Malic acid is an organic compound involved in many biochemical reactions and is a precursor to amino acids. It’s made in your body by turning carbohydrates, fat and protein you’ve ingested into energy and is a main component of the Krebs Cycle, which is responsible for ATP formation. Need to know more about the Krebs Cycle?
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is the energy currency of our bodies, specifically our cells and is used to drive almost every bodily activity due to its underlying chemical energy exchange taking place at the cellular level. In other words, ATP transports usable chemical energy between cells to drive metabolism.
If you’ve ever eaten rhubarb you are already quite familiar with malic acid. It gives rhubarb that distinctly tart taste.
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NOOTROPIC BENEFITS OF MALIC ACID
- Increase Energy
- Decrease Muscle Pain
- Improve Mental Focus
- Enhance Muscle Performance
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Increase Energy With Malic Acid Supplements
Chronic fatigue sufferers have been experimenting with malic acid supplementation for years in an effort to boost energy. Many claim significant reductions in fatigue and a much needed energy boost.
The way malic acid is able to promote energy has to do with its involvement in your Kreb cycle. The Kreb cycle AKA the citric acid cycle (CAC) or tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) is a series of chemical reactions used by all aerobic organisms.
Malic acid plays a vital role in the release of stored energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein via Acetyl-CoA oxidation into carbon dioxide and chemical energy (ATP). We all need malic acid for this critical energy formation pathway.
The Best Whole Foods High in Malic Acid
- Berries: Blackberries, cherries, strawberries
- Oranges, Mango, Bananas
Decrease Muscle Pain with Malic Acid Supplements
Malic acid’s ability to decrease pain is well known for those who suffer from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia pain and muscle pain symptoms can be severe in both cases for which people have sought out remedies when traditional drugs and medications have failed to produce pain reduction.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by generalized muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia pain can have difficulty making malic acid which further contributes to their symptoms. Further research is still needed to determine a cause and effect relationship, but correlations have been observed.
Researchers have postulated that symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are the result of gluconeogenesis, using proteins metabolized from muscle for energy resulting from oxygen deficiency and lacking other substances needed to form ATP.
8 weeks of oral doses of magnesium and malic acid (malate) were administered to study participants resulting in subjective reports of reductions in fibromyalgia pain. The participants reported an improvement in pain symptoms within 48 hours of supplementation .
Research also suggests that to achieve effective pain reduction for those with fibromyalgia, people should utilize a malic acid and magnesium combination twice per day for at least 2 months with doses of 200mg of malic acid and 50mg of magnesium .
Improve Mental Focus With Malic Acid Supplements
The way malic acid exhibits nootropic effects on mental focus is through its impact on energy production, specifically forming ATP in the Kreb’s cycle.
Your brain is a muscle like any other part of your body and requires a constant energy source to keep functioning at a high level. We’ve all felt the inability to concentrate and focus when we start to run low on energy. In fact your brain uses approximately 20% of total daily energy while only accounting for 2% of total body weight.
When we rest, relax or sleep, we allow our energy stores to replenish. Other cleansing mechanisms are also at work to clean out all the brain gunk (plaque) that builds up as byproducts of internal processes. The quality of foods consumed over your lifetime matter deeply to overall brain health. Inadequate nutrients in your diet are suspected in many of the diseases related to cognitive decline. Diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, age related cognitive disorder, Parkinson’s and more.
Having enough malic acid in your diet ensures your energy cycle for ATP is functioning optimally and further benefits mental processes with sharpness and clarity.
Evidence is surmounting that proper diet for cognitive function is even more important than exercise. However, when you combine a healthy diet with moderate exercise, cognitive processes like creative thinking, decision making, mental focus and energy to solve complex problems all improve.
For the longest time we have always thought about supplementing our exercise habits with a proper diet because it helps boost performance. Now we need to look at it from the opposite direction. We need to supplement our nutritional habits with a little bit of exercise.
New evidence suggests that select diets combined with exercise actually exert their effects on the management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity at the molecular level.
Recent studies show that selected dietary factors share similar mechanisms with exercise, and in some cases they can complement the action of exercise. Therefore, exercise and dietary management appear as a non-invasive and effective strategy to counteract neurological and cognitive disorders .
As a nootropic, malic acid is necessary for energy metabolism (breaking down compounds for energy use by your brain and body) but then also plays a vital role in synaptic plasticity, the brain’s ability to mend and form new neural connections representing new thoughts, memories and ideas.
This is vitally important because as you age you lose neural connections and idea generation and memory becomes more difficult and distorted. If you’ve increased these connections and pathways in the brain or in the very least slowed the progression of loss over a lifetime, you have more avenues left to keep you pondering in those later years.
