Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one's musculature. The main goal of bodybuilding is to increase muscle mass to create an aesthetically pleasing physique. The primary way to achieve this desired physique is through strategically using three key elements: proper nutrition, physical activity, and supplementation.
Of these three elements, supplementation is a crucial--yet often neglected--piece of the puzzle. Supplementation can help ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs to build muscle effectively.
One type of supplement that bodybuilders often use is amino acids. But what is the proper way to use amino acids for bodybuilding?
In this article, we'll discuss:
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about using amino acids for bodybuilding!
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are organic compounds that contain both an amino group and a carboxylic acid group.
Amino acids are classified as either essential or non-essential. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the body and do not need to be obtained through diet or supplementation.
What do amino acids do in the body?
Amino acids play a variety of roles in the body. They are used to:
- Build and repair tissues
- Make enzymes and hormones
- Regulate metabolism
- Provide energy
- Support immune function
When it comes to bodybuilding, the most crucial role of amino acids is to build and repair tissues. This is because amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is essential for muscle growth and development.
Amino acids are also important for bodybuilding because they help to regulate metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. A well-regulated metabolism is essential for bodybuilders because it helps ensure that the body can effectively use the nutrients from food.
The body uses 20 different amino acids to keep itself going. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 are considered essential. The 9 essential amino acids are:
The other 11 amino acids are considered non-essential because the body can make them. These amino acids are:
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
The best way to ensure that your body has all of the amino acids it needs for bodybuilding is to consume a protein-rich diet. Good protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
If you are not able to get enough protein from your diet, you may want to consider taking a protein supplement. Protein supplements are available in various forms, including powders, shakes, and bars.
When selecting a protein supplement, it is vital to choose one that is high in quality. A high-quality supplement will be low in calories, high in protein, and it will have little to no artificial ingredients or sweeteners.
You can purchase a protein supplement with all 20 amino acids or a specific amino acid powder that focuses on delivering the essential amino acids.
No matter which type of protein supplement you choose, read the label carefully to ensure that it meets your needs and does not contain any ingredients that could harm your health.
What is the best time to take an amino acid supplement?
The best time to take an amino acid supplement is immediately after your workout. This is because your body is in a state of repair and growth after exercise and will be able to make use of the amino acids more effectively.
How many amino acids should I take per day?
The amount of amino acids you should take per day will depend on your goals. If you are looking to build muscle, you will need to consume more amino acids than someone who is trying to lose weight. Talk with your doctor or a Registered Dietitian to determine how many amino acids you should be taking per day.
What are the side effects of taking amino acid supplements?
The most common side effect of taking amino acid supplements is gastrointestinal upset. This can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you experience any side effects, stop taking the supplement and talk with your doctor.
Amino acid supplements are generally considered safe for most people. However, some people should be careful about amino acid supplements. These people include:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- People with liver or kidney disease
- People with diabetes
If you fall into any of these categories, talk with your doctor before taking an amino acid supplement.