It is expected that you are already familiar with the word ‘protein’.
A fitness enthusiast is likely to know about how protein is important for muscle building. But are you aware of what really spikes the protein level in the body other than the supplements like whey?
If your answer is affirmative, then perhaps, you are somewhat familiar with the definition of amino acids. You know it is needed for protein synthesis and just like we depend on protein as building blocks of our body, protein, in turn, is dependent upon amino acids, which increase protein production in the human body.
Yet, it is only one aspect of defining- what are amino acids good for? I suggest, you and I, as a workout regular, should know about the exact role of amino acids and what are amino acids used for. It will only help us know a very important gym supplement, a bit more personally, especially required in the big, wide world of supplements, isn’t it?
Role of Amino Acids
Protein is crucial to every workout specialist or a bodybuilder and so are amino acids needed for protein metabolism.
It is safe to call amino acids as the tissue protein. The majority of our cells, living tissues and muscles have a huge composition of amino acids, which in turn conduct important body functions, for example, forming the cell structure.
Also, even when we consume less protein in a day, our body can keep up with the deficiency, because of re-utilisation of amino acids. Thus, protein is completely dependent on amino acids to metabolise itself.
Similar Article: BCAA vs Amino Acids: What is the Difference?
Building protein is the basic role of amino acids. Here are some other important things which describe what amino acids are used for:
- Besides protein, amino acids are needed for producing nitrogen-containing compounds, including creatine and peptide hormones. Even though we identify creatine as a protein, biologically, it is produced in the body from three amino acids-arginine, glycine and methionine.
- Many types of amino acids develop neurotransmitters. These are three primary amino acids: glutamic acid, GABA, aspartic acid & glycine. Role of amino acids is critical here as they help in producing neurotransmitters which are needed by the brain cells to communicate with each other. This chemical network (neurotransmitters) is made up of amino acids.
- Amino acids ensure good cardiovascular health. Amino acids help in increasing the level of nitric oxide, which in turn, induces muscles to relax.
- Amino acids are also dependable substitutes for carbs to metabolise energy in the human body. The group of glucogenic amino acids are converted to glucose through a process called Gluconeogenesis. In other words, select amino acids are converted into glucose through certain chemical reactions inside the body, initiated by gluconeogenesis.
- Amino acids promote urea metabolism. Amino acids separate the ammonia (nitrogen waste) from protein in the body and help excrete the excess. The accumulated ammonia (which is toxic) is build up in the body naturally– especially if you exercise. It is important for me to explain the process amino catabolism in brief here. During this process, amino acids containing amino nitrogen (which is a waste and does not release energy) is removed. Amino acids convert self into urea which is then removed from our body through urination.
- Amino acids like arginine also repair tissues including muscles, skin, and connective tissues, subject to normal wear and tear especially during heavy workouts. Besides promoting the growth of lean muscles, amino acids are good muscle recovery agents.
- Amino acids also promote a healthy immune system. Histidine is an amino acid which has the medicine like properties to deal with allergic diseases.
What are Amino Acids Good for
Amino acids are great fitness boosters. Know how.
1) Muscles Gainer
BCAAs or the essential amino acids amplify the benefits of intense workouts to build muscle mass. Read more about BCAAs here.
Even though bodybuilders may use Leucine supplements as muscle booster, I recommend using products like MFF BCAA 5000 more often. It gives you an ideal feed of essential amino acids in the ratio of 2:1:1 which is 2500 mg Pure Leucine Per Serving. Leucine should ideally be consumed along with BCAA as it gives you the needed feed of Isoleucine and Valine (two other BCAAs).
2) Increases Endurance
Since amino acids are the non-carb source which gets converted into glucose through chemical reactions in the body (gluconeogenesis), it gives you good company during the gruelling workout hours.
It reduces exhaustion due to depletion in glucose levels and feeds your body with glucose energy at the right time.
3) Aids Weight Loss
amino acids like arginine, glutamine and methionine are great fat burners. Together, they stimulate the growth of fat burning hormones and support weight loss.
MFF Pure Glutamine is a product I recommend to you here which has many more benefits besides being a pure micronized source of glutamine. Its other benefits are improving muscle tissue growth, faster post workout recovery and treating the glycogen depleted level post the daily workout.
Is there a Recommended Dose of Amino Acids?
Now that we have discussed the role of amino acids and what amino acids can be used for, it is important to know the dose you require every day. Depending upon the grouping of amino acids, which is, 20 types of amino acids classified into essential, semi-essential and essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids are not naturally produced by your body, so you need to source as much from complete protein meal or supplements like MFF BCAA 5000, to deliver on your fitness goal. Always try and diversify your protein sources including the benefits of function proteins especially BCAAs and Glutamine in your diet.
You know your daily requirement of protein, only don’t exceed it. Yes, amino acids should be a part of your daily protein take which averages out to be 46 gm for men and women both.