Generally referred to as the building blocks of protein, amino acids are compounds that are crucial for the proper functioning of the many systems in the body. They are needed to build proteins, create hormones and brain chemicals, and boost immunity, among others.
When the body lacks amino acids, serious medical conditions could arise, such as decreased mental capacity, low immunity, depression, and digestive issues. As such, protein-rich food must be part of everyone’s diet.
While there are numerous types of food packed with amino acids, not everyone can consume the recommended amount from eating alone. The most efficient way to receive all the protein your body needs is by taking amino acid supplements. From improved mood to a boost in amino energy, below are some of the known benefits of consuming concentrated doses of amino acids:
If sleep often eludes you, amino acid supplementation may be the answer. As mentioned above, one of the critical functions of amino acids is the production of essential brain chemicals like serotonin, which is needed for restful sleep.
Multiple studies found that serotonin deficiency can lead to sleep disturbances like insomnia, among other negative consequences. However, supplementing with amino acids like tryptophan significantly improved restful sleep since it acts to create sleep-inducing hormones — serotonin and melatonin.
Building muscles is a non-issue for active individuals but can be problematic for people who are often stagnant or those suffering from medical conditions that prevent them from moving much. In such cases, supplementing with amino acids can effectively deter muscle degeneration.
One research involving elder people on bed rest revealed that those who do not take amino acid supplements lose as much as 30 percent of their muscles. On the contrary, subjects who took fifteen grams of amino acids preserved their muscle protein.
Note that even athletes and active people can benefit from amino acid supplementation. In one randomized controlled experiment conducted among resistance-trained men, it was found that BCAA supplementation helped in the preservation of lean body mass and skeletal muscles. In contrast, subjects who received similar training but did not take amino acid supplements lost both lean and body mass.
Taking supplements can provide you with amino energy that will not only prevent fatigue but can help you burn more fat. That is why many athletes, particularly those who need a burst of energy, rely on amino acid supplementation.
This energy-boosting effect is possible because amino acids, particularly branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), prevent the depletion of glycogen, which is the body’s available energy source. Note that individuals usually use up their glycogen supply after prolonged physical activity, causing a drop in energy performance.
One study intended to test the effects of BCAA supplementation supported this glycogen-protecting benefit. In the said experiment, subjects were grouped in two – those who took BCAA supplements and those who took the placebo.
Both groups were then subjected to glycogen-depleting exercises for several days. After the test, researchers found that BCAA supplementation improves one’s resistance to fatigue by more than 17 percent.
Given the discussion points above, it is clear that taking amino acid supplements can provide multiple benefits that may be difficult to experience when you solely rely on your daily food intake. Ultimately, consuming concentrated amino acids is the most convenient and easy way to ensure that your body receives all the amino acids it needs to function at its best.