When you talk about supplements, protein supplements can easily boast of being the king. But you know proteins are not self-made. They consist of various amino acids. Proteins are only important because of the amino acids they contain. Without amino acids, there is no reason why you should take protein supplements. How is it then that we are not talking about amino acid supplements? If amino acids are the main reasons why protein supplements are so important, should we not be taking amino acid supplements instead? Are amino acid supplements good for you? What are the benefits of taking amino acid supplements?
Proteins give your body a lot of work to do. After you eat protein food or take a supplement, your body immediately gets to work. First, it will break down the protein into the individual amino acids in it. Then, it will reorder the amino acids, refold them, and use them for whatever the body needs at that time. Instead of giving your body the work of breaking down protein supplements, it would be easier and less stressful for your body if you simply take amino acid supplements. The benefits of amino acid supplements will surely blow your mind.
What You Should Know About Amino Acids
The simple way that experts recognize amino acids is that they have both an amino group and a carboxyl group. Anyways, these are at the chemical level. These two groups are not visible to the naked eye.
If proteins are the building blocks of life, amino acids are the building blocks for protein. Protein-rich foods like fish, meat, eggs, and poultry have a lot of amino acids. You will find various types of amino acids in these protein foods.
Many tissues in your body are made up of amino acids. A significant portion of all your muscles is made up of amino acids.
Do you have an idea of how many amino acids exist? You may think they will run into hundreds. But that is not so. There are only 20 amino acids that occur naturally. Each of these amino acids has a specific role it plays in your body.
There is almost no biological process in your body that does not involve amino acids. You need them for the production of hormones as well as wound healing. As far apart as those two processes are, they both require amino acids.
Other biological processes in your body that involve amino acids include immune function, energy production, and muscle growth. The list is endless.
All 20 amino acids are necessary for your body to function optimally. However, it cannot produce all the 20 by itself. There are 9 amino acids that your body cannot produce. They are called essential amino acids.
The 11 other amino acids that your body can produce are called non-essential amino acids. The only way you can get essential amino acids is either through your food or by taking supplements.
You need to get a good range of amino acids either in your meals or through supplements. It is very important for the maintenance of your overall health.
When any of the essential amino acids become deficient, you may experience severe side effects. These side effects cut across almost all aspects of your health.
That’s why amino acid supplements are made. They can prevent amino acid deficiencies as well as reverse it.
Is Amino Acid Supplements Good For You?
Yes, amino acid supplements are good for you. Here are a few benefits of taking amino acid supplements:
1. You get a balanced intake of amino acids
It is true that protein foods and protein supplements naturally contains amino acids. However, proteins only contain specific sets of amino acids. But when you take amino acid supplements, you will get the balanced dosage of amino acids. Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements are specifically dedicated to this purpose.
2. They improve the growth of your muscles
Most of the people that take amino acid supplements are athletes. You know why? Amino acids play a very vital role in promoting the growth of muscles. Specifically, the amino acid Leucine helps both to regulate and to improve the synthesis of protein in muscles after exercise.
Exercise stimulates your muscles, and amino acids are used to synthesize proteins. When these two work together, your muscles will grow remarkably.
3. They reduce mental fatigue
When you do strenuous exercise or workout for a long time, you usually feel very tired. Do you know why this happens? It is because your amino acid level drops whenever you exercise. This, in turn, leads to more production of tryptophan in your body.
When tryptophan gets to your brain, it becomes serotonin. Serotonin is the stress hormone that causes mental fatigue and tiredness. That’s why you feel extremely tired and stressed out after prolonged exercise.
When you take amino acid supplements, you will be able to prevent this entire process. As such, you’ll remain strong and agile even after prolonged exercise and workout.
4. They improve sport performance
When you combine improved muscle growth with reduced mental fatigue, what do you get? Your overall performance in sports will improve. Both your mind and your body will function more efficiently while you do your exercise or workout.
5. They help you lose weight
It seems everything we put in our mouth these days must be measured by how they affect weight loss/gain. But to be honest, we can’t help but do that. Obesity (and being overweight) is gradually becoming a world epidemic.
Amino acid supplements promote weight loss. This is because they help your body to burn more fat. They also help to preserve lean body mass. BCAA supplements are especially effective for this purpose.
Safety Precautions with Amino Acid Supplements
Generally speaking, amino acid supplements are considered to be very safe. However, as with any other supplement, you must take certain precautions.
BCAA supplements, for instance, can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in your body if you take too much. The problem is that there is no established maximum recommended dose for amino acids yet.
This means you would have to personally seek your doctor’s opinion on how much you should take. But if you have wondered, is amino acid supplements safe for you? Yes, it is.