Amino acids are an important part of a healthy diet. They interact with proteins in the body in such a way that they create a source of energy.
Particular amino acids – glucogenic amino acids – can actually be made into glucose inside your body, providing another essential source of energy.
For this reason, ensuring that you take your daily dose of amino acids can really help you with your workouts.
However, instead of just relying on your normal meals to provide you with enough amino acids to get you through your daily run, your weight lifting sessions or your sports matches, consider investing in amino acid supplements.
They can give you a natural and completely healthy boost to your energy levels with no extra stress. You need not worry about your meals or the nutritional value of the snacks that you eat, for instance: you simply need to make sure that you take your amino acid supplements every day and you will soon feel the benefits.
What are ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ amino acids?
There are actually two different sorts of amino acids. The first, ‘essential’ amino acids, are the ones that are often contained in your foods and are the ones that cannot actually be made (or ‘synthesized’) by the body.
This is why you need to make sure you get enough of them by taking supplements or ensuring that the food you are eating is packed full of your daily dose. There are also various ‘non-essential’ amino acids. These can be created by the body without further help from the food you eat or the supplements you ingest.
There are nine essential amino acids – those that cannot be synthesized by the human body: histidine, threonine, valine, lysine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine and tryptophan.
These are the amino acids that you will need to make sure that you get from other sources. You do not need to get the non-essential amino acids – tyrosine, proline, glycine, taurine, glutamate, aspartate, arginine, serine, alanine and cysteine – as these can be created by your body, so long as you are getting enough of the essential minerals and vitamins.
Why should you take amino acids before and after your workouts?
Amino acids have an effect before, during and after any workout. You should make sure to take your supplements or protein shakes (which are packed full of essential amino acids) both before and after your workout if you possibly can.
If you take your amino acids before your workout, you will start seeing the benefits almost immediately. You will feel a boost in your energy levels, allowing you to work out more efficiently for longer. Additionally, taking your amino acid supplements causes leucine, valine and isoleucine to be broken down in the liver.
This can help it to be driven to your muscles. Since these are the natural elements that aid muscle protein synthesis, which can make your muscles feel stronger, more elastic and make them work better whatever you are doing, whether it is running, weight lifting or any other combination of exercises.
Most experts would advise that you try to continue ingesting amino acids throughout your work out. Taking a protein shake with you when you are working out is a good way of ensuring that you continue to take in essential amino acids throughout your workout.
These can continue to stimulate the release of isoleucine, leucine and valie to the muscles from the liver, making your muscles work efficiently throughout your entire workout.
Just make sure that you do not attempt to work out on an empty stomach: the amino acids will not be assimilated into your system as easily if you are just drinking protein shake without anything else accompanying. Taking in amino acids during your workout can also help with the breakdown of your muscles after your exercise (see below).
Taking amino acids after your workout can help reduce the pain that you often feel after an intense period of exercise. Amino acids help to maintain the health of muscle tissue as well as encourage their regrowth.
When you exercise, you inevitably tear your muscles, causing them to ache for extended periods of time after any training that you undertake. This is not necessarily unhealthy, but it is sub optimal, as it makes further workouts uncomfortable and more difficult. It can, however, be prevented.
By taking amino acids after your work out, you will help prevent the common aches and pains that often accompany any sort of exercise.
What are the other benefits of using amino acids?
There are other benefits to using amino acids before and after your workout. In fact, you should try to make taking amino acids a regular occurrence – once a day at least you should take amino acid supplements to help you get the essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly.
Besides the benefits listed above – the extra energy and the reduction in muscle pain after exercise – there are a few extra reasons to consider introducing amino acid supplements into your daily routine:
1- Retaining muscle mass – when you exercise, drinking protein shakes is a great way to ensure that you can see the results of your hard work quicker. Taking amino acids can also help you retain the muscle mass that you gain from workout to workout.
2- Fat loss around the abdomen – obviously, when you are exercising, you are a) hoping to gain muscle and b) hoping to burn fat. Not only can amino acids help you retain muscle mass, they can also help with the loss of fat, particularly around the abdominal area. There are studies to suggest that amino acids may even help to speed up your metabolism.
Making amino acids part of your exercise routine is absolutely essential. Remember to take them before, during and after each and every one of your workouts.