Updated: Aug 6, 2019
One of the most misunderstood topic within fitness. Amino Acids are strands of molecules, which are the building blocks of your body. Primarily this is what protein is broken down into and then reformed in your body.
There are 2 types of Amino Acid:
Essential Amino Acid
Non Essential Amino Acid
These are split into 9 Essential (supplemented i.e. BCAA) and 11 Non Essential (body can produce). Essential Amino Acid are generally considered to be superior as your body doesn’t produce them and needs to be carefully supplemented in your diet.
One must be careful not to deprive the body of amino acid when it comes down to protein choices. Different protein source have different Amino Acid profile, i.e. eating the same meals every day potentially can lead to deficiencies in one or more form of Amino Acid. Therefore the supplementation of Amino Acid helps the body in maintaining an optimal level.
Exercise is considered to be a form of stress on the body, as we workout we constantly deplete the amino acid stores within the body. This is why it is important to always supplement before, during and after exercise.
There are numerous health benefits of Amino Acids, it helps to reduces exercise fatigue during workout which in turn aids muscle growth as you are able to work for longer and also decreases muscle soreness after an intense workout. Essentially, quicker and better recovery equals quality workouts and greater results.
Your heart is also a muscle, the heart is the master conductor for the body, a fact that is often ignored by people when discussing Amino Acid in the gym. The amino acid arginine is converted into nitric oxide (NO), a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation and blood flow in the arteries of the heart.
Low levels of neurotransmitters can be a trigger for diseases and illnesses within the body. A neurotransmitter imbalance can cause depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, irritable bowel, hormone dysfunction, eating disorders, adrenal dysfunction, chronic pain, migraine headaches and even early death. Research over the years has shown that certain Amino Acids or the combination or Amino Acids can also play a significant role in our mood and stress management i.e. serotonin and GABA.
Another powerful Amino Acid is glutamate which an excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It works as a communicator of signals between nerve cells and plays a massive role in learning and memory functions.
Amino Acid plays a crucial role within our body, one that goes beyond muscle all the way to the entire functionality of the human body as it plays a deep role in heart, brain and immune functions.