Essential elements of our body, 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 particularities 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 how they work
- Which amino acids to choose according to your goals
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. They are absolutely essential molecules for the functioning of the human body and the organism. Because we don't store amino acids, our bodies make 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 said to be “essential” or “indispensable” when they come from complete proteins such as those contained in milk protein (whey, isolate, casein, hydrolyzate). As their names suggest, they are essential to the well-being of the body but cannot be synthesized naturally, or at an insufficient rate. The essential amino acids must then be provided through food or supplements. There are about ten of them, 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 by food in some cases, especially 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 manufacture them itself. Alanine, Glycine or Carnitine are non-essential amino acids.
Amino acids and how they work
Practicing a sport, whether intense or not, induces a decrease in amino acids in the blood. If these amino acids are not quickly produced by the body or cannot be assimilated by food, deficiencies characterized by fatigue, muscle pain or even insomnia can affect the athlete. This is why at times supplementation is necessary. Each amino acid has its own property and makes it possible to overcome these deficiencies induced by the energy burned.
As seen above, 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 kinds of BCAAs:
BCAAs 4.1.1 Builders
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
The role of BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance is to help resist catabolism as well as the loss of strength and fatigue that occurs during a workout. These are the BCAAs with the highest concentration of 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 manufacture of carnosine (a peptide resulting from the digestion of meat). Carnosine helps increase muscle contraction capacity, produces an anti-inflammatory action, improves recovery and decreases fatigue.
Despite its "semi-essential" amino acid status, Arginine must be considered essential for athletes, because physical activity increases their needs. Arginine supplementation in athletes increases the level of nitric oxide (NO). This gas facilitates the work of the heart by widening the blood vessels. In addition, arginine promotes blood circulation especially in the muscles and thus improves muscle congestion.
Carnitine – Carnipure
Carnitine plays an essential role in energy metabolism and fat oxidation: it allows the transport of lipid molecules within the tissues so that they can be burned there. Thus, it is used in supplementation 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 it 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, makes it possible to overcome deficiencies or even boost sexual endurance in men who do not suffer from erection problems.
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid and ubiquitous proteinogen in the collagen of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. This is why it is highly prized in the fitness world. In addition, glycine combined with glucose, attenuates the rise in blood sugar level and has an impact on blood sugar, insulin and diabetes.
Glutamine is a semi-essential and proteinogenic amino acid found in high concentrations in the 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 to compensate for losses and then allows better recovery afterwards.
Which amino acids to choose according to your goals
Before starting to take amino acids, choosing the right one is very important in order to meet the athlete's needs and objectives and thus increase their effectiveness.
To improve your muscle recovery
BCAAs 4.1.1 Builders
BCAA Builders are the main amino acids for muscle building and mass gain. To be consumed before and after the session, they allow a triple role in muscle building by stimulating protein synthesis, reducing the rate of cell degradation and boosting the production of stem cells which will increase the number of fibers in the muscles.
Glycine is positioned as a perfect complement 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 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. L-carnitine Carnipure® plays an essential role in the oxidation of fats: it allows the transport of lipid molecules within the 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
Nutimuscle MusclePump is a blend of amino acids specially designed for pre-workout intake. 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 the 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 congestion of the muscles. BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance have an anti-fatigue action by blocking the harmful effects of tryptophan and serotonin.
To improve your stamina
Carnosine is naturally present in the muscles. Beta-Alanine supplementation increases both the concentrations of carnosine in muscle fibers I and II, thus making it possible to limit deficiencies and allow greater physical resistance over time.
BCAA 2.1.2 Resistance
BCAA Resistance increases the concentration of valine and leucine in order to avoid deficiencies and delay the onset of fatigue. In addition, taking them prevents the transformation of tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter vector of fatigue. BCAA supplementation, 30 minutes before exercise, immediately increases performance by 6%.
To take care of your health
Through 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 levels of glutathione.
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 that 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.