Amino acids are essential to life, as they are the building blocks of protein in our body.
*Go right below if you wish to skip the explanations and go straight to my evaluation of different amino acid muscle building supplements*
The way our bodies work is they will break down consumed proteins into individual amino acids, and these amino acids will then be used to create proteins required for our various body functions.
However, our body doesn’t store amino acids, hence our body’s proteins will degrade if we don’t consume enough amino acids.
Functions of Amino Acids
Amino acids also have many functions in metabolism and serve many different roles: structural, transport, catalysis, contraction, and protection against disease.
They are also used to produce neurotransmitters, hormones, and other metabolites, such as creatine or citrulline.
Types of Amino Acids
There are 20 amino acids that are found in proteins, out of which only 10 are produced by the human body. As for the other 10, we can only get them through consumption of the right foods.
There are 3 types of amino acids:
The 10 (some other sites will mention 8 or 9) amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. These amino acids are: methionine, leucine, histidine, isoleucine, threonine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, lysine, arginine and valine.
Food sources: poultry, fish, eggs, beans, certain meats, vegetables, dairy products, nuts and grains
2. Non Essential
These can be produced from our bodies from other amino acids.
3. Conditionally Essential
Conditionally essential amino acids are actually non essential amino acids which become essential when there is a lack of it, especially during situations such as physical stress. Some examples: taurine, glutamine
Amino Acids As Muscle Building Supplements
L-Arginine has many functions, but the main use of it as a muscle building supplement is that it is used to synthesize protein, create creatine, and most importantly, make nitric oxide – the new superstar supplement.
Does it really work? Find out more..
2. Beta Alanine
Beta alanine is a non essential amino acid, meaning it is produced naturally by the body. It is used to create protein and muscle mass, but does consuming it bring about the same benefits?
Read on to find out more.
3. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched chain amino acids are a group of essential amino acids – leucine, isolecuine and valine. They serve to protect and repair muscle tissues and to build lean muscle mass.
Do they really work? Find out more..
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid. It is one of the most important amino acids as it serves several functions – protein synthesis, acid-base balance, muscle growth, cellular energy, regulation of anabolic processes, maintenance of proper blood glucose levels and removal of excess ammonia.
Taruine is a non essential amino acid with antioxidant benefits – lowers LDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.
It also serves as an energy booster (it is one of the main ingredients of the Red Bull drink). It has a similar function as creatine, and that is to allow muscles to retain more water.
Tyrosine is an non essential amino acid which our body uses to synthesize proteins. Some of the functions of tyrosine – improves mood, produces melanin, regulates hormones, and most importantly, it is the building block to the neurotransmitters responsible for maintaining our bodies’ metabolism.
Does it work? Find out more..