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Amino Acid Supplements

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are also defined as the substances which protein is made of. Twenty-four of them are known to be involved in the synthesis of protein, of which twenty are important. These are glycine, alanine, proline, valine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, tyrosine, cysteine, serine, threonine, asparagine, glutamine, histidine, lysine, and arginine.

From this list, ten are considered as essential amino acids. This means they cannot be made in the body and therefore must be consumed from either food or supplement sources.

The ten essential amino acids are as follows:

- Leucine

- Isoleucine

- Valine

- Methionine

- Phenylalanine

- Tryptophan

- Threonine

- Histidine

- Lysine

- Arginine

Amino acids are well-known to aid the muscle-building process, especially when consumed in conjunction with specific strength-training exercises. Studies have revealed that supplementation of leucine can effectively maintain muscle mass whilst preventing breakdown for muscles that are immobilised.

Foods and supplements rich in amino acids are known to provide other important health benefits. They increase energy levels as well as reduce the risk of developing various cardiovascular diseases. They are also vital for the repair of organ and muscle tissue and production of hormones such as adrenalin, insulin, enzymes and neurotransmitters.

Other benefits include the growth of healthy hair, skin and nails. They also assist the body in producing antibodies which are crucial for fighting infection. Amino acids help maintain the development and repair of tissue, metabolic functions and overall growth. Furthermore, they help establish healthy sleeping patterns, glucose balance, detoxification and an added immune system boost.

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These essential amino acids provide nutritional support for athletes and individuals seeking optimal lean muscle mass. BCAAs are unique because they are not metabolised by the liver.

BCAAs, when consumed in free form, bypass the liver and gut tissue and go directly into the blood stream. Supplemental free forms quickly elevate the blood supply and affect circulating BCAA levels. This is especially true when there are low levels of glycogen or stored sugars.

In terms of sports and athletic supplementation, BCAAs promote muscle nitrogen as well as enhance alanine and glutamine production. They also decrease lactate production and boost energy whilst minimising protein breakdown. These benefits help to sustain muscle capacity and recovery.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that BCAAs may regulate the progression of central nervous system fatigue to moderate levels during exercise, hence supporting mental performance.

In addition, they have shown beneficial effects when taken before and after workouts. Whilst large doses of single leucine are not recommended by some authorities, the use of BCAAs might be best in combination.

If you want to give your workouts the boost they need, try some amino acid and BCAA supplements today.

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