Amino acids. Where to begin? These little powerhouses function in so many ways within the body, from muscle building to basic body functions.* Our partner NOW® knows their aminos, and with this handy guide, you will too!
Amino acids aren’t just a fancy supplement for bodybuilders. Inside your body, these little guys are working feverishly behind-the-scenes to not only grow and repair your muscles, but also facilitate proper functioning of the body in other areas.*
Before we get into what amino acids do, let’s talk about what they are. Amino acids make up the protein in foods, and as the body digests that protein, it breaks it down into these separate amino acids. There are about 20-22 different ones, some of which you may recognize- L-Glutamine, L-Carnitine and BCAAs, to name a few.
Out of these 20+ amino acids, eight are essential. This means that you must obtain them from your diet. The others are non-essential, but still pretty darn good for you! However, your body doesn’t make these essential amino acids on its own. So, making sure you eat enough protein (and therefore, amino acids) to reach your goals is critical. Adding a supplement like NOW® Amino Complete is also recommended depending on your goals, which we’ll get into later.
We won’t get into what every single amino acid does, because that would take a while, and that’s probably more science than any person can handle in one sitting. While each has its unique properties, we’ll talk about the benefits and functions of amino acids as a whole.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and thus, the building blocks of muscle.* Your body puts all of these amino acids together to create muscle – the more muscle mass you’re hoping to gain, the more of these you need.* Even if you’re not looking to put on tons of muscle but are looking for a lean, athletic tone, amino acids are still necessary.* Supplementing with BCAAs prevents muscle breakdown, so your body will preserve muscle strength while still burning fat.* Another bonus is that it aids in muscle recovery.*
Additionally, amino acids may also support your immune system, which we know is important when we’re at the gym daily using equipment that’s been touched by various people throughout the day!* A study from Johns Hopkins also found that amino acids might play a role in supporting your central nervous system (your brain).*
Like we mentioned before, the essential amino acids aren’t created in your body, so you have to get them from a variety of sources. Meat is an easily digestible food source of amino acids, and other protein sources like fish, eggs, and beans also contain ample amounts of amino acids. However, if you’re serious about making gains and improving your athletic performance, a supplement is recommended* – with permission from your doctor, of course!
The Amino-9 Essentials Powder from NOW® Sports is a great option for those with limited diets with lower protein options, or anyone looking to up their amino acid game. Just want to add BCAAs? Try the Branched Chain Amino Acid Powder! To get an all-in-one protein and amino acid supplement (that also tastes good), NOW® Sports Premium Whey Protein Powder not only has 30 grams of high quality protein, you’re also getting a hefty helping of essential amino acids and extra L-Glutamine for recovery support.*