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Amino Acid Supplements and The Best BCAA for Healthy Lifestyle

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What are Amino Acids and the difference between Essential and Non-Essential Amino Acids?

Your body is made up of large molecules called biomolecules. Also known as biological molecules, the biomolecules are necessary for biological processes and include:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Nucleic Acids

Most of these biomolecules are polymers meaning they are formed of other smaller molecules or units called monomers. Mono means one and poly mean many, so a polymer is formed when many monomers link together. These are the monomers that do all the complex things in the body. Let’s shed light on one of the most important biological monomeric units i.e amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the most important biomolecule known as protein. The linear chemical formula of the amino acid is R-CH(NH2)-COOH with the amino group (-NH2) at one end, and a carboxyl group (-COOH) at the other. The carbon in between these two functional groups is called alpha carbon. The R attached to one side of the alpha carbon is what decides the type of the amino acid.

Types of Amino Acids

All amino acids have their own unique structure, reactivity, and functions in the body. The variation in the R group of the amino acids is what determines the characteristics of the molecule that forms when they join together. In the human body, there are 20 amino acids that combine differently to form proteins. As they are used to form protein structures, they are also called proteingenic amino acids. The proteinogenic amino acids are also called standard amino acids and are divided into three following categories:

  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Semi Essential Amino Acids
  • NonEssential Amino Acids

Essential Amino Acids

Out of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids, 8 are essential for humans. These are the amino acids that your body can not make on its own. So, they have to be supplied to your body through sources external to your body. These 8 essential amino acids that you consume in your diet to obtain essential amino energy from are:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Semi Essential Amino Acids

Like essential amino acids, they are also required by the body. The only difference between the two categories is that they are only ingested through diet under certain circumstances. Due to this, they can also be called as conditionally essential amino acids. They are only two in number. These are:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine

Non-Essential Amino Acids

The nonessential amino acids are the type of proteinogenic amino acids that your body can produce itself. These are called non-essential amino acids because it is not essential that we eat them in our diet. The rest 10 non-essential amino acids:

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serin
  • Tyrosine

How do Amino Acids Work?

Being the building blocks of proteins, the basic amino acids form muscles, skin, and, tissues of the body. They do it by making different shapes, forms, and structures that help distinguish one from the other. Pretty much like legos, the different combinations forming different structures. All 20 amino acids work wonder and perform different important functions in the body. Generally speaking, amino acids help build muscles, promote recovery, and improve workout performance. They are used to repair and grow new muscle fibers. Protein-rich foods are the main sources of amino acids. Besides being absorbed through food sources, they are also consumed in the form of supplements, such as:

  • Amino tablets
  • Liquid amino acids
  • Amino acid powder
  • Amino acid capsules

Which Amino Acid Supplements help you Build Muscles?

The easily available protein is the main source of amino acids. When you consume an adequate amount of protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids. This process your body into a state called the positive balance of nitrogen. This nitrogen balance determines protein metabolism which tells how much nitrogen is consumed as opposed to the amount that is expelled out of the body. The positive balance means that the intake of the nitrogen is more than the loss of it. This in turn implies an increase in the total amount of protein in the body. It is this positive balance that ultimately leads your body to an anabolic state, also called muscle-building state. Not eating enough protein can result in muscle waste or muscle atrophy.

It is an adequate amount of the protein that causes muscle building. Neither more nor less. The recommended amount of protein that is considered optimal is 0.35 grams per pound. For people who work out regularly, the amount of protein intake is slightly more than o.35g. 0.45 grams per pound is considered optimal for people with an active lifestyle. A balanced nutritious diet can provide you with sufficient nutrients. However, sometimes it is not enough. Your body requires an additional boost of amino acids. This is where supplements come into play.

Amino Acid Supplements

A healthful nutrient-rich diet provides your body with essential nutrients to carry everyday tasks. However, to enhance your body’s internal environment to bring about to pace up and improve the renewal and regeneration process, your body may need supplements. People who routinely do physical activities and who do intense workout might need amino acid supplements. The supplements help build muscles and fortify recovery periods and cellular protection. When it comes to building muscle, it is important to choose the right supplement. It is because it’s the right supplement that can make all the difference. In general, there are two types of amino acid supplements.

