Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are important for healthy function of the body. There are eight essentials: tryptophan, theonine, methionine, phenylalanine, lysine, valine, isoleucine, and leucine. These are no produced by our bodies. They only come from the consumed food or nutritional supplements. One can buy amino acid supplements in health food stores.
But what exactly do they do? And what are the benefits of? A lot of times amino acid supplements are recommended for athletes to help their bodies build muscles. There is no evidence that they create muscle bulk. Muscles are built during strength training. However, they help to repair the muscle tissue that gets damaged during the exercises. They also ease the soreness that may come as a result of strenuous training. However they can also help with other health issues, such as depression, various infections, rheumatoid arthritis, even decrease the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. They can help with complex illnesses, such as certain neurological disorders, and simple ones, like cure common colds. A clinical trial showed that amino acids also helped with addictions, such as gambling, alcohol and drug. Those who were taking the supplements reported less urges. But one should be very careful with them and contact their physician before buying these supplements.
Meat, milk products and eggs contain larger amounts of these acids than other foods. There are supplements that contain one or all of them. Since some of the amount is consumed daily, it is important not to overdose by also taking the supplements. Over-consumption poses health risks. Unbalanced amounts of these acids can be toxic. Also, if used as a part of high protein diet, too much of these acids can cause heart rhythms. Plus, excess that is not used for muscle repair is converted into body fat. Those who buy amino acid supplements in hopes of losing weight may be disappointed.
So, these supplements can help during the initial stage of strength training when they help to increase the muscle tissue. Once the muscle is built, it will not be of much benefit anymore. A healthy person who is on a balanced diet does not need additional supplements. As always, contact the physician before buying any type of supplements.