All About Amino Acids

Morning all,

It’s time for a #TrainingTips post and today’s post is all about amino acids.

Some people will be aware of amino acids or at least seen them around and for some people amino acids might as well be a foreign language.

So before we get into how and why amino acids might be useful to you let’s start with what amino acid actually are.  The human body is roughly made up of twenty percent protein and protein plays a critical role in nearly every single biological process in our bodies.  Now amino acids are the building blocks of all these proteins, they give our cells, muscle and tissues structure, as well as playing important roles in nutrient storage and transport.  There are 21 amino acids, 12 of them we make ourselves (nonessential) through metabolic processes and 8/9 of them (depends what literature you read) are essential as these need to come from a dietary source.  Each amino acid individually has their own unique traits and can influence certain bodily functions on their own but as a whole we need all 21 amino acids to function optimally.

Typically you will buy amino acids in two forms either EAA’s or BCAA’s.  What’s the difference?  EAA’s are Essential Amino Acids, so all 8/9 of the ones our body needs from an external source and BCAA’s are Branched Chain Amino Acids, 3 of those essential amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine).  You will find EAA’s are more expensive and less commonly taken in comparison to BCAA’s, but EAA’s are getting more popular.

All About Amino Acids

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The cool thing with BCAA’s is that they are metabolised by the muscle itself rather than the liver, which means with the minimal need for digestion BCAA’s can actually be used as an actual energy source during exercise and prevent muscle breakdown.  Cool huh!?!

Both EAA’s and BCAA’s promote a greater physical performance, mental alertness, faster recovery, slow down muscle breakdown.  But which one’s are best?  Well that depends on how much you want to spend, EAA’s are really better as you have everything that is essential in one hit rather than only some of it.  The thing is, BCAA’s are the more cost effective option but for BCAA’s to be optimally effective all 8/9 essential amino acids still need to be present, not just the 3 you’re getting.

Based on that last bit of information EAA’s are your better option, personally I have used both and I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge amount of difference (but I do eat well so I would have all essential amino acids present).  Without a shadow of a doubt they help me stay mentally focused during a hard workout, prevent muscle breakdown especially during fasted workouts and my post workout soreness is never as bad.

What’s the take home message: Do they work? Yes.  Do I take them? Yes.  Do I need them? No, they’re not essential it’s your choice. 

 

Have a great weekend guys.

 

Stay strong and live, love and laugh!

Dan

#GetLeanIn2018

#1CoachDC

#FitFam

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