Amino acids, which are organic compounds composed of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, play many crucial roles in your body. They are required for critical processes like building proteins and hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis, which requires a good diet. The acids are categorized as nonessential, conditionally essential, and essential. There are nine essential amino acids. Unlike nonessential amino acids, your body cannot make essential amino acids. Therefore, they need to be in your diet. While essential amino acids can be found in protein foods like meat and eggs, you can also take essential amino acid supplements to help with things like improving your mood and boosting your athletic performance. Let us take a closer look at the benefits of taking essential amino acid supplements.
1. Essential Amino Acids Can Boost Your Workout Performance
Essential amino acids help with things like regulating your immune function and building muscle. Three of the most important amino acids are leucine, valine, and isoleucine. They are known as branch-chained amino acids. The three BCAAs perform several crucial physiological and metabolic functions. BCAA benefits include enabling you to build muscle and burn fat. Taking supplements containing BCAAs also supports overall recovery after you work out. Studies have shown that BCAA supplements can also decrease muscle soreness. And in one study, untrained men took four grams of leucine every day for twelve weeks and saw an increase in their strength performance. So, whether you are a regular weightlifter or a gym newbie, BCAA supplements can help you to quickly improve your performance.
2. Essential Amino Acids Can Prevent Muscle Loss
Various studies have shown that essential amino acids can prevent muscle breakdown and preserve lean body mass. In one ten-day study of twenty-two bed-resting older adults, those who took fifteen grams of mixed essential amino acids were able to maintain muscle protein synthesis. In the group that took placebos, the process decreased by 30%.
3. Essential Amino Acids Could Improve Your Mood and Sleep
The essential amino acid tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, which regulates your sleep, behavior, and mood. Low serotonin levels have been linked with sleep disturbances and depression for some time, but several studies now show that taking tryptophan supplements can actually reduce symptoms of depression and improve mood and sleep. In one study of sixty older women, after taking one gram of tryptophan a day, the participants generally saw an improvement in their sleep and an increase in energy in comparison to participants who took a placebo.
4. Essential Amino Acids Could Help You to Lose Weight
There have been several studies on both animals and humans to see whether branched-chain amino acids can be an effective way of stimulating weight loss (which has a number of important health benefits) and the results look promising. For instance, one eight-week study of thirty-six men who regularly strength-train found that by taking 14-gram supplements of BCAAs each day, they significantly decreased their body fat percentage in comparison to drinking a sports drink. And in a study on rats, researchers found that the rats reduced their body weight after eating a diet consisting of 4% leucine. However, results are still inconclusive about the effectiveness of essential amino acids for losing weight. Other studies have seen inconsistent results, so more studies are required before we can be sure that specific essential amino acids can promote weight loss.
Certain essential amino acid supplements could help you to boost your athletic performance, build muscle and prevent muscle loss, enhance your mood, and improve your sleep. Essential amino acids also have the potential to help you lose weight. With so many benefits, you should seriously consider taking essential amino acid supplements.