Amino acids are important. They are not only the most basic components of protein—a nutrient needed by our bodies to grow and develop, but as it turns out some amino acids are actually special when used by the body in relation to fitness. Among such amino acids are BCAA s (Branched Chain Amino Acids), Creatine, Glutamine and L-Arginine. Surprisingly, amino acids are easy to source as protein-based foodstuffs (i.e. meat products) are already a part of most people’s diets.
However, taking amino acid supplements are equally important when one is following a fitness regimen as part of a healthful lifestyle. This is due to the fact that most supplements in the market guarantee the exact dosage for optimum results and and produced in the strictest of standards. So how beneficial then are amino acids when pursuing a healthful fitness regimen? Here are a few of the benefits.
1 MUSCLE GROWTH.
As expected, taking additional amino acids, is good for muscle growth. BCAAs for instance are known to regulate protein synthesis in the muscles which encourages muscle growth, particularly if one is frequently exercising. Surprisingly, such muscles become better prepared for their next workout. Thus, continuing the cycle of muscle growth that amino acids induced.
Amino acids are not a source of fuel for the body—especially when one is working out. Indeed, carbs and fats (which when burned by the body produces glucose) are more ideally suited for providing energy and endurance. However, amino acids have been shown to protect glycogen (a stored form of glucose) stores in the body especially during bursts of physical activity. A lack of glycogen can lead to exhaustion and a drop in energy, thus the importance of amino acids in ensuring endurance.
3 FAT BURNING.
As inferred above, amino acids may indirectly enable the body to switch to fat to fuel its energy needs. Not surprisingly this leads to the loss of body fat—which is ideal for those who want to lose weight and attain a more sculpted body.
4 LESS FATIGUE.
It is not easy working-out. The long and tedious exercises can sometimes lead to fatigue—physical and/or mental. What most people don’t know however is that when we exercise, some amino acids become low or depleted, leading our body to instead produce tryptophan which leads to both physical and mental fatigue. To counter this, ingesting supplements—BCAA in particular—can prevent the production of tryptophan and thus lead to less fatigue and tiredness.
5 MENTAL FOCUS AND IMPROVED SPORTS PERFORMANCE.
Less tryptophan doesn’t only lead to lesser incidence of fatigue, but can also help keep our mental faculties sharp, resulting in better short term memory and processing. Indeed, ingesting amino acid supplements just prior to activities that require the full use of our physical and mental faculties can be helpful. This is especially true when it comes to sports, as the link between the performance of both mind and body is crucial to the attainment of victory.
6 LESS MUSCLE DAMAGE.
Exercise and workouts are good. What is not frequently showcased though is the fact that muscles can be and are frequently damaged during such activities. Of course, the cycle of damage followed by healing and rebuilding actually makes muscles stronger. However, during the interim, soreness and time for recovery may cause unwanted discomfort. Fortunately, amino acids can actually protect muscle fibers from too much damage.