  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs):

These are the amino acid supplements that are consumed by bodybuilders and athletes for muscle development and growth. These are used by athletes to speed up the recovery period following the tough workout. BCAAs improve workout performance, gives you enough energy (BCAA energy), and increase endurance during strength training workout. The job is actually done by the three best amino acids that BCAA amino acid supplements are composed of. Mentioned below are the amino acid units of BCAAs, with leucine being more significant than others in that it signals muscle protein synthesis turning it on.

  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine
  • Essential amino acids (EAAs):

This is the general classification of the amino acid supplements that contain all the essential amino acids mentioned above. They are considered vital for cellular repair and development of muscle tissue during the recovery period. Basically what they do is promote muscle growth at a faster rate. They trigger the anabolic process resulting in muscle building. You get greater strength and a greater size in much less time after you supplement your diet and workout with the best amino acid supplements.

To simply put, BCAAs are the best supplements for muscle growth, and bodybuilding acts as a switch to turn the on. Whereas EAAS, on the other hand, fuel the process of muscle growth. BCAA powder, in other words, prime the process and period of muscle growth but to develop and regenerate tissues you need other essential amino acid supplements.

Amino Acid Supplements that help you to Upgrade to a Healthy Lifestyle

There is no denying the fact that amino acid supplements certainly change your lifestyle in a better way. You consume more and more amino acids by taking supplements improving your workout regimen and your performance in everyday tasks. When consumed in a prescribed amount, they bring out effective changes in your body. Let’s shed some light on some of the amino acid supplements that help you upgrade to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Beta-Alanine:

Beta-alanine is a unique amino acid in that it is not used to make protein in the body. It is, rather, converted to another compound withing muscles called carnitine. Carnitine is an important buffer that performs its function when you do a tough workout. When muscles work hard during training and generate acids like lactic acid, there is a need for a buffering system within muscles to neutralize the effect of the acid. This is when beta-alanine powder is highly needed to make muscles work longer before you fatigue. To not feel drained and lethargic during and after the workout, take beta-alanine supplement in the recommended dosage. The commonly considered optimal dosage is 3.2-6.5 grams per day. Take the recommended dosage before and after your workout to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Carnitine:

Carnitine aid the recovery process and reduce markers of muscle damage. It also reduces soreness. By reducing the soreness, creatine encourages you to work harder and longer the next day. The recommended timing for carnitine supplementation is immediately after your workout but you can also split it into after exercise and or another time point during the day. It is necessary that you follow the schedule and take the supplement in the amount as recommended by an expert to get the most out of it. To achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle characterized by a good workout routine, adding supplements to your diet is will make a difference. They not only keep your active and alert but also keeps you going with your workout being improved over time.

The Top Three Supplements having Amino Acids as Prior Ingredients

By now you certainly know how important amino acid supplements for muscle repair and regrowth. Not only that, but they also push you to a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty more benefits of amino acid supplements that help with the common dilemma of people that are choosing between protein and amino acid supplements. Many people wonder as to why should one prefer amino acid supplements when you can simply consume them by taking protein supplements such as whey protein. The answer is simple and lies in the fact that the amino acids being building blocks of protein are more important than the protein itself. So, in order to get the most of the amino acids, it is better if you take them separately than as part of protein supplements.

With that being said, let’s move on to the best amino acid supplements. But before diving into that’s let’s take a look at some of the benefits of amino acid supplements for which they are commonly known. The upsides of the amino acid supplements are:

  • Improved muscle growth
  • Increased endurance
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased mental alertness and focus
  • Improved recovery
  • Muscle sparing
  • Greater fat burn
  • Improved performance in sports
  • Reduced muscle soreness

The Top 3 Amino Acid Supplements

There are a large number of different types of amino acid supplements available in the market. With a wide range of options comes the difficulty to make a decision to choose the best one. But fret not if you are someone who is unsure about what supplements to buy for muscle building. Here are the top three amino acid supplements to help you with your query:

