Amino acids

Amino acids are the ‘building blocks’ which combine to form the proteins needed by the body for tissue growth and repair. There are 8 amino acids (9 in children and some older people) which must be consumed in our diet. They are known as essential amino acids. From these, other amino acids, referred to as non-essential, can be synthesised in the body. Sources of protein which contain all 8 essential amino acids are known as complete proteins.


The term ‘anabolic’ refers to the building of tissue, such as muscle.


Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of vital processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in the body’s stress response. However, prolonged high levels can have a catabolic effect, leading to the breakdown of muscle tissue, and may suppress the immune system. The immunosuppressive effects of intense exercise have been linked to high plasma cortisol levels that continue after prolonged intense exercise.

Growth hormone

Human growth hormone spurs growth in children and adolescents. It also helps to regulate body composition (decrease body fat and increase muscle), body fluids, muscle and bone growth, and the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat.

IGF1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1)

IGF1 is a hormone similar to insulin which plays an important role in childhood growth, and has an anabolic effect in adults.


The term ‘immunosuppressive’ refers to the partial or complete suppression of the immune response of an individual.

Protein synthesis

Protein synthesis is the process whereby cells create new protein molecules.


Testosterone is a powerful naturally occurring steroid hormone and the most important androgen. It has a number of powerful anabolic effects including directly increasing muscle mass and strength, and promoting the release of growth hormone. It also plays an important role in health and well-being, as it helps us to maintain healthy body composition and contributes to bone density and strength, and the production of red blood cells.