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The Road to a Fast Recovery with Amino Acids

Simple foods containing amino acids.
Simple foods containing amino acids.

If you are currently on an extensive workout regimen or thinking about perhaps beginning one, then you will definitely feel the soreness that follows a strenuous workout.

Don’t be alarmed, this is normal behavior associated with challenging your body’s muscle tissue to expand to new heights.

Some individuals who experience muscle soreness tend to take extended periods of time off between workouts to allow their body to recover.

But experts advise against that.

There are other avenues you can take in order to stay on track with your workout regimen while decreasing muscle fatigue.

“Muscles go through quite a bit of physical stress when we exercise,” says Rick Sharp, professor of exercise physiology at Iowa State University. “Mild soreness is just a natural outcome of any kind of physical activity, and is most prevalent in the beginning stages of a program.”

Some of the most common ingredients found in today’s protein supplements are amino acids.

Amino acids are organic compounds, and the smallest unit of proteins. Proteins form tissues and organs, and are the second most abundant organic component next to water ⎯ which accounts for around 20 percent of human bodies, according to WebMD.

There are twenty different types of amino acids that are incorporated into protein inside the human body. These are separated into essential and non-essential amino acids:

Most Common Essential Amino Acids

• BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): L-isoleucine, L-leucine, L-valine, L-lysine, and L-tryptophan.

Most Common Non-Essential Amino Acids

• L-asparagine, L-aspartic acid, L-arginine, L-glutamine, and glycine.

Apart from their nutritional value on the human body, amino acids are most commonly associated with the muscle growth during physical exercise.

The amino acids L-isoleucine and L-valine are responsible for the growth of muscle tissue and repair. The amino acid L-arginine improves blood flow throughout the body, while giving your muscles that “pump” look.

Today’s athletes have access to a wide variety of supplements that allow for faster and more efficient muscle growth, while avoiding muscle atrophy (shrinkage) caused by overtraining or poor nutrition.

Amino acid supplements ⎯ pills or powders ⎯ can be purchased over the counter at any drug store.

But if you’re someone who’d rather consume their amino acids naturally, essential amino acids can be mostly found in animal protein, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products.

However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then it can be slightly more difficult to achieve your daily regimen of essential amino acids.

Not to worry, several different vegetarian protein rich foods ⎯ like beans and seeds ⎯ can help achieve some of the amino acids needed for the body. But if you combine these items with soy for example, then these different protein sources will help form a complete and balanced diet containing all the essential amino acids.

So, whether you’re a seasoned athlete, or a novice looking to get his or her feet wet, always remember that exercise ⎯ along with proper nutrition ⎯ will not only help you achieve the body of your dreams, it’ll help your body recover faster so you can train even harder.

Stay healthy.

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