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What are amino acids?

Amino acids are nitrogenated bonded molecules that form a bigger molecule structure called protein. Currently there are 20 known amino acids that are divided into 2 groups: Essential and non-essential.  

Essential amino acids are those that cannot be synthesised by the body and must be supplied through the diet. Non-essential themselves can either be supplied through food or be synthesised by the body from other amino acids.

BCAA, branched-chain amino acids, is a group of amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine) that has a fundamental role in the athlete as it helps maintain and increase muscle mass. This has made a lot of clients resort to them on hypocaloric diets, fasting training, or if the protein intake is not adequate, such as people with hepatic problems or elderly people.

Which are amino acid functions?

As previously mentioned, amino acid are used in the organism to stimulate protein synthesis, even though they can occasionally be used to synthesise glucose in hypocaloric diets or prolonged fasting.

Amino acids participate in almost every process of our organism. This way, we find GABA and Tryptophan at a cerebral level, Citrulline as a vasodilator, Alanine as a precursor of glucose or Histidine as a related substance to allergy reactions, and Cysteine as a contributor to toxins elimination.

Besides, there are amino acids derivatives with different functions, such as:

  • Tissue repair (mainly muscle repair)

  • Collagen synthesis

  • Mediation in fat and sugar metabolism

  • Regulation of blood sugar levels

  • Control appetite

  • Synthesis of sleep-wakefulness neurotransmitters

  • Catecholamine synthesis

How to take amino acids?

How to take amino acids will depend on your training. Normally, AA can be taken during training if it lasts more than 90 minutes or if exercise intensity is very high. Endurance athletes take around 6 - 15 g of BCAA’s in a long-distance running as they improve performance due to the muscle glycogen reduction, delaying fatigue. Strength athletes also take it during training, since muscle contraction can easily increase protein degradation. Definitely, AA intake during your workout may be interesting!  

If you want to improve your body composition, BCAA intake helps you achieve your goal. It has been shown that leucine supplementation reduces the organism protein requirements. In this case, taking a little amount of BCAA’s between meals or add it to the least proteic meal is the ideal thing to do.

Where to buy amino acids?

There are several online amino acid stores, being HSNstore.com with the best quality-to-price and service, offering a wide range of amino acid products that will absolutely meet its clients needs.  

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