs may just be my secret weapon in maintaining my lean body mass. Excellent work on all your podcasts! Thank you!!!

    1. Justin, Some of the amino acids are sourced from poultry (feathers) and would not be considered to be vegan.

  45. Vladimir says:

    Awesome episode! I’ve been listener for a while, and the show really helped me get more insight into fitness, nutrition and health. Thank you, Ben!

  46. griverapi says:

    Is this not the same product? The founder even looks like Dr. Minkoff wtf?

    1. At that price, fake knockoff. This tends to be problem in supplement industry. Stuff shows up on Amazon, for example, trying to "ride the coattails" of other products. You get what you pay for.

      1. griverapi says:

        heres the email send from BodyHealth regarding this other product.

        I wanted to clarify for you. Purium buys their amino acid formula directly from INRC, the makers of MAP (Master Amino Acid Pattern). We sold MAP for years. Love the product and formula. The problem with MAP is that it was always so expensive.

        We now make our own product called PerfectAmino. It’s the exact same formula as MAP – we’ve had a few blind tests performed from the prestigious Texas A&M protein lab. The results of amino acids and ratios are identical.

        Looking at this Purium product… The only thing I can say is it looks to be a much higher cost. 50 tablets for $28.45.

        To put into perspective with our product you get 150 tablets at $39.95… And right now, ours are 10% off, so 150 tabs for $33.95! Much more affordable if you ask me.

        Hope that helps to clarify and thanks for reaching out.

        Have a great weekend!

        1. I did not realize it was 50 TABS for 28.45, not 150 tabs. It all makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying!

  47. Eric says:

    Hi Dr., would you know if amino supplements would have any effect on protein S production. My wife has protein S deficiency which is part of the blood clotting cascade and I was wondering if this could be helped by examining her diet.

  48. boneshakerbike says:

    I plan on ingesting fat (butter/mct) as a fuel source in a long 48 hour winter ultra. Since it was recommended to not do aminos with fat I am wondering how lang after ingesting say 2 T of butter and a T of MCT oil should one wait before hitting the aminos again. I hope this question makes sense.

    1. If you keep out the butter and just to MCT's, the MCT's are digested so fast that it is a moot point, so I'd just leave out the butter.

      1. boneshakerbike says:

        Thanks Ben. Excellent, will do that. Also there are aid stations and my plan is solid food, cauliflower soup with lots of good fat, it's going to be in West Yellowstone and could be -20. The plan went well last year and I want to duplicate the effort except the race is 80 miles longer this year and I plan on using aminos to save me from doing damage. So when I do these re-feeds around 6-8 hours apart, how long should one wait before taking up the amino protocol again. I am guessing 2 – 4 hours.

        1. you only have to wait for gastric emptying to occur. So if the meals are relatively simple, just 20-45 minutes wait time.

          1. Thanks Ben for taking the time to answer questions. have a great holiday season.

  49. Mike says:

    Hey Ben great podcast, I was just wondering if you begin taking these aminos do you still need to eat a certain amount of protein everyday in food form, or can you start to reduce your protein intake as long as you keep your calories the same. My goal as a weight lifter is to gain or keep lean body mass while reducing body fat. Thanks.

    1. Yes, you still need protein but can reduce dosage (e.g. if you take 10g of aminos per day you could reduce protein from other sources by 10g)

      1. tedwardy says:

        If 5 tablets is one serving and one serving is 5000mg- to get 10 grams per dose then I'm getting 10 tabs? That's right?
        So, 15 serves per bottle if you're wanting 10 grams per serve..

  50. angelocasa says:

    Ben, what's the difference between NatureAminos and the ones from Dr. Minkoff's BodyHealth?

    1. Shanna says:

      I would love to know the answer to that question as well!

  51. BSJR says:

    Ordered a bunch of Exos aminos before i listened to podcast. Are those BCAA or Essential? They look the same as NatureAminos will alternate if you think a good idea.

    1. They're essentials (EAA's). They're just in powder form, not capsule form like NatureAminos is.

  52. erep says:

    Ben, you mention in this podcast folks who are in nutritional ketosis and supplementing with BCAAs… But given the commentaray in this podcast regarding BCAAs, to the extent they go unutilized, functioning as carbs, is the conclusion that BCAAs are incompatible with the nutritional ketosis approach? (and as more explicitly stated in the podcast the EAAs are a better way to go if staying in ketosis is also one's aim?) Many thanks in advance.

    1. Yep, EAA's are superior for ketosis and you CAN metabolize them, it's just that BCAA's work better if the is purely to be using them as fuel.

  53. Permie says:

    Scientology, Clearwater , hmmmmm

  54. SamLookC says:

    I wanted to make sure I understand a comment made at about 29:41 minutes on the recording.

