The protein requirements of bodybuilders and weightlifters are generally greater than normal people as they need to build muscle mass. Proteins also help regulate various important metabolic functions in the body and are a necessary building block of muscles.
Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids. They increase endurance and provide energy to your body and also help in recovering the post-exercise muscle damage. Proteins are a major macronutrient, and one should make sure to have enough of them in their daily diet.
The amino acids in proteins are categorized in two ways: essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. The amino acids help get more protein in the body and are needed by bodybuilders and lifters. Amino acids, apart from fulfilling their major role in the body, also have functions in other areas such as:
- Repairing the body
- Helping in growth
- Carrying out chemical reactions
The body can synthesize non-essential amino acids. But, the human body does not have metabolic pathways to regulate the production of essential amino acids. Hence, it is necessary to consume enough protein-rich foods to maintain stable levels of EAA.
The following article will help you to understand everything about essential amino acids:
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Why Are Essential Amino Acids Important?
Essential amino acids should be consumed throughout the day. Adding a protein-rich meal with every diet will help to overcome the need for EAA. Suppose you fail to consume the daily requirement of essential amino acids. In that case, it can result in deficiency which can become a reason for many health conditions such as less muscle mass, low immunity, etc.
Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. If you are not consuming enough amino acids in your diet, you are depriving yourself of enough protein, which will affect your performance and muscle mass. Make sure to include protein-rich foods in the diet to overcome the deficiency of amino acids.
Why Do Athletes Need to Consume Them?
Amino acids help in increasing the performance of athletes. Consumption of a recommended amount of proteins will help them build muscle mass, increase endurance in exercises, and prevent protein catabolism. Amino acids have a positive role in the life of athletes, lifters, and various other sportspersons.
Facts About Essential Amino Acids
Essential amino acids have a significant role in the body, and everyone needs to consume them irrespective of their physical performance. Athletes would need them in larger amounts than normal persons as their physical activity level is much greater than the rest. So, to make up for the damage, it is necessary to have enough protein in the diet.
Some of the common facts associated with essential amino acids are as follows:
1. You Need to Consume Them Regularly
Essential amino acids are not synthesized in the body. They have high nutritional value and are needed in moderate amounts for optimal functioning of the body. Your body cannot survive without ample levels of EAA, so it is necessary to eat a balanced amount of proteins to maintain the uptake of amino acids to cells.
The common food choices with a high amount of protein are some finest choices to have essential amino acids in your body. Make sure that you do not skip a day without protein in your diet as your body relies on this food to conduct basic essential amino acids dependent functions.
2. A Balance in Diet Is Much Needed
Proteins are found in many foods. It is necessary to design your meal plan in a way that includes proteins from all food groups. Plant-based proteins have a higher content of essential amino acids, whereas animal-based proteins also provide them in a good amount. So it is best to include a diversity of food items in your diet.
In some cases, it is necessary to mindfully select your protein choices as certain people cannot tolerate some foods because of allergies. For instance, people who are allergic to eggs need to find an appropriate protein-rich food that they can tolerate easily.
3. A Lack of Essential Amino Acids Can Cause Diseases
Amino acids have many positive roles in the body, whereas their deficiency can lead to some diseases. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is needed by the body. The deficiency of phenylalanine can result in eczema and many memory problems. EAA has a link with various diseases as well.
Journal of Experimental Medicine conducted research on mice to check the effects of deficiency of essential amino acids. The results revealed that a diet poor in protein could lead to a depressed immune function in mice. Another study suggested that amino acids deficiency could have some neural problems such as altered behavioral problems.
4. Your Body Does Not Synthesize Them
Non-essential amino acids are rapidly synthesized in the body due to various metabolic reactions or cycles, such as the urea cycle. These reactions take place at a rapid rate and so the body cannot experience its deficiency, and all non- EAA dependent functions will work at an optimal rate with or without a food source.
However, the case is quite different with essential amino acids as the body does not synthesize them. That is why essential amino acids are also referred to as unique amino acids which your body cannot make. Even if you consume enough protein, your body will still need some food sources to overcome the need.
5. BCCA's Are Also Known as Essential Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids have a major role in the body dealing with many critical areas. In athletes, branched-chain amino acids help in conserving energy and performing exercises without any difficulty. They help in increasing muscle mass, reducing exercise-induced fatigue, and relieving the body from soreness.
The branched-chain amino acids include:
These amino acids have a therapeutic role in the body and positively deal with multiple diseases. The deficiency of BCAA can result in complications in the body and disturb some of the body's major areas. Therefore, it is important to have enough amino acids for normal functioning.
6. Your Body Will Have Enough Protein in Form of EAA
If you are trying to get enough essential amino acids to your body, you ensure that you have enough protein in your diet. A diet with good and healthy protein choices will ensure that your body is working at a fine rate and all protein-related processes are carried out without any inconvenience.
The essential amino acids have a positive role in the body and should be consumed without any break. Athletes need to calculate their daily requirements of proteins and design their meal plans to provide the calculated amount of protein.
7. It Is Necessary to Consume Them via Different Foods
Each food source is different from the other in terms of composition and chemical structure. That is why it is important to include all food sources in your diet so that your body gets benefits from each of them. One food that might be rich in specific amino acids might not have any other nutritional component.
Health professionals recommend adding all food groups to the diet for the normal function of the body. Proteins are found in many animal-based products, whereas some grains and plant-derived products might also provide enough protein.
Best Sources for Essential Amino Acids
The role and significance of amino acids in the body suggest having sufficient protein-rich foods in the diet. If, in any case, a person fails to achieve the recommended amount of proteins from the diet, then supplements are a good choice. Following are some of the best sources of essential amino acids:
- Dairy Products
- Chia seeds
If you are thinking of boosting your daily amino acid intake, then supplements are your best choice. The essential amino acid supplement by DMoose not only gives you all nine EAAs' but also makes sure to hydrate you completely.
They have a major role in building muscle mass, and they provide six grams for fermented branched-chain amino acids.
Recommended Intake Amount for EAA
According to a joint report of World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the recommended amount of essential amino acids is as follows:
The essential amino acids content in different foods is shown in the following table:
Essential amino acids are a major requirement of diet, and their deficiency can lead to many severe problems in the body. Lifters and bodybuilders need to make sure that they have enough amino acids in their diet so that the body receives all types of amino acids.
Proteins are found in several food items, and consuming all of them can help you have enough essential amino acids. EAA contains some necessary amino acids in them which have a role in disease prevention, conducting body functions, and regulating necessary reactions in the body.
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- Holeček, Milan. “Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Health and Disease: Metabolism, Alterations in Blood Plasma, and as Supplements.” Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 15, no. 1, May 2018, p. 33. BioMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0271-1.