Past and Future Research

The InnovAAte Amino Acid Research Continuum: findings from 2014 and beyond  

Our Amino Acid Research Continuum

InnovAAte's approach to demystifying the amino acid ecosystem has opened up a new and greater understanding which is leading to new research and product development opportunities.

Completed Research

Here we share our completed research projects, highlighting key findings and the associated peer-reviewed published papers.

Research Underway

Insights into the current studies, the early findings and potential for product development.

Partner With InnovAAte

At InnovAAte we are always looking for partners to collaborate within research, product development, sales and marketing.

Completed Research

Fitness Training


  • Increasing levels of exercise to improve fitness and well-being results in higher demands on amino acid resources by the body to build aerobic capacity and muscles.
    • Exercise can help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Over time, adjustments will be made by the body to increase its capacity to synthesize the non-essential amino acids .
  • Higher levels of physical activities require higher intakes of nutritional resources to support the building of fitness and strength.
  • Certain amino acids are utilized at faster rates than others during daily exertion and exercise because they are;
    • Specifically required for multiple metabolic processes and protein synthesis, or
    • Lost in disproportionately high quantities in sweat and urine
  • This generates an increased demand for these Key Amino Acids

Peer-reviewed published paper

Alterations in red blood cell parameters, plasma amino acids, total cholesterol and fatty acids in Standardbred horses undergoing fitness training.

Comparative Exercise Physiology, 15(1), 13-23. doi:10.3920/CEP180045

How these findings have and are shaping product development

This research project provided valuable insight into the changes in amino acid composition in the blood plasma that were associated with attaining fitness.

From this work, we could begin to better understand the types of metabolic demands made by the body to support the higher intensity exercise and recovery. These would include factors such as:

  • Making more red blood cells for improving oxygen delivery and removal of CO2
  • Building muscle mass and strength
  • Improving the capacity for repair and recovery processes



  • Large losses of Key Amino Acids occur in sweat
  • A group of 6 amino acids are lost at disproportionately faster rates than the others
  • There are different types of sweat losses
    • Higher volume with lower concentrations of amino acids
    • Lower volume, but higher concentrations of amino acids
  • Considerable quantities of these key amino acids can be lost
    • 1-2 L of sweat can be lost per hour during exercise.
    • Manual laborers can lose 10 L of sweat per day in a hot climate
  • Current research is investigating possible links between the losses of amino acids in sweat with the processes of resorption of sodium and chloride in the sweat glands.

Peer-reviewed & published papers

  1. Sweat facilitated amino acid losses in male athletes during exercise at 32-34°C. PLoS ONE, 11(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167844
  1. Sweat facilitated losses of amino acids in Standardbred horses and the application of supplementation strategies to maintain condition during training. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 11(4), 201-212. doi:10.3920/CEP150027
  2. Relationships between electrolyte and amino acid compositions in sweat during exercise suggests a role for amino acids in reabsorption of Na+ and Cl- from sweat. PLOS ONE 14(10): e0223381.

How these findings have and are shaping product development

These research findings have been fundamental to our generation of the product concept. We have measured what is lost in sweat and concluded that six amino acids were lost in much higher quantities than other amino acids during exercise. The rationale for the InnovAAte product range is simply to replenish these key factors.

Since digestion is greatly diminished during and after exercise, our research has also led us to identifying the time immediately after exercise as a critical opportunity to replenish these amino acids. Doing so would reduce the demand to break down the muscle proteins via catabolism to provide the necessary resources needed for recovery.

If you can replenish these key amino acids during the exercise or at intermittent breaks, then this would also be of great potential benefit.



Modelling protein turnover


  • A small group of key amino acids can become limiting during daily exertion resulting in a restricted supply of amino acids at critical times of demand.These limitations can be exacerbated with:
    • High intensity exercise
    • High levels of exertion at work
    • Living in a warm-hot climate
  • The results provided a scientific basis to explain how small quantities of the key amino acids could provide benefit to assist in the recovery from daily exertion and high intensity exercise.

Peer-Reviewed & Published Papers

Human: Modelling of protein turnover provides insight for metabolic demands on those specific amino acids utilized at disproportionately faster rates than other amino acids.

Amino Acids. doi:10.1007/s00726-019-02734-1

Horses: Modelling of amino acid turnover in the horse during training and racing: A basis for developing a novel supplementation strategy.

PLOS ONE 15(1): e0226988.

How these findings have and are shaping product development

The results from this research have provided insight into how replenishment of small quantities of specific amino acids could help the body meet the daily demands of exercise and exertion.

The development of the computer modelling system enables us to develop new product ranges in the future to meet the demands of specific applications.


Research Underway

Red Blood Cells transport amino acids

Previous findings

  • Research from as far back as the 1970's provided evidence that red blood cells could be involved in the transport of amino acids to tissues, muscles, and organs.
    • This research has largely been ignored or forgotten.
  • This is critical to understanding how the body can best respond to sudden demands arising from high intensity exercise.

Our Recent Research

We found that:

  • Red blood cells can take up and release the amino acids in small quantities representing around 15% of their load.
  • Increased exercise intensity resulted in an increased carrying capacity of certain amino acids in the red blood cells which would appear to be part of the process of attaining fitness.

Research Publication

Evidence that human and equine erythrocytes could have significant roles in the transport and delivery of amino acids to organs and tissues.

Amino Acids (2020).

How these findings will be shaping product development

This research has provided a new dimension to understanding how best to provide supplementation to support high intensity exercise and performance.

In the future, we hope to gain insight as to how certain types of training might influence the capacity for red blood cells to carry amino acids.


Red Blood Cell amino acids alter during exercise and recovery

Previous findings

  • It was reported more than 19 years ago that RBC increased their carrying capacity of amino acids during exercise with no corresponding increases observed in plasma levels.
    • This was a critical finding as it infers that increased loads of amino acids could be delivered by the RBC in response to the onset of exercise.

Our current research

We are investigating whether:

  • The RBC content levels might change in relation to the intensity level of training.
  • The RBC could act as a repository of amino acids for rapid access on demand by the body.

We are testing the hypothesis that:

How these findings will be shaping product development

This research will enable a better understanding for shaping training regimes to optimize amino acid support for exercise and recovery.

  • Understanding the influence of training intensities on demands for certain amino acids is a great step forward.
  • Understanding the contributions of the RBC for carrying amino acids will add a whole new dimension to sport supplementation.

Talk With Our Research Team

If there is any information here that you would like to have more clarification on or discuss with our research team please let us know.