Amino Acid Supplements: Optimise Your Health and Training Performance

Amino acids participate in regulating daily activities and they make up the second-greatest portion of body weight, after water. That fact alone speaks volumes of the importance of these components in your body for balanced health.

What are Amino Acids?

Many of you are already familiar with amino acids. Numerous nutritionists and healthcare professionals have been talking about their importance over the years. Amino acids are all the rage and rightfully so. But not many of you know what exactly they are.

Let’s put it in simple words. Half of the food you eat contains proteins. Once digested, the proteins in your body are broken down into amino acids. These amino acids then are used by the body to make proteins to help your body and muscles grow. That means that proteins are built of amino acids and they are necessary for protein synthesis in your body.

Amino acids comprise muscles and ligaments, skin, nails and hair, organs and glands, and essential body fluids. Therefore, the consumption of amino acids is crucial for proper body development and functioning. There are essential (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and non-essential (alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine) amino acids. 

The body can produce only the non-essential amino acids, whereas essential amino acids must be taken through food or amino acid supplements. Eating a variety of foods is sufficient for your daily intake but the problem is many people have a diet depleted of these nutrients. 

If you’re unable to have a wholesome diet due to various reasons, or you’re actively training to boost your muscle growth, then consider boosting your diet with effective amino acid supplements with quality ingredients. Thankfully, there is a wide range of these products on the market designed to target specific body needs and help lead a healthy lifestyle.


Can You Take Amino Acid Supplements Every Day?

Most people should be able to take amino acids from their diet. If your diet is healthy and balanced, and consists of various food sources, such as eggs, poultry, beef, fish, grains, beans, and seeds, there is no real need to supplement essential amino acids. However, certain groups of people can benefit significantly from taking supplements.

These are mainly individuals inclined to fitness and bodybuilding or any other type of sports. Higher physical activity not only burns more calories but requires a higher consumption of proteins and amino acids to build muscle structure and help muscles grow. The amino acid supplements are safe to take every day, as long as the daily dosage is not exceeded.

If you’re physically active every day and working actively on your muscle growth, you should be supplementing daily for optimal results. But if you’re taking rest days between workout days, there is no need for supplementing on these days because you won’t receive the same benefits when you do workout.

Make sure to follow the daily dosage recommendations on the package to avoid overdosing and possible negative side effects. If you’re not sure whether you need amino supplements, always consult your health provider first. 


Can You Build Muscles with Amino Acids?

One of the most popular benefits of supplementing with amino acids is the increase in muscle growth and boost in exercise performance. There are plenty of Branched Chain Amino acids (BCAAs) and Essential Amino Acids (EEAs) on the market that help build muscle.

The supplements stimulate muscle protein synthesis and are the holy grail when it comes to resistance workouts such as bulking. Therefore, amino supplements should be taken before, during or after the training for best results. Amino acids come in the form of tablets, capsules or aminos powder containing BCAAS and EEAs to support your training goals. Leucine among other BCAAs is the key compound when it comes to building muscle, especially if taken after exercise.

Besides muscle growth, amino supplements increase endurance performance as well. Most gymgoers dread the thought of doing cardio and if you’re one of them, there is some good news for you. Amino supplements are widely used to support endurance training. When taken during or after the workout, amino acids reduce muscle damage and soreness and help you recover faster after workout sessions.

Supplementing with amino acids is especially beneficial for those who are on their weight loss journey. Think of it like this. You cut down on calorie intake and start losing weight. When you lose weight, you’re not only burning fat, but your muscles decrease as well. To put back on muscles, you need to support the process by taking proteins and amino acids.

Remember, amino acids play a key role in the process of muscle growth and damage repair. Therefore if you have lost a lot of weight and are trying to get back some muscle mass, supplementing with amino acids will significantly aid the process.


Other Benefits of Using Amino Supplements

Mood and Sleep

Amino acids are thought to improve mood and sleep and increase cognitive energy. Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid, plays an important role in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for regulating mental health and sleep.

A lack of serotonin, among many other factors, leads to mood disorders such as depression and can cause insomnia. Supplementing with tryptophan may boost your mood, decrease the signs of depression and improve your sleep.

Collagen Production and Skin Elasticity 

Some amino acids such as cysteine, threonine, glycine, proline and hydroxyproline are believed to improve skin health and stimulate collagen production.

Collagen is comprised of proteins and proline, glycine and hydroxyproline are the building blocks that make up proteins. Therefore, taking glycine, proline or hydroxyproline amino supplement can benefit your overall skin health. Threonine provides structure to your skin and plays a significant role in the production of collagen while cysteine affects the elasticity of your skin and acts as an antioxidant. 

Amino supplements are also beneficial for good digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, preventing arteriosclerosis, fighting bacteria and viruses and promoting weight loss, just to name a few. Furthermore, amino acids support the absorption of zinc and selenium and help the body get rid of heavy metals.

Besides athletes and fitness enthusiasts, amino supplements are great for middle-aged and elderly people to support the immune system and improve memory and cognitive function. People in the post-operative stages can greatly benefit from supplementing with amino acids to help the growth and repair of body tissues and assist with wound healing.


Amino Acid Deficiency

Nutrition poor in amino acids can lead to a sequence of negative effects and a significant decline in your overall health.
Your body needs all 20 to function properly, both the essential and non-essential, and not getting enough of these compounds can cause:

  • A decline in memory and cognitive function
  • Decreased immunity
  • Mood disorders such as depression
  • Increased anxiety
  • Disruptive sleeping patterns such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • Fertility issues
  • Slower growth in children because some amino acids are also responsible for growth hormone (GH) stimulation
  • Muscle loss and weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Decline in energy (fatigue), etc.

Author: Michael Hobbs

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