Amino Blends

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is dubbed as the ‘growth and repair’ nutrient.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is dubbed as the ‘growth and repair’ nutrient. They are joined with peptide bonds to form the large, complex molecules that are proteins. Virtually every cellular function in the human body can be attributed to protein; as a macronutrient, it can also be burned as energy when the availability of carbs and fat are compromised. Structural tissues are too, comprised of protein – including muscle tissue, which is why intake of such is highly important when you’re active.

During exercise, your muscles are subjected to physical stress, which leads to microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. Albeit this is completely normal effect, protein is required to support the re-synthesis and growth of these fibres between your training sessions. Protein-rich foods such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs, whey, pluses and nuts can help you reach your protein quota; protein shakes offer invaluable convenience in addition to these.

Amino acid supplements deliver the free-from components of protein, without being bound to peptide bonds. This means they have a quicker absorption rate, stimulating a peak in amino acid levels in the blood. This gives way to the right conditions for muscle development.

Amino acids can be divided into three sub-groups: essential, non-essential and conditionally essential. In nutrition, the term ‘essential’ is not an indication of how important a nutrient is; rather, it means that specific nutrient cannot be made by the body, and so must be obtained through the diet/supplements. Non-essential aminos can be synthesised by the body; conditionally essential are subject to depletion following intense physical exercise.

Most amino acid blends – as supplements – are based on the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine (which are part of the essential group). These form approximately a third of skeletal muscle, thus they play an important role in building/maintaining muscle mass.

To enhance the effects of BCAAs, amino acid blends may also feature:

  • Glutamine

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino that easily depletes following intense training and periods of physical stress.

  • Taurine

Also classed as conditionally essential, taurine forms a major part of muscle tissue, and is said to assist recovery, proper hydration levels and focus.

  • Arginine

Arginine is also conditionally essential, having several roles. It’s a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), which works to dilate blood vessels, increasing ‘pump’. It also aids fat metabolism.

  • Alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid encourages the action of insulin and ultimately, increase muscle cell volume and tissue growth.

  • Vitamins B6 and D

Of their many roles, vitamin B6 and vitamin D these impact muscle function and energy metabolism.

Some amino blends contain a full-spectrum of aminos, to help sustain optimal intake, and promote health and well-being. Available as capsules or a powder, these are simple to incorporate into your routine, and are suitable for a range of goals.

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