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Why are Amino Acids Important to the Body?

Yes, Amino acids are beneficial to strength athletes. But they are also important additions to a dietary supplement program for other reasons as well.

Amino acids are considered the building blocks that comprise protein. Protein, it follows, cannot exist without the correct combination of amino acids. If any essential amino acid is low or missing, the effectiveness of all others will be proportionately reduced. In the body, adequate protein intake is vital for virtually everything from healthy muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair and most body fluids.

Besides water, protein comprises the largest portion of our body weight, and as such, the body's requirement for protein is directly related to good health. Additionally, the central nervous system cannot function properly without amino acids, which are necessary for the brain to both send and receive information.

In fact, not only does every cell in the body contain protein, but protein makes up half of the body's dry weight. Protein is found in muscle, bone, cartilage and blood, as well as enzymes and hormones. Protein essentially allows muscles to contract and hold water, gives hair and skin a protective coating, and provides the rigid framework of bones and teeth.

Protein also helps tissue form, regulates the body's water and acid-base balance, and stimulates the production of antibodies. Amino acids supplements are popular among bodybuilders, athletes and fitness conscious people. Their popularity stems from the belief that they promote an anabolic state causing muscle growth, increased recuperative abilities and higher strength levels.

Amino acids are the foundation of protein, the stuff the body must have for growth, repair and muscle-building. Before amino acid supplements were accepted for Athletes, protein powders dominated the market. Your muscles are hungry for protein and is needed for repairing. Without total repair the body cannot start to build muscles. The basic components of protein are amino acids. Since proteins are broken down into amino acids by the digestion system, logic suggested that digestion could be by passed by taking amino acids supplement directly.

Intake of Amino Acids

All athletes need more protein when exercising heavily. It's been estimated that athletes require anywhere from 1 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein, they are necessary for building and re-pairing muscle as well. Collectively, they work to raise the body's nitrogen level, helping to facilitate muscle repair and accelerate post work-out recovery.

All athletes need more protein when exercising heavily. It's been estimated that athletes require anywhere from 1 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein, they are necessary for building and re-pairing muscle as well. Collectively, they work to raise the body's nitrogen level, helping to facilitate muscle repair and accelerate post work-out recovery.

Types of Amino Acids

A reputable amino acid supplement in conjunction with a nutritionally complete diet can help to form all of the muscle one can build in a day without the problems of excess fat and or cholesterol but more important, without straining the digestion system. it would be easy to become confused with different supplement companies offering different types of amino acid supplementation. Amino acids are available in a variety of forms, single to multiple amino combinations, free form, peptide bonded and branched chain. I would like to describe the difference between all three types of amino acids (free form, peptide bonded, and branched chain) and how each one can benefit your needs.

Free Form and Peptide Bonded

Pure L-Glutamine from Extreme Nutrition is a free form amino acid
 

Free form amino acids are not bound to any other amino acid. Peptide bonded amino and carboxyl groups combine to form "peptide" bonded. A peptide bonded amino acid, then consists of two or more types of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Studies have shown that peptide bonded amino acids are better absorbed by the small intestines than are crystalline free form amino acids.


Crystalline free form, unlike peptide bonded, are single amino acids molecules. Free form refers to the fact that they are free of other amino acids. In recent adverts some companies have advertised that free form amino acids are the purest and most biologically active source of amino acids, in some circumstances this may be true.

Extreme Glutamine Complex contains free form and pepteide bonded L-Glutamine.
I believe peptide bonded are the best for every day use. The body has to first break the peptide bonded molecules down into single molecules before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream, this process takes around 1.5 hours, where as free form are already at this stage, and may be absorbed too quickly in the stomach, never making it to the bloodstream or the muscles. The basic rule that I always tell athletes to follow is to use peptide bond amino acids for improving the amino acid content of many everyday proteins like fish and many meats. Peptide bonded Aminos are usually less expensive than those in the free form.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Branched chain amino acids are for recovery, because of their superior biological activity. Branched chain amino acids consist of three Aminos, L-Leucine, L- Isoleucine and L-Valine. As natural anabolic muscle-building supplements, they regulate how protein is used by the body and play a role in protein metabolism in muscles. While all of the other amino acids are broken down in the liver, branched chain amino acids are oxidized in the muscle tissue. Branched chain can be very beneficial for those using steroids or those on high protein diet due in the stress these can play on the liver. Almost like a calorie for the muscle, Amino Acids limit the amount of nitrogen released, preventing a rapid decrease in muscle protein synthesis. During intense physical exercise the stress placed upon muscle fibres causes damage, Amino Acids in any form can both can reverse the damage and build increased muscle tissue. The type of amino acids depends on each individual needs. For those who don't feel they are eating enough protein during meals than try adding peptide bonded Aminos with each meal to not only increase the biological value of those but to also increase the amount of protein.

Extreme BCA-311 branched chain amino acids

Branched chain amino acids, or Peptide bonded, but with a high concentration of Glutamine, before and after work-outs. If you eat enough protein will each meal, you may feel you may not need to add an amino acid supplement to your meal, but check the amino acid content of your protein rather than just the amount, you may be eating a lot of protein but if it is of poor biological value your muscles will not receive the blocks it needs to build. Alternative Breast Cancer Prevention?

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