What are amino acids?
Amino acids make up the proteins in our bodies. You can think of proteins as big chains of amino acids. Amino acids are vital for our overall health, breaking down our food, repairing our muscles, and regrowing our muscle tissue. Protein is known for boosting our energy and this is thanks to the amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that attribute different functions to different proteins in the body. Their function is based on which amino acids attach to form the protein. Out of the twenty amino acids, nine of them are essential, meaning they cannot be made by the body so we must consume them.
Which are the essential amino acids and what do they do?
- Histidine: regulates sleep, immune system, and digestion
- Isoleucine: controls energy, muscle metabolism, and hemoglobin production
- Leucine: stimulates growth and repair of muscles, proteins, and energy; maintains blood sugar levels
- Lysine: helps produce hormones, synthesizes proteins and energizes
- Methionine: assists in detoxification, metabolism, and tissue growth; essential to mineral absorption.
- Phenylalanine: necessary for other amino acids to be made
- Threonine: maintains healthy skin, tissue, immune system, and fat metabolism
- Tryptophan: monitors sleep, appetite, and mood
- Valine: promotes muscle growth, regeneration, and energy increases
What is a branch chain amino acid and how will it help my athletic performance?
Branch chain amino acids are comprised of three essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Leucine is for strength. While strength training and dieting, leucine will help your athletic performance by increasing and maintaining your muscle mass. Leucine initiates and maximizes protein synthesis, generating energy in the body, giving you the boost you need to keep training and lift more weights!
Isoleucine is for endurance. While endurance training, isoleucine will increase your energy levels so you can keep going without taking a break. It will also control your blood sugar levels during and after your workout.
Valine is for recovery. The recovery process is essential to improve athletic performance. Our damaged muscle tissue needs repairing to endure long lasting work outs and that is valine’s job. Valine also suppresses appetite, deterring cravings and encouraging weight loss to keep you in peak athletic condition.
What are the benefits of taking an amino acid supplement?
For overall well-being, amino acid supplements may elevate mood and quality of sleep. We could all use a good night sleep and we all know the impact this has on our mood. We accomplish a lot more when we’re well-rested, like our fitness goals! Taking an amino acid supplement enhances athletic performance by decreasing fatigue and muscle soreness so you can get in more reps with less recovery time. Amino acids increase energy levels, speed up the repair of damaged cells, and create new cells. This combination leads to weight loss. Taking an amino acid supplement paves the way to a more well-rested, fit, happier, you.