What Are Amino Acids?
First, let’s start with the basics, since amino acids are hardly a common topic of discussion. Within the body, there are more than 200 different amino acids that make our systems operate properly, whether by forming the structure of cells or serving as ingredients in the synthesis of hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and other key proteins. Of these, 20 amino acids form the foundation for the rest. These are called the “proteinogenic” amino acids, and they are divided into two groups: the “essential” amino acids and the “nonessential” amino acids.
It’s important to note that these labels can be misleading; all 20 proteinogenic amino acids are critical parts of a healthy body, but 11 of them – the nonessential ones – can be made in the body, so they don’t have to be included in your diet. The other nine amino acids – the essential ones – have to be consumed through foods or supplements. In short, the labels “essential” and “nonessential” simply refer to whether an amino acid has to be part of your diet or not.
Within these two groups, there are more specific classifications for amino acids, but we’ll focus on one class in particular: the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs. There are three amino acids in this group – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – each of which plays a major role in athletic performance and muscle function, which explains why they make up the backbone of amino acid supplements like those from aminoVITAL®.
Effect of Amino Acids on Appetite
There is still much we don’t know about the ways specific amino acids influence our bodies, but recent research1 has indicated that amino acids may play a role in limiting hunger. A study conducted at the University of Warwick found that there is a group of cells known as tanycytes which signal to the brain that it should stop generating feelings of hunger.
In the study, it was revealed that certain essential amino acids, namely lysine and arginine, are able to activate tanycytes and reduce feelings of hunger. Of course, one study alone is not enough to declare these findings conclusive, so additional research must be conducted, but the results of the study are certainly promising. You can find arginine in amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL®.
Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements
In addition to the possible effects of amino acids on appetite, these important chemicals offer a range of benefits to those who work out, both individually and as a group. To begin with, let’s examine the advantages of amino acids in general, then we’ll cover what each compound does.
Whether or not amino acids curb your appetite, they offer one indisputable advantage that can help a person’s weight loss efforts, especially when compared to protein-based products: amino acid supplements are much leaner than most protein powders and shakes. Take a look at the ingredients label on a popular protein supplement and you’ll likely see that it has well over a hundred calories per scoop and lots of sugar as well. Amino acid supplements, on the other hand, have far fewer calories and virtually no sugar. The Action mid-workout mix from aminoVITAL®, for example, has only 15 calories and no sugar at all, plus it comes with electrolytes to help balance hydration.
Amino acids can take effect much more quickly than protein, too. That’s because the stomach needs time to digest protein; before the amino acids in whole proteins can be absorbed, the peptide bonds between them must be broken. When you take an amino acid supplement, however, the free-form amino acids they offer require very little digestion, allowing them to enter the bloodstream and take effect up to three times faster than whey.
Each of the BCAAs in amino acid supplements provides some powerful benefits, too:
- Leucine, the first of the BCAAs, triggers the process of muscle protein synthesis, which is how the body creates new muscle tissue. This makes leucine a vital part of building muscle mass and improving strength over time.
- Isoleucine, the second BCAA, works to improve endurance by promoting the flow of fuel (in the form of glucose) to the muscles and helping the cells there use it more easily. This amino acid may also improve recovery times after working out.
- Valine, the third and final BCAA, helps protect muscle tissue from some of the damage that occurs during exercise, preserving muscle mass and reducing the amount of healing that has to be done afterward.
Effective Amino Acid Supplements Available Today from aminoVITAL®
However you choose to work out, amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® can boost gains, improve endurance, and maybe even help curb your appetite. Learn more about the benefits of amino acids before, during, and after exercise by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.