Amino acids do a great job building muscle tissue and preserving strength. If you’re an athlete or a bodybuilder, your diet should be rich in foods that contain amino acids. However, these acids are not as easy to identify as simple proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. You’ll have to do a little research if you want to add extra amino acids to your diet. The good news is that these strength-building ingredients show up in a variety of foods, and not just one food group or another.
Why Amino Acids are Essential
There are three specific branch-chained amino acids that are considered critical to muscle building and maintenance. These are:
- L-arginine, which is responsible for increasing the flow of blood through your system and to your muscle tissue.
- L-carnitine, which promotes fat burning within your body, allowing you to use most of your calories for muscle building and energy. This particular amino acid also helps your muscles recover, which is a very important part of building your body.
- L-glutamine, which stimulates cell growth. It builds healthier tissues that are nourished and hydrated.
With a steady supply of amino acids, your training functions will improve, and you’ll be able to build larger muscles of a higher quality.
Without amino acids, you face the breakdown of muscle tissue. Your muscles won’t be able to repair themselves after workouts, and you’ll have a hard time even maintaining your strength. It will be nearly impossible to add new strength. You will also have depleted energy levels, and you’ll be more likely to store fat.
As you can see, amino acids are absolutely necessary to good health, positive muscle growth, and a better body.
Using Amino Acids
Protein synthesis is a term serious bodybuilders hear a lot. It’s your body’s ability to develop and deliver essential proteins to your muscle tissue. Amino acids stimulate the process of protein synthesis, and help your muscles use all the ingredients they can to grow bigger, stronger, and better.
Cellular and tissue repair is also a critical role of amino acids. Every workout will result in small muscle tears, muscle fatigue, and general exhaustion. With enough support from amino acids, you’ll be feeling better faster and ready to workout hard again. You won’t be prone to injuries, and your body will repair itself in healthy and necessary ways.
Finally, amino acids are used by your body to deliver oxygen to the muscles. This is particularly important for bodybuilders because muscles have to be healthy in order to grow, and that means they need oxygen. It also keeps you energized and your metabolic functions properly working.
Foods High in Amino Acids
So, what should you be eating to capture all of the benefits you can find with amino acids?
Dairy products can help you build up your amino acid reserves. Try cheese and yogurt, as well as milk. Protein sources like chicken, pork, beef, and eggs are also excellent. Fish is also great – try salmon or tuna. Even shellfish like shrimp are good for you.
Leafy greens are also your friends when you’re piling the amino acids onto your plate. Eat lots of kale, spinach, and broccoli. Try pumpkin and figs, as well as avocado.
If eating algae doesn’t freak you out, you should try spirulina. It’s rich in amino acids and other essential vitamins and nutrients. It’s also high in antioxidants, which will keep you healthy and free from illness.
It’s important to add amino acids to your diet because out of the 20 types of amino acids that you require, your body cannot produce nine of them. So, you have to get them from diet and supplements. Amino acids are especially important for bodybuilders because they have a direct impact on the way you build muscle and balance fat. Make sure your diet includes the branch-chained amino acids, and if you cannot eat enough of them – supplement with vitamins.