Amino acids act as the building blocks of protein and have a variety of effects and functions in the body. By taking specific amino acids, you can have a stronger effect than if you take a regular protein.
What are amino acids?
Our muscle tissue is made up of proteins and proteins are made up of amino acids. When you eat protein in any form, it is broken down into amino acids in our digestive system after which they reach the bloodstream. They then function as building blocks for our muscle tissue, our hormones and enzymes and play an important role in our immune system and our energy production.
How many amino acids are there?
There are 20 different amino acids that are divided into essential (vital) and non-essential. Essential amino acids (EAA) are those that the body cannot produce itself from other amino acids, but must be supplied through food. Of the essential amino acids, three are called branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These amino acids are very important for maintaining muscle building and counteracting catabolism (muscle breakdown). Non-essential amino acids, unlike the essential ones, we can create in our bodies ourselves and in this way we do not necessarily need to get them into us through food.
What do amino acids do in the body?
Amino acids are part of many of the body's most important functions and each amino acid can, individually or in groups, contribute to several biological reactions in the body. Some amino acids, such as D-aspartic acid, may even have a different mechanism of action when ingested separately than when ingested through food. Some amino acids may also have a specific effect depending on how high the concentration is, or if taken together with a complete protein. Therefore, the argument falls that "you can just as well eat food" instead of amino acids, pladask.
So, what are amino acids really good for?
Well, different amino acids contribute in different ways and simply have different effects on the body. As previously mentioned, the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are of great importance for the body's muscle building and its counteracting of muscle breakdown. Like BCAAs, EAA promotes muscle building due to its strong effect on protein synthesis. Individual amino acids can have a variety of effects. As dietary supplements, we often find them in their natural form such as leucine and taurine, or in a slightly modified form such as beta-alanine.