Amino acids are essential nutrients for all humans, but especially for those with an interest in growing muscles and defining their physiques. These building blocks of protein carry a number of helpful functions within the body. They help us utilize vitamins and minerals, they assist tissue development, they provide crucial natural energy. But above all, they are powerhouse cornerstones when it comes to strength training. By identifying and focusing on the best amino acid sources, you can boost your energy for workouts and cut down recovery time afterwards. Unlike many synthetic formulas or steroids, amino acids provide these benefits in a completely natural way. So it’s easy to see why they are such popular ingredients.
There are a variety of different types of amino acids. When it comes to muscle building, there are a few that stand out as most important. These include L-Glutamine, L-Arginine and Phenylalanine. But perhaps the most critical, according to numerous studies, when it comes to enhancing workouts are branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These natural compounds are especially useful in the process of building muscle tissue. They also help directly counteract the phenomenon of catabolism. That term refers to the unfortunately common occurrence of muscle loss that coincides with fat burn as a result of exercise. When you’re able to eliminate excess fat and preserve muscle, you’re unlocking the true keys to healthy transformation. Finding the right amino acid sources can help get you there.
Top Amino Acid Sources
Of course, there are many supplements that specialize in delivering amino acids. Whether before workouts or after, mixing up a shake or taking a capsule with these formulas is a smart choice. But some experts argue that the body can better metabolize and optimally use these nutrients through dietary consumption. Either way, even if you’re supplementing, it’s not a bad idea to increase your intake of dietary amino acid sources. Here are some of the best ones around:
You can get amino acids and protein from almost any animal food source. However, many such options carry high fat levels or other downsides. As such, it’s best to stick with lean meats such as turkey, chicken, grass-fed beef and eggs. Seafood is also an indispensable source, as most fish contain all of the essential amino acids. These complete proteins are tremendous supporters of a good workout program.
Nuts and Seeds
For the vegetarian, these are excellent amino acids. They deliver phenylalanine, which is an especially helpful variant because it raises energy and focus levels. People find that getting a fix of these food choices before working out helps increase power and endurance. Plus, they are quite convenient as snacks. Take a bag of almonds or chia seeds along with you and keep the infusion coming.
Another healthy non-meat source of amino acids. Quinoa is arguably the top choice among this category of amino acid sources. Like seafood, it is a complete protein offering every essential amino acid. Whole grains also offer robust fiber content to aid healthy digestion and weight loss.