Amino acids are critical to life and play a large role in metabolism. Actually, they play several roles in the metabolic process.
One of the main functions is the fact that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Because of the important roles that they play, amino acids have become very important in nutrition. They are the building blocks of life, so we are unable to live without them.
But let’s look at the role that amino acids play when it comes to metabolism and see how that ties into sports nutrition and fitness.
First, it is important to understand what an essential amino acid is. It is an amino acid that your body does not produce naturally, but it needs.
The only way that you can obtain it is through your diet. The body is great at making nonessential amino acids, but it was just not designed to make essential amino acids.
There has been research that has shown that an individual can take 6 grams of an essential amino acid up to two hours before or after resistance training in order to increase the protein synthesis that occurs within the muscles.
When taken before weight training, the result is even greater. This can be a great alternative to using carbohydrates the day before going on a run or lifting weights. Many individuals will stock up on carbohydrates by eating large amounts of pasta the day before they are to exercise, especially if they are marathon runners or they have a big sporting event.
Fortunately, amino acids, something completely natural, is making its way into gyms all around the world. Athletes state that the results they achieve are much better than stocking up on carbohydrates the day before an exercising binge or before some sort of sporting event. They do not have to eat all of that food.
Many athletes who watch their diets are afraid that they will experience weight gain from the carbohydrate intake. There is also the fact that carbohydrates are sugars and too much sugar is not always a good thing.
Types of essential amino acids
There are different types of essential amino acids. The first to look at is branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs). They consist of isoleucine, leucine, and valine.
All of these prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during exercise. Athletes will use them to make sure they recover quickly after they work out. BCAAs also provide the skeletal muscles and the heart with energy. BCAAs have also shown in research to create an increase in lean body mass. This means that athletes are less likely to experience a lot of weight loss and are able to maintain peak power much longer compared to those not taking BCAAs.
Arginine is considered a semiessential amino acid. This is because the body makes it to a certain point, but it sometimes doesn’t make enough.
For instance, an individual needs more arginine when they become injured. But it is very important to make sure there is enough of it in the body because arginine can augment nitric oxide levels within the body, which is very important.
This can help increase performance because nitric oxide increases the transport of oxygen and of the necessary fuel that is needed in the skeletal muscles. Arginine also results in an increase in blood flow, which is very important.
No one claims to have the magic pill when it comes to enhancing performance, but having the right amount of essential and even semi-essential amino acids within the body can make a considerable difference. Actually, it makes a healthier difference.
As a result of this difference, there are manufacturers creating supplements to help athletes and those who are into becoming physically fit with their endeavors. There is also the fact that the body needs essential amino acids anyway. So it really does not hurt for anyone to ensure that they are getting the proper amounts of essential acids. Again, this is why eating disorders can cause a menstrual cycle to stop. Even some women who are incredibly athletic may experience a change in their menstrual cycle. Some women, after adding a nutritional beverage to their diet each day, noticed that their menstrual cycles resumed. So sometimes the nutritional deficiency may not be that incredible. It may just be a matter of adding certain nutrients on to that diet.
Speak with your doctor
But don’t forget that it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about everything you do concerning your health.
If you wish to take BCAAs or arginine to enhance your performance or to just live a healthier lifestyle, it is important that you tell your doctor of your plans so that your doctor can help you to make the right choices for your health.
As for some of the supplements you will find, you will find them consisting of Taurine, Glutamine, Tyrosine, Beta Alanine, and many more. But the amino acids that have shown the most promising results when it comes to sports nutrition and fitness are those that were discussed above, BCAA and arginine. There are many out there on the market that say they are the “best” and the only “true” amino acid supplement for you.
However, your doctor can be the judge of this. If you’re interested in a particular brand, show the details of that brand to your doctor so that your doctor can see what is in it and they can determine whether or not there is anything keeping you from taking them.
You want to ensure that there are no health issues that could keep you from reaping the benefits of essential amino acids.
Remember that your health is what is the most important. You can’t really have a lot of fun having a great sports life if you are not healthy.