Amino Acids & Its Benefits: A Complete Guide
You must have read about amino acids long back in your science chapters! Often referred to as the building blocks of protein, amino acids are an essential compound required for body growth. Now, isn’t it obvious? Considering its perks, there’s no doubt why this specific protein is taking the health community by storm.
It supports some vital functions in the body, like building proteins and the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones. But, there is more to it as it’s involved in the body’s metabolic pathway within the cells throughout the body.
This post intends to cover amino acids in detail with regards to their health benefits. Also, we will include the food sources from where it can be obtained to sustain a healthy body function. Let’s get started!
Benefits of Amino Acids for the Body
- Promotes Lean Muscle Growth
The prominent benefits of consuming amino acids are that it promotes lean muscle growth. The BCAAs, especially leucine, stimulates and regulates protein synthesis for the muscle-building process. This is one of the major reasons why individuals prefer amino acids during their workouts.
In a study, it was found that people who consumed drinks with BCAAs after resistance workout had a 22% better increase in muscle protein synthesis when compared to the ones who consumed placebo drinks.
- Promote Weight Loss
Branched-chain essential amino acids (BCAAs) are effective in stimulating fat loss within the body. It protects the glycogen level responsible for energy by replacing it with fat-burning mechanisms.
In research conducted by the College of Charleston, it was concluded that patients consuming BCAA supplements resulted in 50% more fat reduction than individuals who consumed whey protein supplements and 2.5X more than individuals on carbohydrate sports drinks. The BCAAs are ideal as they switch to the body fat for use in the fuel-burning process.
- Reduce Mental Fatigue
Long and rigorous workout sessions are associated with conditions like mental fatigue. It’s often induced with physical exercises that increase the metabolism and synthesis of 5-HT. This decreases the level of BCAAs by increasing the tryptophan in the brain, causing fatigue.
With BCAAs present in the amino acids, post-workout mental fatigue reduces, and cognitive performances also allow seamless improvements. Studies conducted reveal that participants who were supplemented with BCAAs improved their mental focus while performing the exercises.
- Prevents Muscle Loss
Muscle soreness and damage is a common phenomenon that accompanies workout and strength training. What allows quick recovery from muscle breakdown is including essential amino acids in the diet that allows preserving the lean body mass.
An important component, leucine from BCAAs, improves and regulates the protein synthesis for muscle growth and repair. It’s typically vital for muscle repair and regrowth damaged during the exercise. Essential amino acid supplements have been effective in preserving the lean body mass in adults and athletes.
- Maintaining Blood Sugar Level
BCAAs in amino acids are also beneficial for maintaining normal blood sugar levels. For example, isoleucine and leucine are the main components that trigger insulin secretion, allowing the muscle to consume more sugar from your blood, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.
Amino acids are effective for people who have type 2 diabetes as it allows reduction of blood sugar levels without impacting insulin levels. However, the long-term effects of amino acids need more research to back these facts.
Food Items High in Essential Amino Acids
- Meats and Fish
Meat and fishes are excellent non-vegetarian sources to add essential amino acids to your diet. In meat, you can secure almost 9 essential amino acids, which are a rich source of protein, without overdosing on fats. Turkey and poultry chickens are great lean meat proteins, high in essential amino acids and low in saturated fats compared to red meats.
In the fish category, tuna, salmon, mackerel make a great addition to the essential amino acids along with heart-healthy fatty acids like Omega 3.
One of the best and go-to sources of essential amino acid supplements can be easily obtained from eggs. It contains the complete protein with nine essential amino acids, packed with vitamins A, D, E, K, B2, B6, B12, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper.
Eggs can be your perfect post-workout food that instantly gives an energy boost and reverse muscle loss. This versatile food can be prepared in several ways like scrambles, frittata, sunny side up, or even the boiled version.
For vegetarians, dairy products become the best supplements, having almost nine essential amino acids, which is a rich source of protein. It also includes vitamins like A, D, E, and B12 with minerals like calcium that contribute to bone health.
Dairy products include cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt. It boosts all the essential amino acids required by your muscles and helps to maintain adequate energy levels in the body.
- Legumes, Beans, and Grains
In the plant-based protein sources, the legumes and beans family members contribute to the amino acids. Therefore, you can include the legumes and beans in your diet like chickpeas, peas, peanuts, soybeans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and edamame.
However, such sources cannot be considered excellent as they don’t have all the essential amino acids. To make it more robust, add a super grain like quinoa. It contains all the nine essential amino acids and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and others.
- Nuts and Seeds
If you are short of time, a handful of seeds and nuts is a great way to include amino acids in the diet. In addition, it can be a good way to ward off hunger, especially for a good night snack, keeping your calories under control.
The nuts comprise almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia, brazil nuts, and others. You can also incorporate seeds like chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds into your diet.
Amino Acids Should be a Part of Your Diet!
You cannot deny the effectiveness of amino acids when it comes to muscle growth and development. Especially if you are following a workout routine, you cannot skip including amino acid supplements in your diet.
For more effective results, we suggest supplements from Healthy Planet Canada packed with all essential nutrients. So hurry, order the products now!
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