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What are the Benefits of Taking Amino Acids?

September 21, 2015

Protein is all the rage among the fitness community to help with muscle development and improve workouts. And protein is made up of amino acids - these amino acids all have their own roles and jobs when it comes to the body. Wondering what are the benefits of taking amino acids? And what amino acid does what? We've got the lowdown below. 

What are Amino Acids?

In simple terms, all proteins contain a large number of amino acid molecules. Whilst the body produces certain amino acids - the ones commonly known as ‘non-essential’ amino acids. The ‘Essential Amino Acids’ (EAA) are those we have to get from external sources.

The human body can, and for some people does produce and receive a sufficient level of amino acids through good health and a balanced diet. However, there are a multitude of circumstances where amino acid supplements are beneficial, and perhaps even vital for good health.

For instance, your body will need an influx of extra amino acids during periods of physical or emotional stress, following surgery or a period of illness.

Types of Amino Acids

There are 20 types of amino acids the body can benefit from, 9 of which are considered essentialfor human life. The big nine are:

  • Valine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Isoleucine
  • Histidine
  • Arginine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine

All offer valuable benefits to the body. However, when looking at amino supplements in particular, it’s helpful to know the key perks available from each one. Amino acids are often used for exercising to help build and repair muscle and different amino acids will be best depending on the exercise you’re doing. They're available in powder, tablet and liquid form. 

What are the Benefits of Taking Amino Acids?

Arginine

Arginine is the best for increasing exercise capacity.

Histidine

Histidine helps ward off muscle damage during physical activity, meaning it’s an ideal choice for those pushing themselves with really intense workouts.

Lysine

Lysine has a diverse range of health benefits. Taking lysine supplements may help with optimising health, as studies have shown that lysine deficiency causes immune deficiency. Studies have also shown that taking good amounts of lysine can have a positive effect in everything from building new muscle tissue to quickly curing cold sores!

Valine

Similarly, Valine can prevent muscles breaking down during exertion. This enables you to recover quickly and potentially even manage a longer workout if it’s taken before or during exercise.

L-carnitine

L-carnitine is an effective amino acid that is naturally produced within the body and transports long-chain fatty acids - such as triglycerides - into the mitochondrial matrix during the breakdown of lipids.

Following this, these fatty acids undergo oxidative phosphorylation to produce metabolic energy (ATP). Carnitine has also been shown to reduce fatigue and serve as an appetite suppressor as well.

Amino Acids & Exercise

Whilst all amino acids offer some form of physical benefit, they seem to be especially popular and effective in relation to helping with muscle function and exercise.

For many people, finding a simple way to burn fat, or to accelerate fat burn during exercise is a huge priority. Whilst amino acids aren’t a miracle cure (and what is?!), they’re as good a way to burn fat as any other.

They create active amines, which serve to create chemical reactions in the brain, which increase or even induce moderate weight loss, as well as containing the chemical Epinephrine, which somewhat reduces your desire to eat.

Non Essential Amino Acids

Whilst all the essentials are all, well, essential, there are still some excellent perks to the non-essential amino acids, which makes many of them popular with the fitness community. For example, Glutamine is highly regarded as it is proven to build and repair muscle, whilst also helping to repair the gut lining.

Amino acids have a huge array of benefits, both in terms of helping bodily function during ill health and also in improving your ability to undertake exercise without troubling muscle damage or long recovery times.

Looking to pick up amino acids? Shop for them on Evergreen.ie here.

Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.

It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.

Checked and updated: 23 August 2021

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