Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are a fundamental aspect in the preparation of various sports. The word “essential” meaning just that: it is necessary for the proper functioning of our body. What is the difference between a nonessential amino acid and a essential one? If our body has deficiencies of the first type, it can synthesize them from other amino acid available (for example, we can synthesize tyrosine by using phenylalanine). However, if the deficiency is an essential amino acid, we have no way of getting it and we fall into a gap, limiting the normal development of our metabolism. That is why essential amino acids are also called LIMITING amino acids. Essential amino acids are: the three branched ones valine, leucine and isoleucine, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan. There are two amino acids, histidine and arginine, that are considered nonessential but may become essential at certain times of life: childhood, puberty or muscle hypergrowth.
Free form amino acids play a role in numerous metabolic processes, essential for the growth and maintenance of the body. One of the main functions of essential amino acids involves the reconstruction of muscle proteins after intense training.
Strenuous exercise produces a massive alternation and displacement of proteins. Repetitive muscle contractions cause the breakdown of muscle cell membranes, releasing amino acids into the bloodstream. If you do not take enough proteins and/or amino acids, the body starts to “autocanibalize” to fill the gap, provoking a cellular catabolism. In other words, you lose muscle which is exactly what we need to avoid.
An input of essential amino acids will help the body maintain a constant balance that will not only prevent catabolism, but alos stimulate the natural anabolism mor muscle synthesis. The advantage of ingesting free essential amino acids is that it assures a very high level of absorption and bioavailability, since they don’t require digestion, pass directly into the bloodstream being quickly absorbed by tissues like the muscles, stimulating the mentioned muscle synthesis. The L letter that appears before the name of the amino acid, refers to the spacial molecular structure (in terms of their molecular structure they can be L, levorotatory or D, dextrorotatory). Both forms are chemically identical, the difference is in their structure. But the proteins of our body are formed by L-form amino acids.
Intake is recommended with a lot of water and an empty stomach, in order to not compete with other amino acids from your diet.