Enhance Muscle Performance With Malic Acid Supplements
Malic acid is used to help muscle performance given the implications for ATP energy production and by decreasing negative utilization of muscle protein as an energy source (gluconeogenesis) when inadequate malic acid is present.
A study on citrulline malate conducted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2002 found that ingestion of malate for 15 days by 18 men complaining of non disease related fatigue resulted in a significant reduction in fatigue, a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise and a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, which indicates a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production .
What does that all mean? The study participants experienced improved aerobic capacity. The authors postulate that the improvement is a result of the enhanced malate supply activating ATP production from the TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle aka the Kreb’s cycle.
Citrulline is known to mop up the ammonia that is produced as a byproduct of the ATP energy process. Ammonia is able to cross the blood brain barrier and contributes to feelings of fatigue.
Malic acid is responsible however for buffering lactate which is a byproduct that is built up from pyruvate. In the most basic sense, when you take part in strenuous activity like power lifting or sprinting, glucose is broken down into pyruvate to be used in the Kreb’s cycle for energy.
The increase in pyruvate causes an increase in lactate (lactic acid) that builds up faster than your body can use it. The buildup of lactate can be used to create more pyruvate by well oxygenated brain, muscle and heart cells, hence the popularity of bodybuilding supplements like NO. Pyruvate then fuels the Kreb’s cycle and so on.
This is why you are able to continue to exercise at a high level with a positive feedback loop of energy, but still only for a matter of time.
STACKING WITH MALIC ACID
Combining malic acid and magnesium glycinate is a common nootropic stack that promotes further benefit of both nutrients. magnesium glycinate.
Huperzine A, valerian root, 5-HTP and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are highly effective at producing calm, reducing anxiety and are excellent as a non drowsy sleep aid that promotes deep restorative sleep and recovery while at rest.
MALIC ACID PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
It can take 2-3 days before malic acid supplementation can take effect. Those using malic acid for pain reduction and chronic fatigue have generally reported improvements in approximately 48 hours with consistent supplementation.
Apples are an excellent source of malic acid in addition to the very high content in rhubarb. Supplementation is another easy way to monitor and control the amounts of nutrients you are receiving, with more and more people turning to them for added health benefits.
100-300mg of malic acid taken daily is effective and well within a normal supplementation range. Momental MEND is a nootropic blend containing malic acid and all natural sleep aids that promote cognitive restoration and deep sleep. Mend is non drowsy, so it can be taken during the day to decrease stress and anxiety.
SIDE EFFECTS OF MALIC ACID
For most people malic acid is very safe and effective. Malic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in fruits and vegetables. There have been no serious or dangerous side effects reported but just to be safe, do not consume excessive amounts over 2000mg daily.
Does 2000mg seem arbitrary? That’s because it is. Just be smart and don’t try and figure out at what extremely high dose does a supplement become problematic. If you have any cause for concern prior to initiating any dietary supplement, speak with your physician that has your past medical record in mind.
For the purposes described in this article, malic acid does not pose any serious health risk, nor is it a drug that can cause any harmful interactions with other substances.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding proceed with caution prior to taking any supplement. I’m sorry but your group is the least studied. It’s a catch 22 really. This boiler plate statement has a lot to do with the fact that most pregnant women do not want to offer themselves up for study, and there are laws against studies on children.
RECAP OF MALIC ACID
As we continue to gain knowledge and understand the effects of food on a molecular basis we become ever closer to manipulating our diets not just for physical fitness, but for neuronal and mental fitness .
We already know that being physically fit can have a profound impact when it comes to longevity. The longer you keep your muscles active the better you'll fair later in life. Eating foods that contain malic acid or supplementing malic acid in your diet reduces acidity symptoms. So if you suffer from acid reflux and GI distress, you can lower acidity symptom severity and duration.
As the scientific community begins to further understand the role of food for cognition we will then be able to manipulate our diets further for neuroprotective purposes. Ensuring that our myelin stays thick around the axons of our nerves and that connections stay connected, that new connections are formed and brain tissue continues to regenerate.
Malic acid as discussed is involved in...
energy metabolism in your brain and body. It’s specifically caught up in the production of ATP via the Kreb’s cycle. Your body and brain use ATP for everything!
Yes there are other energy mechanisms at work that either feed into this system or are part of their own cycle but for our purpose I’ll stop at “malic acid contributes to the Krebs Cycle that produces ATP (energy).”
This is why ensuring you have adequate malic acid in your diet can have such a positive impact on your energy levels and recovery.
Decreasing pain shows promise when it comes to muscle soreness whether from diseases like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia or physical fitness fatigue.
Help keep your mental processes sharp and clear by promoting proper recovery of energy stores during restful states.
Shop Mend with all the benefits of Malic Acid here | KETO FRIENDLY
- Helps produce ATP for energy
- Improved physical and mental recovery
- Pain reduction
- Restorative rest & sleep