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Vitamins:  Amino Acids for Stamina and Muscle-Building

Understanding How Amino Acids Relate to Sports
Essential amino acids are an important part of the human body. They are ingested through the diet by consuming proteins from legumes, meat, seafood and the like or by amino acid supplementation.

It is considered an “essential amino acid” because a person cannot survive without its presence in his or her diet. Amino acids fulfill various metabolic functions in the body. They work as a building block of proteins, antioxidant, neurotransmitter, hormones’ precursors and other body constituents.

Sources of amino acids
Amino acids are found in red meat, dairy products and other protein-containing foods. Amino acid supplementation can help since certain amino acids including lysine, Arginine, methionine, phenylalanine, Ornithine and Histidine stimulate the release of insulin, hormones and glucocorticoids, which promotes the body’s anabolic process. BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) supplementations are the source of amino acids isoleucine, Valine and Leucine.

Normally, humans cannot synthesize the number of amino acids needed in one’s body. Therefore, you have to ingest them from vitamins to maintain proper health and athletic performance. A typical person cannot consume the .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight needed for an ample supply of amino acids.

The typical diet today contains an average of 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. However, people who are physically active, such as bodybuilders, power athletes, weightlifters and endurance athletes need larger amounts of amino acids to fill 2.2 grams of protein.

Supplementation for athletes
Amino acids are associated with sports since they are involved in various metabolic pathways, which greatly affect your exercise metabolism. Accordingly, there have been various studies suggesting that athletes involved in extensive training require extra protein in their diet.

1) Amino acids build muscles – The muscle tissues contain two important proteins – myosin and actin. These proteins are made up of isoleucine, Valine and Leucine, also known as the BCAAs. If you include branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in you diet, from either supplements or food, it increases raw materials of your muscle tissues, which in turn, contributes to muscle building.

2) Amino acids increase stamina – When a person performs strenuous physical activities, his or her body automatically decomposes proteins and use up BCAAs to compensate for the lack of energy source.

Several studies show that intense physical activities such as cross-country marathons could damage your muscle tissues. However, this can be prevented by replenishing the needed BCAA in the body before or during participating in intense sports activities.

BCAA supplements can help significantly in giving room for energy sources, which allows your body to hold stamina for longer periods.

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3) Amino acids improve recovery from fatigue – Branched-chain amino acids also helps in suppressing lactic acid production. This is particularly important for athletes and physically active people since lactic acid is a fatigue-causing substance.

When a person exercises continuously, his or her lactic acid blood levels increases, which results in the decrease of pH in muscles. This results in a sudden difficulty to contract muscles.
Amino acid supplements can replenish your body’s BCAAs, inhibiting the elevation of lactic acid blood levels, even if you’re performing intense exercises.

4) Amino acid supplementation reduces mental fatigue – Your physical performance relies greatly on concentration and willpower. When the amount of neurotransmitter called serotonin increases in your brain, your will power decreases.

This main cause of this scenario is due to the raw material of serotonin called tryptophan, an essential amino acid. When you perform extensive training continuously, this essential amino acid is transferred to your brain, which leads to the production of serotonin. If you take amino acid supplements, it prevents a great portion of tryptophan to enter your brain, which suppresses serotonin production.

These are the reasons why amino acid supplements can enhance both your mental and physical performance. Experience an increase in mental clarity, reduce the risks of infections due to exercise stress and improve athletic performance even under extreme conditions by incorporating amino acid supplements into your diet.

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