What are Essential and Non-Essential Amino Acids
Many people who are involved in fitness and bodybuilding cannot realize the importance of amino acids. On the contrary, the essence of proper protein intake for optimal muscle growth is widely known. However, since the quality of the protein relies on the amino acid composition, it is crucial for us to understand that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Twenty three different amino acid chains compose one protein molecule. They are divided into two subcategories which are: The essential and the non-essential.
So, what is the difference between essential and non-essential amino acids ? The human body has the ability to self-produce certain amino acids. These are the non-essential. On the other hand, the ones that cannot be produced by the organism and must be in taken by daily nutrition or supplementation are the essentials. These are: Histidine, Isoleucine , Leucine, Lysine Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Valine, Glycine and the eleven non-essential: Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Cystine, Glutamic Acid Glutamine, Threonine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine.
During exercise or hard body labor, amino acids function as a muscle direct “feed”. In order to avoid muscle catabolism, which is practically the opposite of your training goals, amino acids as an independent supplement or in a form of a recovery protein shake are obligatory. Some athletes claim that the consumption of a solid meal will provide all the essentials for muscle recovery and regeneration. However, considering the fact that solid meals require time for digestion and the process of their nutrients, amino acid supplements are the best solution for immediate muscle support. So, a solid meal will have minimum effect on your muscle-building process since all you need are the valuable amino acids in your blood stream, directly after workout.
Nevertheless, protein rich solid meals every three hours are obligatory in order to keep a constant daily amino acid flow to the muscle cells. A good question is what supplement to use after the gym? The best and most effective supplement for muscle recovery and regeneration is Branched Amino Acids Chain or just BCAAs. BCAAs include all the essential amino acids and some of the non-essential that we mentioned above and give the muscle cells the required boost for optimal development.
The ideal combination is BCAAs supplement and a quality Whey Protein Shake. However, if for some reason you must choose one of them BCAAs should be your first priority. The reason is that although protein shakes provide nutrients all around the day and also directly after workout, BCAAs skip the digestion time needed and give the muscles the essential nutrients almost immediate.
As a conclusion, we might say that hard training and discipline in the gym isn’t always enough. Scientists and experienced trainers agree that training is only the one of the four factors, which are necessary in order to complete your fitness or bodybuilding goals. The others are proper nutrition, which can be obtained by a fitness diet plan with protein rich foods, lots of resting since the muscle recovery and regeneration process mainly occurs during sleeping hours and quality supplementation.