People at my gym talk about protein shakes and amino acid pills.

I always hear people at my gym talk about protein shakes and amino acid pills. People say I should take them, but I would much rather rely on my diet to supply me with what I need. The only problem is that I don’t really know what my diet is doing for me. There are several other people at my gym that feel the same way. So we were wondering if there was a way of measuring our diets to see if we eat properly. We would much rather modify our diets than drink shakes and/or take pills. Can you point us in the right direction?

You are correct in that nutrients are much better absorbed from food than from pills and concentrated amino acids supplements. There are a lot of “supplements” that make unsubstantiated claims for “nutrients” that I have never heard of nor upon searching is there any research for these “nutrients”.

The Healthy Body Calculator® will show you the analysis of your physical data so you can see for yourself what your body needs.

Next, you need to write down everything you eat. Then you need to nutritionally analyze the foods you eat. Try My Food Record which I developed with my programmers. Lastly, you need to use this analysis to determine what nutrients in which you are lacking and then add foods high in these “lacking nutrients. My Food Record provides a linked chart of foods for nutrients that you are lacking from your analysis results page.

If you are consuming enough animal protein, then you are consuming enough amino acids assuming you are not only eating vegetarian or vegan foods. Depending on the type of vegetarian proteins, you could be deficient in the 8 essential amino acids necessary for growth and maintenance of your body.

In writing down everything you eat, remember to include foods, beverages and any supplements you consume. Write down the food name, how much (quantity and measure) of what you ate, and how the food was prepared. Also, save labels from foods that are not usually available, especially supplements. These foods can be added as a Custom Food to My Food Record.

A Registered Dietitian could analyze your food records and produce a very complete report. Their report could include graphs of what percent of your food eaten is fat as well as protein and carbohydrate. Dietitians analyze for water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, possibly amino acids, and fatty acids.

If you choose to analyze your diet yourself, you will need a nutritional analysis software package that includes amino acids and fatty acids if your concern is a protein or amino acid supplement.