Amino acids are the building blocks for all life are also the chemical basis for all protein. They play important roles – from building bones and muscles, internal organs, hair and skin, to the body fluids.
About 20 natural amino acids are found, which can be grouped into 2 basic groups:
1) essential amino acids
2) non-essential amino acids.
Body cannot produce essential amino acids and obtains them from the daily diet. These amino acids include tryptophan, lysine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, phenylalanine, and valine.
Each of these are important and if your body fails to get even a single of these essential amino acids then it could prevent to make use of the other elements protein and would lead to the degradation of the muscle functioning and body’s protein as well.
The non-essential amino acids include aspartic acid, arginine, glutamine, alanine, glutamic acid, asparagines, cystine, praline, serine, tyrosine and histidine. These can be synthesized internally by your liver.
Every cell of your body makes use of Amino acids for different essential functions. Hence, in case of its deficiency, amino acids supplements are taken. These supplements are especially popular among the body builders and athletes as they help them in increasing their muscle mass and enhancing their performance.
Amino acid supplements provide a variety of benefits to the athletes such as the supplements increase their blood carrying capacity leading to a decrease in the risk of muscle damage; help to recover from muscle fatigue post exercise training very quickly and also improves the training efficiency. Amino acid supplement also helps in weight loss and energy formation as it makes the body cells healthy and strong.
Most of the amino acid supplements are safe but some supplements, if taken in higher doses may cause side effects such as anxiety, restlessness, and rapid heart beats. Intake of a single or unbalanced mixtures of amino acids can be damaging but this does not mean that you can consume too many of them. This is because consumption of a lot of amino acid supplements is not safe and increases the load on the kidneys.
Vitamins B6 and C should also be taken along with amino acid supplements as they help the absorption and are required for amino acid metabolism. L-forms of amino acids are more tolerable to the body hence they should be preferred. Do not take amino acid supplements without consulting your doctor.