Lots of fitness junkies go crazy over their protein shakes because it gives them amazing results.
However, there’s a good chance that most of them (including you) have forgotten that protein is actually an amino acid.
So in this post, you’ll re-discover some of the amino acids benefits for muscles.
You can think of amino acids as the foundation of life.
Combine a few of them and you get protein. Connect a few proteins and you create muscle tissue and virtually every other connective tissue in your body.
After water, amino acids are the most abundant compounds in your body. And the list below barely scratches the surface of their benefits and importance.
Nevertheless, it’s as comprehensive a list as you’ll find without getting too scientific. So keep reading to learn how amino acids can benefit your muscles.
List of Amino Acids Benefits for Muscles
1. Muscle Building
When it comes to building muscle, nothing is more important than leucine. It’s a special kind of amino acid that regulates something called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).
Now there’s a 98.24% chance you have no idea what that means, just like the percentage we just made up.
But basically mTOR handles the processes of cell growth and metabolism in your muscles. And those two things are essential for muscle building.
2. Muscle Repair & Recovery
You probably didn’t know this, but every time you workout you destroy your muscles. Don’t worry, it’s just part of the process that leads to muscle growth.
And during rest, your muscles rely on another amino acid to repair itself. It’s called glutamine.
Unfortunately, working out causes a depletion in your glutamine levels. But taking an amino acid supplement at the end of your workout can enhance your muscle repair and recovery.
3. Increased Energy For Exercise
If you want to supercharge your energy levels and metabolic health, you need carnitine.
It’s a powerful amino acid that carries fat to your cells so it can be used to fuel your muscles and workout.
It’s a pretty straightforward concept. You can increase the level of muscle carnitine to boost the fat-burning process, which then increases your energy levels. All that translates into more gains and better results at the gym.
4. Increased Strength
Having stamina is cool but when you combine it with strength, you’ll become the next amazing Avenger.
Okay, that probably won’t happen. But the point is, increased strength means your muscles are getting bigger, stronger and leaner.
Glycine is one of those amino acids that helps to make you stronger. It increases your nerve responses to stimulate muscle contraction, and the result is… absolute power!
5. Helps Maintain Muscle Mass During Fat Loss
As if losing weight wasn’t hard enough, now you’ve got to worry about muscle mass.
That’s because on a low-calorie diet your muscles are going to be missing out on some essential nutrients. This can actually make you feel like eating more to compensate for the loss. And that’s not good.
However, amino acid supplements can give your muscles the support they need and help keep your food intake low.
6. Prevents Muscle Breakdown
If you’re working out with weights, your muscles will be exerting a lot more energy.
While this is a good thing, you don’t want your muscles to completely breakdown just to supply energy. If that happens, you could get injured. And you don’t want that.
But with an amino acid supplement, your body won’t need to breakdown your muscle tissue as much. The amino acids will give it the energy it needs during your intense training sessions and prevent muscle shrinkage.
7. Enhanced Endurance
Let’s face it, at some point you’re going to hit a wall. We all do. And it’s not a physical wall, it’s a fitness wall.
It’s the point at which you feel you can’t go on or have somehow peaked. When it happens, it sucks.
Thankfully, amino acids can regulate your body’s main fuel sources (carbs+fat). This will give you the maximum boost in stamina you need. Not just for working out. But also for powering through your long days at the office.
8. Reduced Fatigue
Nothing makes you feel worse than chronic fatigue. Maybe a bad breakup, but you can get over that.
Chronic fatigue sticks with you like the plague unless you do something about it. If your body isn’t getting enough amino acids, you’re going to feel lethargic during your workouts.
This is because of the increased serotonin in your brain which spreads tiredness like wildfire. Amino acids can prevent this, which means you get to protect yourself from harm.
9. Reduced Muscle Soreness
If you’ve ever worked out hard in your life, you know that sore muscles sucks. For some it’s an indication of a great workout. And while this is true, extended muscle soreness is No Bueno.
That’s why immediately after working out, you should put some amino acids in your body.
Your protein shake might be a good choice but it’s not that effective. A meal loaded with amino acids or an amino acid supplement is a much better choice.
10. Accelerated Fat Loss
This is probably one of your biggest concerns about amino acids. You want to know if they can help you get rid of stubborn fat. Well the answer is yes.
If your body is using fat as fuel on a low calorie diet, that fat’s no longer being stored. So you don’t have to worry about your gut health or struggle to lose belly fat in your abdominal area.
Also, while amino supplements can help your body burn more fat, increasing your intake of amino acids from certain foods is also worth doing.
11. Increased Growth Hormone
Want to get taller and increase your umm… size? Then you should probably find something else because amino acids are not about that life.
The growth hormone we’re talking about is the one triggered by the amino acid called arginine.
When consumed, it naturally increases your human growth hormone (HGH) levels. This simply means that if you take it before working out you’ll increase the effects your exercise.
12. Increased Protein Synthesis
Wait isn’t that for plants?
No… no it isn’t. You’re thinking of photosynthesis – the process by which plants make food with sunlight. Protein synthesis happens when your body makes new muscle protein. You probably know it as – gains.
Anyway, amino acids stimulate this process faster than normal protein does. But that’s not all…
Along with those awesome strength gains, you’ll also benefit from enhanced focus and recovery times.
13. Anti-aging Effects
Getting old sucks… for unhealthy people.
They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to spend a lot of time keeping doctors busy with their poor health. Especially those with weak muscles.
But you won’t have this problem thanks to amino acids.
You see, aging slows down major functions like digestion. However, amino acids don’t rely on digestion to be broken down. They enter your bloodstream as soon as you consume them. So your body can enjoy their immediate benefits.
14. Regulated Glucose and Insulin Levels
Your muscles and body need sugar when you workout. Especially if you’re fasting or on a low-calorie diet.
Amino acids play a vital role in regulating glucose to fulfill this need during your sweat sessions.
That’s why you want to have an amino acid with a protein shake and balanced carb after working out. This will trigger an insulin response which then carries those amino acids to your muscles to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
15. Increased Calcium Absorption
There’s another amino acid that’s a hormone powerhouse. It’s called lysine.
Back in the 90’s, a study showed that lysine increases calcium absorption in our bodies.
Why should you care?
Because when you workout, your muscles, tendons, and joints are under a lot of stress. And lysine can help you maintain that healthy level of fitness. It influences the creation of muscle fibers and collagen to keep those body parts running smoothly.
There are many other amino acids benefits for muscles that you can and will discover.
In fact, right now, research is being done in a lab somewhere. And eventually we are going to find out more about the relationship between amino acids and our body.
Until then, this list will give you the answers that you’re looking for about what amino acids can do for your body.
Remember, you don’t need to rely on amino acid supplements alone. There are also lots foods that are rich in amino acids.
So make sure you focus on your diet just as much as you focus on your supplements.