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  • Writer's pictureDr Susan Baxter

Why would I take Amino Acids?

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Do you want to be able to get more from your workout for the same amount of effort? To recover faster and to be less sore? Read on about how amino acids can do this for you.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you ingest protein, the protein is broken down into amino acids. There are twenty different kinds of amino acids, classified as either conditionally essential, essential, or non-essential. Nine are typically classified as essential and that is because the body cannot manufacture them.

Whilst that might seem straightforward, the amounts that you require of each amino acid, and whether they are considered essential differs depending on the stress that your body is undertaking. For example, when you are experiencing growth spurts, arginine becomes an essential amino acid. Those who undergo regular training require more amino acids in order to repair the micro muscle tears that occur during training.

Whilst whey protein is high in amino acids and Branched-Chain Amino Acids BCAAs, adding supplementary aminos between meals can help aid recovery or endurance to reduce muscle breakdown and increase muscle synthesis. Since protein has to be broken down in order to make amino acids, it removes this step in digestion and effort for the body in order to keep your workout strong.

Supplementing with aminos will allow your muscles to have a constant supply of amino acids. Remember that optimizing your recovery from your session will allow you to get more benefit from subsequent sessions. Athletes that were administered amino acids were able to run for longer than those in a placebo group who only had water.

Timing: It is suggested to use aminos during and after training and between meals to assist with the steady and sustained release of amino acids into the body. That way you can increase your workload and recovery for the same amount of effort.

If you're interested in reading more about supplements, check my posts on BCAAs, Fish Oil, Whey Protein, and Glutamine.

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