Why amino acids are good for you asks about the questions on the benefits of amino acids on the body. Knowing the benefits of amino acids can help you use the right natural foods and supplements to sustain health or answer deficiencies.
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are building blocks of protein. They provide different support for the normal function of body metabolism. Amino acids comprise two types the essential and non-essential.
Essential amino acids
Essential amino acids must be obtained from food sources since your body can’t make it. You have to get it from meat, vegetables, and fruit.
Non-essential amino acids
Non-essential amino acids can be made by your body although you can take it from food sources.
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
What are the benefits of amino acids?
Prevent the loss of muscle
Muscle loss occurs in older adults when they have prolonged bed rest and illnesses. It has been found that essential amino acids can preserve lean body mass and muscle breakdown. According to a 10-day study in 22 old adults when took bed rest, those who got 15 grams of amino acid mixture maintained their body’s protein synthesis. On the other hand, in the placebo group, there’s a 30% decrease. Another study found that amino acids are effective in maintaining the lean body mass of athletes and old people.
Decrease mental fatigue
Amino acids and the BCAAs have been reported to decrease the mental fatigue in exercise and improve brain performance after exercise. Physical exercise can increase the metabolism and synthesis of 5-HT that is linked to fatigue and performance and impairment.
Increase exercise performance
Several studies pointed to the benefits of three branched-chain essential amino acids BCAAs used to stimulate muscle recovery in exercise and reduce fatigue. The first study reported that BCAAs improved muscle recovery, performance and reduced soreness of muscle compared to placebo. The second study discovered that BCAA supplements can reduce soreness after intensive exercise and promote muscle recovery. The third study discovered that the ingestion of 4 grams leucine daily for 12 weeks can increase the strong performance of non-athletes or untrained men.
It could promote loss of weight
Studies on animals and humans showed that BCAAs can stimulate fat loss. A study that lasted 8 weeks on 36 athletic men discovered that 14 grams of BCAA supplements daily reduced body fat compared to a sports drink and whey protein. Likewise, a study on rats demonstrated that a diet composed of supplemental leucine (4%) decreased body fat and weight. On the other hand, other studies that investigated a potential link between BCAAs and weight loss are inconsistent.
Reduce muscle soreness
Workouts lead to muscle tears of micro muscle tears that are rebuilt by your body to make it stronger for the next work out. Taking amino acid supplements can start muscle protein synthesis and repair muscles faster. It can also reduce the breakdown of muscle protein that leads to improved muscle recovery time and reduced soreness.
More fat burn
A study of the College of Charleston found that taking BCAA supplements lead to 2.5X more fat reduction compared to athletes who took a carbohydrate sports drink. The BCAA supplemented group had 50% more fat reduced than the group who had the whey protein drink.
A study published in NCBI summarized that BCAA supplements with resistance exercises can stimulate the mTORC1 signaling – a more potent combo than taking leucine alone. On the other hand, essential amino acids can stimulate a strong anabolic response more than the BCAA supplements.
- BCAAs can be possibly effective for a number of health problems.
- Anorexia – Taking oral BCAAs can decrease anorexia and improve the nutritional intake of old and malnourished people.
- Poor brain function linked to liver disease – Although there are conflicting results in studies, most researchers agree that BCAA supplements can improve the brain and liver function of people.
- Mania – Taking a drink that contains BCAA valine, isoleucine and leucine seem to decrease mania symptoms.
- Muscle breakdown – Taking oral BCAA seems to decrease muscle breakdown during exercise.
- Tardive dyskinesia or movement disorder – Oral ingestion of BCAA seems to decrease the symptoms.
Prevent the wasting of muscles
Muscle wasting refers to excessive protein breakdown over the synthesis of muscle protein. It occurs during fasting, chronic infections, cancer, and old age. Some studies support the BCCA supplements use to fight the breakdown of muscles. BCAA constitutes 35% of essential amino acids in muscle proteins. BCAA may improve the health of some populations and old people who suffer from muscle wasting.
A finding showed that BCAA has the ability to reduce mental fatigue after long workouts. When BCAA drops, the tryptophan increases that results in your brain to make more serotonin that causes the feeling of mental fatigue and tiredness.
Provides essential or vital functions for the body
Amino acids play a vital role in regulating hormones, building muscles, regulating enzymes and antibodies and maintaining bone strength. These are some of the benefits of some of the amino acids.
- Lysine – For instance, a study found that rats with lysine deficiency result in stress-induced anxiety.
- Methionine – Methionine, and cysteine ( a nonessential amino acid) provide a vital role for hair and skin flexibility.
- Phenylalanine – Your body converts phenylalanine to tyrosine – an essential component in some brain functions.
- Threonine – The amino acid aids in the metabolism of fats. One 2018 research on animals found that a deficiency of threonine leads to decreased resistance to disease.
The Bottom line
Essential and non-essential amino acids provide a vital role in the normal function of your body. Several studies pointed to their beneficial effects while some claims on the internet or purported benefits of a specific amino acid still need extensive research to verify the benefit. Those that have been mentioned here were sourced from verified scientific references that validate the proven benefits. The best way to gain from the benefits of amino acids is to take them in recommended amounts.