Our bodies use 22 amino acids to make the amazing 50,000 different proteins we need to be fit and healthy. As many bodybuilders will say – amino acids are the building blocks of protein!
Essentially there are two types of proteins in our body; structural proteins that are found in muscles, bones, connective tissues and cell walls and functional proteins, which include digestive enzymes and hormones. Amino acids band together to form chains and it is these groupings that proteins are made from.
Of the 22 amino acids we need, eight are essential amino acids that our body cannot produce. We therefore need to get these essential amino acids through our diet and supplements.
The essential amino acids are:
The non-essential amino acids are:
- Leucine (a branched chain essential amino acid (BCAA) that stimulates muscle protein synthesis)
- Isoleucine (a BCAA important for blood sugar regulation, muscle development and repair)
- Valine (a BCAA required for muscle metabolism and tissue repair)
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
In a normal diet the amount of amino acids should be sufficient. However, if you have an unbalanced diet or are doing strenuous exercise, you may become deficient in some amino acids.
When we work-out intensely our body will start to break down proteins and consume BCAAs as an energy source. Muscle damage, soreness and fatigue can be reduced by consuming BCAAs immediately after physical activity or before bed.
Optimum Nutrition Amino Chewables
– so good they taste like lollies and handy for anytime you need a natural energy boost.
Axis Labs NGage
- a powerful combination of BCAAs and glutamine that is mixed with water to make a great tasting drink.