Just as the body needs fuel for energy while exercising, nutrients are essential for the bodies ability to repair muscle and tissue for recovery post workout. And amino acids are the key factor in this process.
Our bodies are made up of 20 percent protein. Protein plays an important role in almost all biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks of it.
Amino acids carry out many important bodily functions such as the transportation and storage of nutrients. Amino acids also help to repair damaged tissues, especially in the muscles, bones, and skin.
According to a study by Meirion Jones, many doctors have now confirmed that a supply of amino acids (also by way of nutritional supplements) can have positive effects.
Jones highlights, “Among these factors are the pollution caused by burning fossil-fuels, the hormones fed to cattle, the intensive use of fertilizers in agriculture, and even habits such as smoking and drinking, all of which can prevent our bodies from fully using what we eat. Worse still is the amount of nutrition that is lost from our food through processing before we actually get to eat it. By providing the body with optimal nutrition, amino acids help to replace what is lost and, in doing so, promote well-being and vitality.”
In the human body there are 20 amino acids that help to build proteins and therefore termed proteinogen. Besides this, there are approximately 250 amino acids which do not form proteins. These are used to form sugar for example.
The 20 amino acids in the body are called can be divided into three groups: essential, semi-essential, and non-essential.
Nine amino acids are essential for humans, they cannot be produced internally and therefore must be supplied externally. These essential aminos are: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, arginine and valine.
Ten non-essential amino acids are able to be produced in the body. The following amino acids fall into this category: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serin and tyrosine.
We list the known functions of a few essential and non-essential amino acids most critical to muscle recovery:
Physicians and nutrition experts have long argued the importance of proper nutrition for an athlete's performance and recovery. A proper diet of natural foods including carbohydrates and protein is essential, but even today’s balanced diets may lack sufficient amounts of nutrients that athletes need. Amino acids are a key component for proper recovery from exercise.