About 20 different amino acids make up the thousands of various proteins in your body. Nine of these 20 are considered essential amino acids. To obtain these amino acids, you need to adjust your diet.
Amino acids can help decrease muscle soreness and exercise fatigue. Do amino acids help build muscle, though?
Keep reading to find out! After reading this guide, you can learn how to build muscle with the proteins your body needs most.
Read on to learn more about amino acids and muscle growth today.
How Amino Acids Help Maintain Muscles
First, let’s answer the question that likely brought you here in the first place. Do amino acids help build muscle?
In fact, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can even help you maintain muscle mass while you’re dieting. If you’re on a calorie deficit, you won’t have to worry about losing the muscle you’ve gained over time.
However, different amino acids can offer different health benefits. Here are a few different ways amino acids can help.
Increased Protein Synthesis
Branched-chain amino acids can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. In fact, they could prove more effective than normal protein alone.
Protein synthesis is a metabolic process. It allows the body to create new muscle protein (gains). As a result, you’re able to maintain and build more muscle.
Reduced Protein Breakdown
BCAAs are able to decrease the activity of the protein breakdown pathway. They’re also able to decrease the expression of complexes that are involved in protein breakdown.
As a result, increasing your body’s BCAA levels can help reduce the rate of protein breakdown.
BCAAs can also decrease how much mRNA is produced.
Increasing your body’s protein synthesis while decreasing breakdown can lead to both muscle maintenance and gain.
More Effective Workouts
If you want to learn how to build muscle, you need to consider your workout regimen. Adding BCAAs to your routine can improve your workouts.
You can get a more intense workout with supplementation if you’re not getting enough amino acids from your diet.
Usually, BCAAs compete with tryptophan for entry into your brain. Then, tryptophan is converted into a neurotransmitter (serotonin). Increasing your serotonin levels can help increase feelings of fatigue.
Your serotonin levels naturally increase as you exercise. You could struggle to push yourself to complete intense workouts as a result.
Adding BCAAs to your routine can reduce how much tryptophan travels through the blood-brain barrier. Then, you can reduce how much serotonin the body naturally produces.
Reducing serotonin production can help you:
- Workout longer
- Workout harder
- Increase muscle gain
Increasing your stamina and improving your workouts will help you gain muscle over time.
Adding branched-chain amino acids to your routine can also help you regulate your glucose levels.
BCAAs are released from internal organs, including your liver. Then, they reach skeletal muscles to ensure you maintain blood sugar levels. Increasing your BCAA intake can help improve your overall glucose uptake.
It can also help increase insulin sensitivity in healthy people.
Essential amino acids are responsible for a portion of the body’s blood sugar production as you work out. If you’re in a calorie deficit or fasting state, you won’t have to worry.
You can induce an insulin response by:
- Consuming more protein
- Using amino acids before and after workouts
- Following a balanced diet
An insulin response will help the body transport amino acids to cells. Then, your body can naturally repair muscle damage. The body’s ability to build muscle tissue will improve, too.
You can replenish anabolic building blocks, ensuring your body repairs itself after intense workouts.
This process can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, allowing you to get back to your routine.
Prevent Muscle Wasting
BCAAs can also help prevent muscle wasting. Muscle proteins often break down before rebuilding themselves. The balance between the breakdown and rebuild will determine the amount of protein in your muscles.
You can experience muscle breakdown if the breakdown exceeds the synthesis.
If you’re experiencing muscle wasting, it might indicate:
- Chronic infections
It can also occur due to periods of fasting or as a part of your natural aging process.
It’s important to replace amino acids during times of muscle wasting to ensure you maintain muscle mass.
Essential Amino Acids
If you want to learn how to build muscle, you need to make sure the right amino acids are part of your routine. You can start taking these prohormone supplements to ensure your body has everything it needs.
Histidine is required for tissue growth and repair. It’s an antioxidant. Histidine also has anti-inflammatory properties.
This amino acid also plays a part in improving immune function by producing red and white blood cells.
Isoleucine is one of three BCAAs. Your body uses isoleucine for muscle repair and growth. It also plays a role in muscle metabolism, ensuring your muscles have fuel for workouts.
Isoleucine can also play a part in blood clot formation and hemoglobin production.
Leucine is another BCAA used for muscle repair and growth. It could enhance strength performance and stimulate protein synthesis.
Lysine helps produce hormones, antibodies, and enzymes. It has antiviral properties and can help with the production of collagen.
Methionine is a compound that contains sulfur. It can play an antioxidant role and help the body maintain healthy liver function.
Phenylalanine helps the body create other amino acids.
Threonine plays a role in the body’s elastin and collagen production. These proteins provide structure to connective tissues and your skin.
Threonine can also play a part in your gut and digestive tract health.
Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, which plays a role in your sleep, appetite, and pain. Tryptophan is also a precursor to melatonin, which regulates sleep.
Valine is another BCAA, which is used for muscle repair and growth. It can also help you maintain energy levels during workouts.
Work It Out: Do Amino Acids Help Build Muscle?
To recap, do amino acids help build muscle? Yes! They can also help you maintain muscle, especially if you’re on a calorie-deficit diet.
Consider adding amino acids to your routine to experience these benefits today!
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