  • Klean Athlete BCAA + Peak ATP: It is, unquestionably, one of the best BCAA supplements. Considered best for the athletes, it contains leucine, isoleucine, and valine in ratio 2:1:1 respectively. Besides that, the supplement also a punch of 400mg of ATP per serving. As the name suggests, the product is known to ensure peak physical performance by boosting strength, increasing power, promoting muscle gain. Moreover, this wonderful supplement also encourages you to train and exercise harder, stronger, and longer. By enhancing the BCAA recovery period, it assists muscles to grow faster.When to consume: The ideal time to consume Klean Athlete BCAA + Peak ATP is after an intense workout.
  • Thorne Amino Complex: This has to be everyone’s favorite. This great-tasting powdered amino acid supplement is berry-flavored but contains no artificial flavors. Free from gluten, soy, and dairy, it is sweetened with stevia.each scoop of the supplement has all the essential amino acids in it. The supplement is beneficial for muscle recovery and regeneration. What’s even better is the fact that the supplement is void of all the banned substances and does justice to its claims.When to consume: As it boosts the recovery period, it is best to take it post-workout.
  • Gu Roctane BCAA Capsules: Considered best for endurance, the supplement is extremely popular among athletes and one of the top 10 BCAA supplements. It is great for the muscle to recover. In addition to that, Gu Roctane BCAA Capsules rid you of nauseous that you might experience during the exercise. It not only reduces but also tries to prevent any potential future muscle tissue damages resulting from intense exercises. Besides containing leucine, isoleucine, and valine, the capsules also contain vitamin B that facilitates recovery. Apart from all of it, the supplement has one more plus point i.e it is a vegan BCAA supplement as well.When to consume: It can be consumed anytime, before, during, or after the workout.

Possible Side Effects of Amino Acid Supplements

While amino acid supplements have many benefits and upsides associated with them, there also are some downsides to them. Every supplement, every product has both pros and cons, but what outnumbers the other is what counts. While the side effects of amino acid supplements are not as many as there are benefits of them, you can still not overlook them. Given below are some of the possible side effects of the supplements that you should steer clear of.

Fatigue and Loss of Motor Coordination

When taken orally or intravenously, the amino acid supplements, especially BCAAs, can lead to an increase in plasma ammonia levels. The increased levels of ammonia are what can lead to fatigue and can cause loss of motor coordination. This, however, occurs when you overdose on the supplement to the extent that it results in toxic plasma levels.

Nausea

In some cases, the consumption of amino acid supplements triggers nausea. This normally happens when you either consume the supplements more than the recommended amount or when you do not follow the schedule. It could also happen when you rely exclusively on the supplements and follow a strict diet thereby not eating enough.

Hypoglycemic Effect

Some evidence suggests that the amino acid supplements may stimulate an insulin response, which may result in a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. This sudden drop is what is known as a hypoglycemic effect. While some may be able to counter it, people with weak immune systems and people with diabetes should be concerned about this.

Branched-Chain Ketoaciduria

For people with certain diseases or conditions, amino acid supplementation can worsen their condition when consumed in the dose more than prescribed by your physician. It can get so worse that it can trigger mental and physical retardation. In the case of alcoholics, consuming the excess can cause liver damage, lung failure, and, brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy).

Reduced Effectivity of Antidiabetes Drugs

The amino acid supplements can also interfere with some drugs affecting their effectiveness by causing either increase or decrease in it. The drugs that may get affected are anti-diabetes drugs and levodopa which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It may also decrease the ability of the body to absorb levodopa. The antidiabetes mostly affected as a result of overdose are:

  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase)
  • Insulin
  • Pioglitazone (Actos)
  • Rrosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Tolbutamide (Orinase)

Overdosing is the common reason for the possible side effects of the amino acid supplements is negligence. It is, therefore recommended to take amino acid supplements as per your body needs, and in the amount recommended by your doctor. Don’t take the timings for granted either. Always consume them when they are most effective. Moreover, before buying the supplements make sure that they do not contain any banned ingredients. Buy them from well-reputed and trusted sites and stores only.

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