Amino Acids and Bodybuilding

Jason Garris
How Amino Acids Affect Bodybuilding
Amino acids are the building blocksof protein and muscle tissue. There are twenty different amino acids that are derived from protein located in the human body. Nine of these are called “essential” amino acids, which mean theycannot be created in the body. Therefore, one must acquire these from food, primarily in grade A protein foods as in meat, nuts, and dairy products.
As the amino acids are digested and absorbed into the liver, it is highly dependent on the body’s needs for that moment. Some amino acids enter the blood stream, where they join others that have been liberated during the constant breakdown and synthesis of body tissue. Other amino acids are used by the liver to manufacture many of the specialized proteins such as liver enzymes, lipoproteins, and the blood protein (Van Mol).
The most reliable way to deliver specific amino acids is to administer the particular amino acids themselvesthrough free form amino acids. The value of free form amino acids is thatthey do not require digestion. They are free of chemical bonds to other molecules and move quickly through the stomach and into the small intestine, where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream within fifteen minutes. This quick absorption helps prevent muscle catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle tissue.
In 1990, the Bulgarian national weightlifting team began trials to determine if free form amino acids were actually a boost to muscular growth (Finnin). The work was so successful that part of the study was replicated on the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. Since then, top bodybuilders and powerlifters around the world today, including six time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, and “Mr. Powerlifting” Ed Coan have benefited from this new research.
Branched-chained amino acids are metabolized directly in the muscle and can be converted into energy to prevent muscle catabolism. Using branch chained amino acid supplement...