Did you know there are 22 different nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis? The 22 different nutrients in question are the amino acids. These substances fulfill several important roles in human biology, but people often don’t get enough of them, since the modern diet often tends to be less nutrient-dense as compared to conditions in the past. However, for those who are seeking to maximize their body’s performance, these particular nutrients are far too important to ignore.
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are naturally-occurring organic nutrients that your body uses as building blocks. One might describe them as nature’s microscopic legos. Your body uses these amino acids as raw materials to synthesize other substances that the body needs in order to function at peak level. For instance, the amino acid tryptophan is used by the body to produce serotonin, which is essential to the proper functioning of the brain.
The primary way in which your body uses amino acids is through the process of protein synthesis. This means that your body turns the consumed amino acids into usable proteins that benefit the body in various ways. Because of this, the body can synthesize some amino acids on its own, which is good because it means fewer that you need to eat.
This all makes a lot more sense when you realize that proteins are, in fact, made of amino acids. Every protein is composed of a specific chain of amino acids, and the sequence of those amino acids will determine exactly what the protein does and how it functions. Short chains of amino acids are usually called peptides, while the longer chains are usually called proteins.
Of course, there are various types of amino acids, and we will consider them one by one in the sections below.
What Are Essential Amino Acids?
Essential amino acids, as the name implies, are those that your body absolutely needs. Your body cannot synthesize these amino acids, and thus they must be acquired from your diet or a supplement. There are nine of these essential amino acids. They include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, tryptophan, methionine, valine, threonine, lysine, and phenylalanine.
What Are Conditionally Essential Amino Acids?
The conditionally essential amino acids are amino acids that the body does not absolutely require from your diet. The body can produce these amino acids through various processes, but it is conditionally essential to supplement the body’s natural production with a good diet. Your body doesn’t require these amino acids, but they are very helpful if you want your body to function at its best. Examples of conditionally essential amino acids would include arginine, asparagine, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
What Are Dispensable Amino Acids?
A dispensable or nonessential amino acid is one that your body doesn’t really require at all because the body can synthesize sufficient quantities of these amino acids to fulfill the body’s needs. Of course, it naturally follows that a little extra dose of these amino acids is still good for you. Giving the body a little more material to work with seems to make good sense, but you don’t need these amino acids from a diet or a supplement.
How Many Amino Acids Are There?
As stated earlier, there are 22 amino acids. Nine of them are essential, six are nonessential, and seven are conditionally essential. Some people will tell you that there are only 20 amino acids, which is mainly due to the fact that the last two are relatively recent discoveries.
When Should I Take Amino Acids?
In general, you should take amino acids if you do not feel that you are obtaining enough of them from your diet. Good sources of amino acids include red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and virtually all other high-protein foods. As you may well have noticed, all of these are high-protein foods. Remember what we said before about how proteins are made of amino acids? Now you can understand why these foods are such good sources of amino acids. As your body breaks down the proteins into their component parts, those parts then become available for protein synthesis.
You should also consider supplementing your amino acids if you are engaged in a strenuous program of physical development. Amino acid supplements are very popular with bodybuilders, as they allow the body to build itself more effectively. More building blocks = a bigger building. Athletes of all sorts will often include amino acids in their supplementation regimen.
What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids?
The three branched-chain amino acids are valine, leucine, and isoleucine. These are also three of the essential amino acids. These amino acids are reputed to have a powerful effect upon muscle building, which (if true) would make them ideal for bodybuilders. Upon looking for some research to validate this claim, I was able to find this study. It does seem that a supplement of branched-chain amino acids will make a noticeable difference in terms of athletic performance. While the difference is not a huge one, it is large enough to be conclusive.
Conclusion: Choosing The Right Supplement:
If you are interested in using amino acids to supplement your workout regimen, head to our online store and consider some of our specially-designed amino acid blends, designed to maximize the benefits of these important nutrients. Here’s a quick overview for some of our more popular products:
- Hyperamino: This is a high-energy blend of amino acids, including Branched-chain amino acids, which is designed to provide a good combination of focus, energy, and muscle recovery. It is designed with the high-octane athlete in mind.
- BCAA 6000: As the name implies, this one is composed only of branched-chain amino acids. It contains a little more leucine than isoleucine or valine. This one is meant for the athlete who wants to try using just the BCAAs instead of taking a wide-ranging amino supplement.
- Glutamine: This one is a simple product, as glutamine is one of the conditionally essential amino acids. This product is just a concentrated form, meant to help with muscle soreness and to increase workout recovery time.
- Anavite: Anavite is a multi-vitamin that also contains a number of beneficial amino acids. While this product concentrates more on vitamins and minerals, it also contains amino acids that are meant to maximize recovery.
- Aminomax 8000: Aminomax is made from whey protein but is much more concentrated. This is another high-performance supplement that is intended for those with high requirements. A large number of amino acids contained in this supplement make it a very good choice for the serious bodybuilder.
- Aminolast: Aminolast is a BCAA supplement that focuses on the promotion of endurance. This amino blend is specifically designed to promote a high level of muscle recovery and to maximize your body’s ability to perform at its peak level.
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