By: Jim Stoppani, PhD
Try these amino acids to help you work out with insane intensity, all in the name of muscle growth.
As an avid bodybuilder, you likely know that your body uses amino acids to build protein. You may even be familiar with the difference between essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids. But did you know that amino’s do more than build muscle
protein? But which amino acids are most important? We have a suggestion for a few you’ll want to take before every workout to boost your energy
levels to new heights. That’s right, carbs aren’t the only nutrient that provides energy. Besides being critical for muscle growth, certain amino acids can energize you better than carbs before a workout. Try these amino acids to help you work out with insane intensity, all in the name of muscle growth.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
There are three amino acids that comprise the BCAAs — leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are critical for muscle growth and energy. The BCAAs, unlike most other amino acids, are used directly by the muscles for fuel during exercise. Yet, after the workout’s over, the muscles rely mostly on fat for energy so the BCAAs can be used for muscle growth. This means that taking BCAAs before workouts will provide you with more energy
during the workout, spare your muscle levels of BCAAs (which normally get burned for fuel during workouts), and boost muscle growth even after the workout is over. Take 5-10 grams immediately before your workout. Your best bet is to look for products that provide a 2:1 ratio of leucine to its companions, isoleucine and valine. This means a 5-gram dose should contain about 2.5 grams of leucine, 1.25 grams of isoleucine and 1.25 grams of valine.
This amino acid can aid energy production in a number of ways. Your muscles can use glutamine to produce more energy
while you’re resting between sets. This can help your muscles recover better between sets, which can enhance your strength and endurance on later sets. Glutamine also helps to produce bicarbonate, which buffers the fatigue-producing chemicals that form during intense exercise. In addition, the amino acid boosts growth hormone levels, which frees up more fat from fat cells for enhanced recovery. Glutamine further helps the muscle cells load up better with glycogen, so that they can perform better for longer when you exercise. Glutamine even provides energy for your immune system to run efficiently. Take 5-10 grams immediately before workouts.
This supplement consists of the amino acid citrulline bound to malic acid (malate). In the body a great deal of citrulline gets converted to arginine, which can then enhance nitric oxide
production. This helps to increase blood flow to the muscles, which delivers more nutrients and oxygen to boost energy. Citrulline is also involved in removing ammonia from the body. Ammonia is a toxic compound that is produced when amino acids are metabolized (during intense workouts). By enhancing the removal of ammonia from the body, citrulline helps to delay fatigue during workouts. Malic acid helps the body convert the lactic acid that’s produced during exercise to energy, thus further delaying muscle fatigue. Studies in humans have shown that citrulline malate supplements reduce fatigue, increase adenosine triphosphate (the major energy currency of all cells) production during exercise and increase the rate of creatine phosphate (energy used when lifting weights) recovery following exercise. Take 1-3 grams of citrulline malate immediately before workouts.
Taking these three aminos before every workout will boost energy and muscle growth
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