All living things use amino acids, which are molecules used to make proteins. Human beings need 20 different amino acids to function. That’s because amino acids do many things for our bodies, including:
- Help break down and digest food.
- Growth and repair of muscles and body tissues.
- Production of hormones and neurotransmitters
- provide power
- Supporting our immune system
- Supporting normal digestion
- Support the health of skin, hair and nails.
While we need 20 amino acids, our body only makes 11 of them. The other nine, which are known as essential amino acids, must be derived from other sources, either through diet, supplements, or both.
Essential and non-essential amino acids
The 11 amino acids that our body can produce are known as non-essential amino acids. Those 11 amino acids are:
- to the girl
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
In contrast, the nine amino acids that our bodies do not produce on their own are known as “essential” amino acids. These nine essential amino acids (and some food sources that provide them) are:
A healthy, balanced diet can provide most people with the essential amino acids we need. For those who may not be getting enough amino acids through diet, including vegetarians or vegans, or for those looking to further support other health and wellness goals, such as improved sleep, relaxation, athletic performance, and immune system function, amino acid supplements may be an option
When to take amino acids
You can and should get many or most of your amino acids throughout the day and from a healthy diet. For those taking amino acid supplements to support a particular health goal, such as athletes looking to improve performance and muscle growth, you may be wondering if there is a better time to take amino acid supplements.
Research indicates that branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements may help reduce soreness and muscle damage after strenuous workouts; help burn more fat during workouts; limits training fatigue and reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness after a workout.
For these amino acid supplements, which can be taken in powder or capsule form, the ideal time to take them may be up to 15-30 minutes before starting a workout. Some amino acid supplements, such as leucine, can also be incorporated throughout a workout (by mixing the powdered supplement with water) to help achieve optimal muscle gain.
If you are taking amino acid supplements primarily to support fat loss through exercise, you can take the supplement 30-45 minutes before a meal.
Some high-quality amino acid supplements to consider include the following three from Pure Encapsulations, Premier Research Labs, and Metabolic Maintenance.
Amino Acid Supplements
NAC 600 Mg – Pure Encapsulations
Pure Encapsulations NAC 600 Mg is a free form N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) dietary supplement of plant origin, which is derived from the amino acid l-cysteine. NAC also works as a precursor to glutathione, an antioxidant. One of NAC’s primary functions is to support healthy lung tissue and the respiratory system.
Amino hGH Growth Hormone Support – Premier Research Labs
Amino acids are important to everyone; they are especially important for athletes or anyone who exercises frequently. If that’s you, a supplement like Amino hGH Growth Hormone Support from Premier Research Labs can make sure you’re getting the amino acids you need. Amino hGH Growth Hormone Support is a natural amino acid supplement that supports muscle strength and lean muscle tone when combined with exercise.
BCAA Dynamic Drink – NutriDyn
Dynamic BCAA Drink Strawberry Kiwi from Nutri-Dyn is a dietary supplement in powder with branched-chain amino acids for before and after training. This formula may provide support for healthy weight management and may help support muscle growth and recovery. This formula contains the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
When do you take amino acid supplements?