Why is amino acid important ?. Amino acids are the building blocks of life as it plays vital roles in the physiological functions of our body and is necessary for the various processes that keep the body performing at its best. The presence of amino acids in our system is just as important as the blood or the oxygen that flows through every vein in our body. Over the past years, amino acid supplements have been popular and sought after product amongst fitness and wellness enthusiasts wanting to be at their best of health.
Amino Acids 101
Nutrition is what you get out of the food you eat every day. It is made up of carbohydrates, protein, and fat — also known as macronutrients. Protein is the most significant macronutrient player because its structure is built on the presence of tiny molecules called amino acids. Each of these amino acids contributes a vital part in the integration of proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters needed by the body to function properly. Without these amino acids, our body functions are bound to go haywire and cause a boatload of health issues.
Amino acids are categorized into essential and nonessential amino acids for the type of role they play in the body. We have 20 different amino acids providing crucial physiological function and support. Only 9 of them are considered as essential, and the rest are categorized as nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be produced by the human body. While nonessential amino acids can be made by the body.
|Essential Amino Acids||Non-Essential Amino Acids|
Branched Chain Amino Acids BCAAs
Branched Chain Amino Acids are very popular amongst fitness and sports enthusiasts who need them for their lean muscle building performance and muscle healing properties which are essential for fast recovery after rigorous workouts
Why are Amino Acids Important?
The main structure of a protein is made up of amino acids. And because protein is essential for proper growth and development — the body relies on amino acids to thrive and function – from your muscles down to the very ends of your hair and the tips of your nails.
To fight off infection, white blood cells are the key guardians of the body. Amino acids provide the artillery for the white blood cells to multiply and fight off infection and inflammation. Studies have revealed that a suppressed supply of branched-chain amino acids can lead to a compromised immune system and an increased risk of infections.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Glucose plays a crucial role in the body. And how the body reacts to glucose from the food we eat can predetermine a person’s health markers. Diabetics develop a resistance to insulin which dictates how glucose is absorbed from the blood. Research evidence showed that consuming a diet high in proteins also equates to high amounts of amino acids that trigger a rise in insulin levels causing the body to process glucose in the blood properly which can then be used by the body as fuel for energy.
Hormones are responsible for the way our body reacts to certain stimuli. Amino acids such as arginine and lysine trigger the body to release growth hormones to encourage cell development. This can be helpful in the developmental stages of growing children as well as sports enthusiasts looking to build more muscle mass.
Enhance Muscle Performance
BCAA’s are supplements that are commonly used by athletes and people who are into fitness to help speed up muscle recovery and fatigue after exercising. This allows their body to get right back on track without feeling achy and sore for too long. Studies have also shown improved strength in non-athletes who take a daily 4-gram dose of leucine for 12 weeks.
Research and studies have shown that BCAAs help stimulates fat burning and fat loss. In the study, a daily supplement of 14 grams of BCAAs gave evidence of a much significant fat loss compared to those who take whey protein shakes.
Prevents Muscle Mass Loss
Individuals suffering from illnesses that cause them prolonged bed rest often end up with muscle loss. This is especially evident in older people. Supplementing with essential amino acids can help preserve one’s muscle mass as well as inhibit muscle breakdown. In a study done with adults put on bed rest, a daily dose of 15 grams of essential amino acids showed maintained muscle mass as compared to the placebo group that had decreased muscle mass by 30%.
Improvement in Mood and Sleep Patterns
The production of serotonin or the “happy hormone” relies on the amino acid tryptophan. It is a neurotransmitter that dictates how the body regulates your circadian rhythm or your sleep-wake cycles as well as your mood. If the body is low on serotonin, this can affect one’s mood and cause depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Supplementing with tryptophan can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as improve one’s sleeping pattern. Past research in women given 1 gram of tryptophan a day showed a significant improvement in mood and higher levels of energy.
Recommended Dosage of Supplementation
Because the body cannot naturally produce essential amino acids, it is important to make sure your diet has foods rich in essential amino acids. Not everyone is good with keeping a healthy diet — luckily you can purchase amino acid supplements to be able to get your daily recommended allowance of amino acids. Here is a guideline you can follow with a basis of every 2.2 pounds of body weight :
- Valine : 24 mg
- Isoleucine: 19 mg
- Tryptophan : 5 mg
- Histidine : 14 mg
- Threonine: 20 mg
- Leucine: 42 mg
- Methionine + cysteine : 19mg
- Lysine: 38mg
- Phenylalanine + tyrosine : 33mg
To be able to get all the essential acids into your diet, it is most recommended that you eat and include foods considered to be complete proteins such as Meat, Eggs, Poultry, seafood, and dairy products.
Quinoa, as well as buckwheat and other soy products and plant-based foods, also contain all the essential amino acids you need. On the other hand. Legumes, beans, and nuts are plant-based foods are not complete protein food as they may be lacking in one or more essential amino acids in their structure. Make sure to read up on other plant-based foods and consume a wide variety of plant proteins to get your daily recommended allowance of amino acids.