Essential elements of our body, yet still unknown by name to some, amino acids are the main constituents of proteins. There are different types of amino acids, depending on where the protein in question comes from. Each category of amino acids has different characteristics on the body and the organism, which adapt to the needs and objectives of the athlete.
- What are amino acids?
- The different types of amino acids
- Amino acids and their functions
- Adapt your amino acid intake
What are amino acids?
The amino acid is a carboxylic acid, characterized by a carboxyl group (–C(O)OH), itself composed of a carbon atom. These are molecules absolutely essential to the functioning of the human body and the organism. Because we don't store amino acids, our body makes them in two different ways. Either from scratch or by modifying others.
By binding to other molecules, amino acids form the proteins we know well today. Depending on the origin of the protein (dairy or vegetable), there are different types of amino acids.
The different types of amino acids
Essential amino acids
Amino acids are called “essential” or “indispensable” when they come from complete proteins such as those contained in milk protein (whey, isolate, casein, hydrolyzate). As their names indicate, they are essential to the well-being of the body but cannot be synthesized naturally, or at insufficient speed. Essential amino acids must then be provided through food or supplements. There are around ten, and the main ones are BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine).
Semi-essential amino acids
Amino acids are said to be “semi-essential” when they can be synthesized by the body, under certain conditions. They can also be provided through food in certain cases, particularly in newborns. Arginine, Glutamine or Citrulline are, for example, semi-essential amino acids.
Non-essential amino acids
Unlike essential amino acids, they do not depend on an exogenous supply since the body knows how to produce them itself. Alanine, Glycine or Carnitine are non-essential amino acids.
Amino acids and their functions
As seen previously, BCAAs belong to the family of essential amino acids which consists of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. These amino acids are the most important when it comes to anabolism and muscle recovery. Only diet and/or supplementation can provide the body with the BCAAs it needs. At Nutrimuscle, there are two types of BCAA:
BCAA 4.1.1 Manufacturers
BCAA 4.1.1 Builders have the role of stimulating muscle building thanks to the overdose of leucine and the anabolic support of isoleucine and valine. They contribute in particular to mass gain by stimulating protein synthesis and muscle recovery.
BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance
BCAAs 2.1.2 Resistance have the role of helping to resist catabolism as well as the loss of strength and fatigue that occur during training. These are the BCAAs most concentrated in leucine-valine, which is why, taken before and during exercise, they help limit drops in the level of valine in the blood and fight against fatigue. Taking it 30 minutes before exercise immediately increases performance by 6%.
Beta-Alanine is a non-protein amino acid (it cannot be incorporated into food) which serves as a precursor to the production of carnosine (peptide resulting from the digestion of meats). Carnosine helps increase muscle contraction capabilities, produces an anti-inflammatory action, improves recovery and reduces fatigue.
Despite its status as a “semi-essential” amino acid, Arginine must be considered essential for athletes, because physical activity increases its needs. Arginine supplementation in athletes increases the level of nitrogen monoxide (NO). This gas facilitates the work of the heart by widening the blood vessels. In addition, arginine promotes blood circulation, particularly in the muscles, and thus improves muscle congestion.
Carnitine – Carnipure
Carnitine plays a vital role in energy metabolism and fat oxidation: it allows the transport of lipid molecules within tissues so that they can be burned there. Thus, it is used as a supplement both for its “fat-burning” action, as well as for muscle recovery, the fight against fatigue and its antioxidant properties.
Citrulline (L-Citrulline base)
Citrulline is a semi-essential amino acid and, like Alanine, is said to be non-protein. It is anabolic and participates in the body's molecular synthesis reactions. Thus, Citrulline supplementation improves cardiovascular and immune health by improving blood circulation. In addition, thanks to its indirect action on the production of NO, it can compensate for deficiencies or even boost sexual endurance in men who do not suffer from erection problems.
Glycine is a non-essential and protein-forming amino acid omnipresent in the collagen of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. This is why it is very popular in the fitness world. In addition, glycine combined with glucose, attenuates the rise in blood sugar levels and has an impact on blood sugar, insulin and diabetes.
Glutamine is a semi-essential and protein-forming amino acid found in high concentrations in muscles. Glutamine intake stimulates anabolism in the muscles and plays a role in maintaining the athlete's health. It nourishes the immune and digestive cells and thus prevents potential problems at this level.
Leucine is an essential amino acid that stimulates the synthesis of muscle proteins and reduces the rate of their breakdown. Thus, like Glutamine, it has a natural anabolic effect and protects against catabolism. It is the most stimulating amino acid for gaining muscle volume. During training it also helps compensate for losses and then allows for better recovery afterwards.
Adapt your amino acid intake
Before starting to take amino acids, choosing the right choice is very important in order to match the needs and objectives of the athlete and thus increase their effectiveness.
To improve muscle recovery
BCAA Builders are the main amino acids for building muscle and gaining mass. To be consumed before and after the session, they play a triple role in muscle building by stimulating protein synthesis, reducing the rate of cellular degradation and boosting the production of stem cells which will increase the number of fibers in the muscles.
Glycine is positioned as a perfect supplement to improve muscle recovery. It prevents injuries during training, strengthens tendons, ligaments and muscles. For optimal results and good sleep, consume your glycine after each workout and in the evening at bedtime.
To dry and burn fat faster
Carnitine is the main fat-burning amino acid, which is why Nutrimuscle has chosen the purest form. Carnipure® L-carnitine plays an essential role in fat oxidation: it allows the transport of lipid molecules within tissues so that they can be burned there. In overweight people not following a diet, taking L-carnitine increases the proportion of fat used as fuel. Ultimately, this effect results in fat loss.
To prepare your body for exercise
MusclePump Nutimuscle is a mixture of amino acids specially designed to be taken before a training session. It contains Arginine (L-Arginine Base), Citrulline (L-Citrulline Base), Beta-Alanine Carnosyn and BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance.
The Beta-Alanine Carnosyn present in MusclePump acts as a nitric oxide (NO) booster, thus promoting muscle congestion. L-Citrulline and L-Arginine Base jointly increase the level of nitric oxide allowing better oxygenation and better muscle congestion. BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance have an anti-fatigue action by blocking the harmful effects of tryptophan and serotonin.
Take care of your body
Thanks to the creation of carnosine, Alanine has protective antioxidant effects for the lungs, heart, kidneys, spleen and brain. Carnosine thus exerts direct or indirect actions by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. For example, carnosine increases intracellular glutathione levels.
Carnitine is a molecule that the liver and kidneys synthesize from two amino acids (lysine and methionine), three vitamins (niacin, B6 and C) and iron. Methionine, responsible for the transformation of Carnitine, is an essential component which aims to protect the liver. Methionine also helps regulate cholesterol and thus contributes to good cardiovascular health.
Nutrimuscle glutamine, by nourishing immune cells as well as digestive cells (intestinal permeability), prevents immune and digestive problems.