Supplements have long been used to boost strength and endurance, both in the short term and the long term. Most professional athletes use supplements of various kinds, from the ubiquitous protein powders used to fuel muscle growth to the amino acid supplements aimed at improving very specific outcomes. One common – and prudent – question many prospective supplement users ask is whether the substance they want to add to their diet is truly safe for consumption. Amino acids are becoming increasingly popular as one such substance, but is it safe to take amino acid supplements? Keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL provide some answers.
Functions and Benefits of Amino Acid Supplements
For many people, the term “amino acids” is one that triggers only a vague recollection. Most of us have heard it at some point, but few could readily explain what the words mean or what role these compounds play in our bodies; let this be a refresher for those who may not recall.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, though that is hardly their only use. When you consume a whole protein, whether as part of a protein shake or in solid foods like beef and poultry, your digestive system then breaks down those proteins into their amino acid constituents. This lets your system put those amino acids to use for everything from the synthesis of new muscle tissue to the creation of neurotransmitters and regulation of blood sugar levels.
There are 20 different amino acids that the body uses, though 11 of the 20 can be created within the body; these are called “nonessential” amino acids. The other nine compounds must be obtained through food or supplements; these are the “essential” amino acids. If you ever hear a type of protein referred to as a “complete” protein, it means that the protein contains all nine essential amino acids – examples include foods based on soy or animal products.
Within the nine essential amino acids, there are three that stand out as particularly useful to those seeking a stronger, faster, leaner body: the “branched-chain amino acids,” also called BCAAs. The group gets its name from the odd shape of the compounds’ chemical structures, and it comprises the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
When ingested, leucine promotes the creation of new muscles, an obvious boon for weightlifters and bodybuilders. Isoleucine helps more with endurance, supplying energy to the muscles and speeding up the process of energy recovery after a workout. Valine supports the other two in their roles by protecting muscle tissue from degradation during exercise as well as helping to regulate blood sugar, mental acuity, and immune function, among other things. Combined, the three BCAAs form a powerful but safe performance-boosting amino acid cocktail.
Are Amino Acid Supplements Safe?
This is a fair question, and one any person should ask before adding a supplement to their daily routine. The short answer is yes; amino acid supplements are safe. Like all supplements, however, there is a potential danger if these compounds are abused. An otherwise healthy person who takes too much of one of these supplements will probably be fine, even if they go well over the recommended dosage, but someone with diabetes or kidney disease may have issues.
Recommended Dosage for Amino Acids
The amount of amino acid supplements you should take will largely depend on your health and fitness objectives, as well as the nature of your daily diet. Those who already consume large amounts of protein may already be getting all the amino acids their bodies need, whereas those who have low-protein diets or who are especially active may need to supplement their diet to ensure the greatest possible returns.
In general, a healthy man should aim to get at least 12 grams of BCAAs each day, and a woman should try to get at least 9 grams. Individuals who are physically active may benefit from as much as 20 grams of BCAAs daily, though most people require less than that amount. Studies suggest that up to 30-35 grams may still be generally safe, though the advantages of such a high dose have not been established.
Potential Dangers of Amino Acid Supplements
As stated above, the vast majority of athletes and casual gymgoers will not need to worry about using amino acid supplements, but there are a few select groups who should use these products with caution. Those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, should not take BCAAs, nor should those with kidney problems or a disorder called maple syrup urine disease (MSUD).
As with any supplement, you should speak to your health care provider before adding amino acid supplements as a regular part of your diet, especially if you think they may not be suitable for you. More information on these products, including nutrition facts and ingredient lists, are available on the aminoVITAL website.
Amino Acid Supplements Offer Safe, Effective Energy for Exercise
If you’re looking for a supplement that gives you consistent, potent energy without stimulants or that can boost muscle gains without adding tons of sugar and calories to your diet, consider an amino acid supplement from aminoVITAL. Not only are these products safe, but they are light and effective as well. Learn more about all our products and how they can help you reach your health and fitness goals by visiting aminoVITAL online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.