For those looking to gain muscle, amino acids are a must. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential for muscle growth, repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and supporting immune function.
What Is Amino Acids
Amino acids are protein’s building blocks and are essential for supporting muscle growth. Twenty amino acids are found in the human body, and nine are essential because the body cannot produce them. Therefore, amino acids must be obtained through diet or supplementation. The nine essential amino acids are:
The 11 non-essential amino acids are:
- aspartic acid,
- glutamic acid,
The body can produce non-essential amino acids, which sometimes need to be in sufficient quantities.
Amino acids play a critical role in muscle growth because they are used to build new muscle tissue. For example, when you lift weights, you cause microscopic tears in your muscle fibres. So for your muscles to repair and grow stronger, they need amino acids.
You can take amino acids in supplement form or from food sources. Foods that contain all 20 of the essential amino acids are called “complete” proteins.
Amino acids can be found in both animal and plant sources. Animal sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, contain all the essential amino acids the body needs. However, plant sources, such as soybeans, lentils, quinoa, and nuts, contain only some essential amino acids. For this reason, vegetarians and vegans may need to supplement their diets with additional amino acids to ensure they meet their needs.
Supplementing with amino acids can help you maximise your gains by providing your body with the raw materials it needs to build new muscle tissue. Amino acid supplements come in many different forms, including capsules, powders, and drinks.
How Bodybuilders Should Consume Amino Acids
Bodybuilders require higher amounts of protein than the general population to support muscle growth to support their muscle-building activities. As a result, they may need to consume more amino acids than the average person to meet their needs. Amino acid supplements can help bodybuilders increase their intake of these important nutrients. Supplementing with amino acids also can help bodybuilders increase muscle mass, reduce recovery time, and improve workouts.
There are many ways to get amino acids, but one of the best sources is whole-natural foods.
Suppose you need more amino acids from your diet. In that case, you can supplement with a product that contains them but look for a product that contains all 20 essential amino acids in a ratio that closely matches what’s found in nature (about 50:50).
Synthetic Amino Acids
“Synthetic” amino acids are created in a laboratory and may not be found naturally in the body. Synthetic amino acids can enhance the effects of other ingredients in supplements or use them to support muscle growth and recovery.
Synthetic amino acids can be helpful for bodybuilders because they can provide a concentrated source of specific amino acids that might be lacking in their diet. For example, if a bodybuilder is trying to increase their muscle mass, they might take a synthetic amino acid supplement high in leucine.
Some people worry about taking synthetic supplements because they are unsure if they’re safe, but there haven’t been any reports of serious side effects.
Side Effects of Amino Acids
Most amino acids are safe when taken in recommended dosages. However, some people may experience side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhoea, or bloating. People with kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking amino acids.
Some amino acids can also interact with other medications. For instance, taking branched-chain amino acids with blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, talking to your doctor about potential drug interactions before taking amino acids is important.
While side effects are rare, it’s important to be aware before taking amino acids. If you experience any side effects, stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor.
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