Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS/WED, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
Frunobulax
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Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Frunobulax » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:36 am

Hi,

I apologize if this has been discussed recently - I just discovered this board, and find it a wonderful source for information. (I'm a German, and the german RLS board is completely useless. So I never checked the english discussion boards.)

I experienced a worsening of my symptoms about a month ago. I realised this rougly the time when I started taking protein shakes to aid my quest to lose some weight. Although there are aspartame-free, they do contain other artificial sweeteners and a wide range of amino acids. Realizing the possible connection (sleepless night at 3:35am so far) I decided to do the obvious and stop the protein shakes for a while, to see if this helps. OTOH, I never consumed protein shakes or artificial sweeteners on a regular basis, drinking just the occasional diet coke and rarely consuming dietary food with artificial sweeteners. And I developed severe symptoms anyway, going through the usual medication class of dopamine agonists, gabapentin and opioids - currently nothing seems to work.

I found an old thread (almost 10 years back) on aspartame, which presented an interesting theory on why aspartame may cause RLS symptoms. It's worth a revisiting, I think (http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=311&hilit=artificial+sweeteners).

So, my questions are as follows:
(1) Can anybody confirm a connection between protein shakes and RLS symptoms?
(2) Has there been research on the effect of various amino acids?

Regards, F.

debbluebird
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby debbluebird » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:11 pm

I don't know about your protein drinks, but I did discover that I do not tolerate aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. When i was drinking too much of them, my legs got worse. I stopped the drinks, and any food containing them and my legs improved.

Polar Bear
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Polar Bear » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:48 pm

There have been several posters who felt that aspartame aggravated their symptoms.
I don't drink diet soda or knowingly use anything with aspartame, not only because it may aggravate my WED symptoms, but because of what we read and hear about the damage it can cause generally.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby ViewsAskew » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:22 pm

No research that I know of for either. Hopefully someone else knows more than I.

There is some anecdotal support for amino acids helping WED, but which ones is in question, as is how much they help. Many people who found them helpful took a blend of them. Others have said arginine, L-theanine, and tyrosine are specifically helpful.

The problem, at least in the US, is that research is only done when the entity doing the research is likely to make money from the results. Because no one holds a patent to amino acids, no one is likely to do research.

In terms of the sweeteners, several people here say they are sure that they make their symptoms worse. That isn't true for all of us, however. I have no idea why.

Welcome to the board. We have another regular member who lives in Germany. I hope the language isn't too much of a barrier (your English is flawless!).
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

glfngrl
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Location: Thomson, GA

Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby glfngrl » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:06 pm

I definitely have problems with any kind of artificial sweeteners, other than saccharine (yes, I know it has a bad rap, but my mother used it in iced tea for about 50 years; she lived to be 94, my dad died at 98, and neither of them ever had cancer or serious medical problems other than those associated with longevity!) The sad situation is that, for me, very much sugar after lunch is also a no-no.

I have used the protein shakes in the past with no observed effects on my legs, but mine contained regular sugar, not sweeteners.

Jane in GA
Give up is not in my vocabulary!!

Chipmunk
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Chipmunk » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:04 am

I will echo the others in that I avoid all artificial sweeteners, especially Nutrasweet (aspartame) and Splenda (sucralose). I don't avoid saccharine but rarely consume it as it's not used much anymore.

I take amino acids every day and find they help my WED. From what I could ascertain, they increase the amount of dopamine in my system. I actually found that they help my cognitive functioning significantly enough that I really missed the effect when I stopped taking them - I felt foggy-headed. Adding the amino acids back in cleared my brain up.
Tracy

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the WED/RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Frunobulax
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Frunobulax » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:51 pm

Chipmunk wrote:I will echo the others in that I avoid all artificial sweeteners, especially Nutrasweet (aspartame) and Splenda (sucralose). I don't avoid saccharine but rarely consume it as it's not used much anymore.

I take amino acids every day and find they help my WED. From what I could ascertain, they increase the amount of dopamine in my system. I actually found that they help my cognitive functioning significantly enough that I really missed the effect when I stopped taking them - I felt foggy-headed. Adding the amino acids back in cleared my brain up.


Interesting. My legs were pretty much quiet during the last days, but I suffered from some general insomnia (couldn't find sleep) after tapering the Clonazepam. (Dr. B doesn't like it, I think he has a point after having a go at it.) But since my nights became intolerable I introduced several changes at once, not only cutting out protein shakes and artificial sweeteners, but also leaving out omeprazole (see my post in the prescription section), reducing the intensity and amount of exercise I do and reducing caffeine almost to 0. I figured if the improvement in WED symptoms persist, I can always check on the things I changed by putting them back in the mix. Protein shakes would be high on the list to try again, because I do know that they help me to lose weight. Unfortunately the low-carb, low-fat shakes all have artificial sweeteners (as far as I can tell), even though few use aspartame.

Regards, F.

Frunobulax
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Frunobulax » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:13 pm

Chipmunk wrote:I take amino acids every day and find they help my WED. From what I could ascertain, they increase the amount of dopamine in my system. I actually found that they help my cognitive functioning significantly enough that I really missed the effect when I stopped taking them - I felt foggy-headed. Adding the amino acids back in cleared my brain up.


Just a thing I realized today: Some protein shakes (especially the ones containing do contain Tyrosine, which was recommended a short time ago in another thread.
In which form do you take amino acids?

Regards, F.

debbluebird
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby debbluebird » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:10 pm

One thing to look at regarding protein drinks: What are they sweetened with ? Is there any artificial sweeteners in it ? They might cause issues.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby ViewsAskew » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:20 am

Frunobulax wrote:
Chipmunk wrote:I take amino acids every day and find they help my WED. From what I could ascertain, they increase the amount of dopamine in my system. I actually found that they help my cognitive functioning significantly enough that I really missed the effect when I stopped taking them - I felt foggy-headed. Adding the amino acids back in cleared my brain up.


Just a thing I realized today: Some protein shakes (especially the ones containing do contain Tyrosine, which was recommended a short time ago in another thread.
In which form do you take amino acids?

Regards, F.


I've just tried using capsule forms. They haven't helped me, though, so maybe there is a better form?
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Frunobulax
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Frunobulax » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:20 pm

I have tried Tyrosine capsules too, doesn't work for me either. There are various protein shakes out there that contain a mix of amino acids, however, most contain artificial sweeteners and aromas. A few are pure protein powder, without any sweeteners or other supplements - just google "protein without artificial sweeteners" or similar.

Chipmunk
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Chipmunk » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:52 pm

I take the amino acids from SomaLife: http://www.shopsomalife.com/gHP-Sport_p_15.html. I have tried other brands, replicating exactly the proportions of the different amino acids, but there was a noticeable difference in the effect and I switched back after two days even though the SomaLife pills are twice the price. I have been taking them for about four years now, I think.

I noticed a decreased effectiveness after the company was sold (I'm assuming due to cost-saving measure implemented by the new management), so now I pay extra for the verified version of the Sport formula.
Tracy

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the WED/RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

badnights
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby badnights » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:14 am

I wish those darn pills weren't so big. Do you take all 6 as recommended?
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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Chipmunk
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Re: Protein supplements/Artificial sweeteners

Postby Chipmunk » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:06 pm

Yes, I do. One pill, one bite of food. Otherwise they get stuck and it HURTS.
Tracy

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the WED/RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.


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