    The sentence runs something like "If a body can't use AA, the body will break off the amino and the body is left with a carbohydrate and the body will use it to burn or store as fat or glycogen."

    I want to make sure that I'm understanding. If the body can't use the AA, breaks it down, it becomes a carbohydrate, turns into glycogen, and if glycogen stores are full, it gets stored in the body as fat.

    So when someone says excess protein turns into fat, they are correct….that is, if the glycogen/sugar storage is full.


    1. Response from Dr. David Minkoff: That is correct. There are two pathways for amino acids. Anabolic where they are made into proteins, and catabolic where the nitrogen is removed from the amino acid and the carbon/hydrogen/oxygen chain is then available for fuel. For more info on this go to

      By the way, this is why proteins have a calorie value of 4 calories per gram. This is true only for the amino acids that go into the catabolic pathway. For those that are made into proteins, they have no calorie value.

  55. Vero says:

    Hi Ben, do you know which exact pancreatic enzymes Dr. Minkoff took? Thank you

    1. From Dr Minkoff: They were the original Kelly Enzymes now called Pan Immune. They are the strongest known pancreatic enzymes for cancer treatment. We sell them in our clinic if anyone is interested.

      1. Vero says:

        Thank you so much! Wish you both a very healthy 2016

  56. BalabanMB says:

    Hello Ben, great podcast. I've been using EAAs and BCAAs lately instead of protein shakes to lose fat and keep the lean mass, which is always great to hear that I'm doing it right. But I have another question. In the beginning of the podcast, you guys talked a little about seafood, fish in particular. I eat 2 cans of wild caught sardines almost every lunch with my salad, and sometimes I eat other seafood like wild caught sockeye salmon, king salmon, halibut or scallops for dinner. This way I don't take fish oil. Do you think there is a chance that I'm overdoing this? Is there anything you or another person wrote that I can read about the upper limit for fish/seafood consumption? Thanks

  57. Gordon says:

    You mention not to take NatureAminos with fat or proteins. I guess you shouldn’t mix NatureAminos with MCT oil as a fuel source for triathlon like you done in the past with MAP? thanks

    1. Because MCT's digest so fast, mixing with MCT's is not an issue!

  58. Rob says:

    Hi Ben, I stumbled upon one of your old articles, how to track calories chapter 12. There you cited a study showing energy deficits as little as 300cal/day result in fat gain in both anaerobic and aerobic athlete. My question is, how can athlete safely loose weight then? Cos from what I know 300/day is very little, especially when you’re an athlete and consuming 3000+cal. Thanks Ben!

    1. To clarify that is an energy deficit of 300 calories below basal metabolic rate, not TOTAL calorie burn for day. Big difference obviously!

  59. Pestodude1 says:

    Dr Minkoff mentioned there is now a powder version of Nature Aminos but they are not shown when I use the hyperlink above. Where can I get the powder?

      1. Iwakunigal says:

        Ben – I cannot seem to locate the discount code for EXOS in your website. Is it still available? Thanks!

        1. There isn't a discount code for Exos right now.. you can get the products at

  60. Pestodude1 says:

    I understand that Natue Aminos will keep me from becoming catabolic during workouts but if I take enough (20 grams?) would I actually build muscle from workouts if no other protein source is utilized (IE: on a ketogenic diet or during a fast)?

    1. Yes, assuming you eat adequate calories!

  61. Cruiser5 says:

    Hey Ben- great podcast. I’ve been struggling with a bout of mild bicep Tendinitis and am curious if you think the Nature Aminos would be a good thing to try to assist in it’s repair along with my treatment regime from my osteopath physician. What should the dosage be like on a day I’m not training? Also I typically work out 4-5 days/ week (two of those being strength training days), am a female at 135 pounds, should I be taking 5 tablets before exercising, or more like the higher end of the spectrum you recommend which is 8? Thanks for all you do :)

    1. Yes, higher dosages for this type of thing: 10-20 tablets per day. There are plenty of other techniques to look into for this though, like this:…

  62. DNA2907 says:

    Umm, is the same Dr Minkoff that had his his license suspended for a year ?

    That does not fill me confidence…

    1. Reply from Dr Minkoff:

      20 years ago as an ER doc I tried to help a friend of a friend who couldn’t sleep by writing a sedative for her.

      She never took it but got an accidental blood clot in her lung (a pulmonary embolis) (she had had a car accident that seemed minor to those that saw her) and she tragically died. The case was very political and as I had erred by writing the script without actually seeing her, I got my license suspended for a year. The case was in 1995 and by the time it was resolved it was 13 years ago. My license has been in good standing ever since and I have never had any other actions before or since.

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