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What are amino acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, your body needs 20 different amino acids in order to maintain good health and function. There are 20 different amino acids and these are split up into 2 groups, Essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids, these are the amino acids which the body cannot synthesize on its own and can only be obtained through diet. The remaining 11 are nonessential amino acids, and these are naturally produced by the body. Of the 9 essential amino acids, 3 of them are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), these, as well as essential amino acids (EAAs), are the most popular amino supplements on the market.

Supplementing with amino acids

Amino acid supplements come in 2 primary forms, BCAAs, and EAAs. It is important to remember that BCAAs are just 3 of the 9 EAAs, it is for this reason that you are better off supplementing with an EAA supplement to ensure that you are consuming an adequate dose of essential amino acids.Many amino acids supplements now contain caffeine so that it can be used as a pre-workout or caffeine top-up throughout the day. Electrolytes are often also added to amino supplements to help support hydration.

What are the benefits of amino acids?

Supplementing with amino acids is an excellent way to improve muscle recovery, reduce muscle soreness and decrease catabolism of muscle mass. By supplementing with amino acids you can see better progress in your performance and physique due to improved hydration and recovery, as well as an improved ability to retain muscle mass.

How are amino acids made?

There are four primary ways to produce amino acids. Enzymatic reaction, extraction, fermentation, and synthesis. The most common method of production is fermentation. In this process, amino acids are made by fermenting ingredients with microorganisms such as probiotic bacteria. Ingredients such as molasses are then added to this process to help cultivate microorganisms. These microorganisms then multiply and produce amino acids.

What are the different forms of amino acids?

There are 2 different forms of amino acids and there are 20 in total. Essential amino acids, and nonessential amino acids. In total there are 9 essential amino acids, 3 of which are branched-chain amino acids. The remaining 11 are nonessential amino acids.

Essential amino acids:

  • Leucine (BCAA)
  • Isoleucine (BCAA)
  • Valine (BCAA)
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Methionine
  • Lysine
  • Histidine

Nonessential amino acids:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine