Amino Acids And Diet

By Elizabeth Hershey
A friend of mine (Terry) and I were working out at our local gym when we overheard some professional bodybuilders discussing amino acid supplements. Some preferred Brand X, others Brand Y. Terry remembered taking a course in college that included several chapters about amino acids. He said, “It was a difficult course and not necessary for the average person to understand”. He looked at the guys working out and said, “Most of us don’t want muscles like that”. While I agree with his statement about most of us not wanting the amount of muscle these bodybuilders had, I disagree with his statement concerning amino acids. Most of you know about protein and how it can maintain muscle. Some of us know that if we up our protein intake we can add muscle and even lose weight. To me this is like putting the cart before the horse. We need to understand amino acids and how they help maintain a healthy body. Amino Acids Are The Building Blocks Of Protein. Twenty of them are used by the human body. They are classified as either essential or nonessential. Non essential amino acids are produced in the body. Hopefully you visit your primary physician annually and you know if your body is producing nonessential amino acids in sufficient quantities. If not then he/she has you on supplements. Essential amino acids can only be obtained by consuming foods that contain them. Your body does not store essential amino acids. It’s a, “Use it or Lose it” dilemma. Each day you must consume foods that contain them. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines essential as: 2a: basic, indispensable, necessary. 2b: being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a quantity sufficient for normal health and growth and that must be obtained from the diet. Some synonyms: all important, critical, imperative, indispensable, integral, and must have. Failure to not supply your body with these essential amino acids leads to serious health implications. In the body. muscle is the primary source of these amino acids. If not supplied thru diet, your body will get them from your muscle. This then leads to muscle wasting and ultimately weight gain, also weakness, fatigue, and changes to hair, skin, snd nails. Over time, your mental health is affected. I could go on and on but I can hear my readers asking, “What foods should I be eating”?

Amino Acids Are The Building Blocks Of Protein. They are broken down into two categories. They are classified as either essential or nonessential. Nonessential amino acids are produced in the body. My hope is that you visit your primary physician annually and you know if your body is producing nonessential amino acids in sufficient quantities. If not, your primary physician has you on supplements. Essential amino acids can only be obtained by consuming foods that contain them. Your body does not store essential amino acids. It’s a, “Use it or Lose it” dilemma. Each day you must consume foods that contain them. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines essential as: 2a: basic, indispensable, necessary. 2b: being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a quantity sufficient for normal health and growth and that must be obtained from the diet. Some synonyms: all important, critical, imperative, indispensable, integral, and must have. Failure to not supply your body with these essential amino acids leads to serious health implications. In the body, muscle is the primary source of these amino acids. If your diet does not provide them, your body will get them from your muscle. This then leads to muscle wasting and ultimately weight gain, weakness, fatigue, and changes to hair, skin, snd nails. Over time, your mental health is affected, and DNA damage occurs.

A diet that provides all of the essential amino acids includes the following: Lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork, as well as chicken, turkey, and seafood. Eggs, milk, and cheese are also complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids. Avocados, apricots,apples, bananas, pears, peaches, watermelon, cauliflower, celery, beets, mushrooms, onions, garlic, peas, pumpkin, hazelnuts, peanuts,cashews, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat, wheat germ, oats,quinoa, teff, and brown rice are all excellent sources of amino acids. This is not a complete list but it’s a good starting point. I often refer to the Internet as the World’s greatest library. If you have the resources I urge you to study; “Foods and Amino Acids”.

Isoleucine is part of three “branch chained amino acids” (BCAA). The other two are leucine and valine. These BCAA’s promote muscle recovery after physical exercise. Remember our bodybuilders at the beginning of this article? On it’s own isoleucine is needed for the formation of hemoglobin. It assists with regulating blood sugar and energy levels. Those deficient in this amino acid display symptoms such as: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion, and irritability. These symptoms are similar to hypoglycemia.

Isoleucine is part of three “branch chained amino acids” (BCAA). The other two are leucine and valine. These BCAA’s promote muscle recovery after physical exercise. Remember our bodybuilders at the beginning of this article. On it’s own isoleucine is needed for the formation of hemoglobin. It assists with regulating blood sugar and energy levels. Those deficient in this amino acid display symptoms such as: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion, and irritability. These symptoms are similar to hypoglycemia.

Histidine is a powerful blood vessel dilator. It is also involved in gastric acid secretions aiding digestion. It is also related to circadian rhythms (function in the sleep and wake cycles) and sexual arousal and orgasmic function in women and premature ejaculation in men.

Methionine helps with metabolic function and breaks down fat. It helps with the removal of heavy metals so that our liver, kidneys, and bladder remain healthy. Side affects of methionine deficiency include liver damage, edema, brittle hair, slow growth in children and can lead to mental disorders.

Methionine helps with metabolic function and breaks down fat. It helps with the removal of heavy metals so that our liver, kidneys, and bladder remain healthy. Side affects of methionine deficiency include liver damage, edema, brittle hair, slow growth in children and can lead to mental disorders.

Lysine is important for proper growth. It plays an important role in the production of carnitine which is responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. It also plays a role in the formation of collagen. Lysine deficiencies can cause fatigue, nausea, dizziness, suppressed appetite, agitation, bloodshot eyes, slow growth, anemia, and reproductive disorders.

Tryptophan helps regulate your diet. The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin but in order to do so it also requires sufficient quantities of iron, riboflavin and Vitamin B6. Our bodies also uses tryptophan to make serotonin which is thought to aid healthy sleep and regulate mood. Symptoms of tryptophan deficiency include but are not limited to: depression, lack of concentration, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, carbohydrate cravings, and insomnia.

Tryptophan helps regulate your diet. The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin but in order to do so it also requires sufficient quantities of iron, riboflavin and Vitamin B6. Our bodies also uses tryptophan to make serotonin which is thought to aid healthy sleep and regulate mood. Symptoms of tryptophan deficiency include but are not limited to: depression, lack of concentration, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, carbohydrate cravings, and insomnia.

Threonine promotes proper protein balance in the body. It also supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous and immune system function. It helps keep our connective tissues, muscles, and heart strong and elastic. Threonine supports our immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies.

With regards to this article, I have given you a very brief overview. My hope for all of you is that I have motivated you to take a closer look at your diet and make the necessary changes to live a healthier life. I now leave you with this Pearl Of Wisdom:

With regards to this article, I have given you a very brief overview. My hope for all of you is that I have motivated you to take a closer look at your diet and make the necessary changes to live a healthier life. I now leave you with this Pearl Of Wisdom:

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine And Let Thy Medicine Be Food.” -Hippocrates, Father of Medicine

About the Author:

Amino Acids And Diet

via StrongLife http://faststrongfit.blogspot.com/2013/08/amino-acids-and-diet.html

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