The Importance of Amino Acids

by Robert Phillips
BCAA supplement with weights can be taken with Progentra

Amino acids are the building blocks for muscle gain. There is no quick way to build muscle faster than normal, but taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before your workout is beneficial. These building blocks for protein help keep your muscle tissue from breaking down. They also encourage the building of newer, larger muscles after each workout. This article will talk about why amino acids are important.

What Are Amino Acids?

This has been covered slightly above, but we will have to talk more about BCAAs in particular. There are over 500 types of amino acids within our bodies, but there are only some that help to build protein and muscle. These amino acids are phenylalanine, threonine, methionine, tryptophan, valine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, and lysine. These are the only amino acids that are essential to our diets. They are known as the BCAAs and are essential to muscle building.

What Do They Do?

BCAAs help to increase protein synthesis, the building of muscle. They also help to increase muscular hypertrophy, lower recovery time, increase muscle endurance, increase energy levels, and increase the metabolic process of the production of glucose. There is also some evidence that they help to improve hand-eye coordination.

Do I Need to Start Taking Branched-Chain Amino Acids?

If you are eating a high protein diet, you probably do not need to take any BCAA supplements. If you are looking for foods that will add BCAAs to your diet you need to start eating red and white meat fish, eggs, lean meats, and many other foods. These will help to increase muscle protein synthesis and prevent break down of your muscles. You should be taking branched-chain amino acids if you are weight training.

Which Are The Best Supplements to Increase Muscle Building?

All of the following supplements will help to increase the production of amino acids in the body which will increase your muscle building abilities after each workout.


As stated above, your body needs these amino acids to maximize muscle growth. The three most vital of these are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are a great source of protein if you are dieting on top of your exercise.

BCAA amino acid fish oil creatine whey protein powderCreatine

Creatine is safe to add as a supplement in your diet. It can help increase your power during your workouts and help to build muscle. You should be taking these as you are eating carbs since it helps to burn fat efficiently.

Fish Oil

Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for our overall health. It provides benefits for just about everything in our bodies. It is especially helpful in cognitive function, hormonal output, and fat burning. Many of us, especially those of us in the middle of the country, do not eat fish often. Taking a supplement is good for your overall health.

Leafy Greens

You can obtain all vital nutrients through leafy greens. Your diet should contain leafy greens with almost every meal, or at least once a day. If you prefer to not eat leafy greens, a greens powder supplement can help. Make sure that your green powder contains fiber, antioxidants, wheat-grass, and digestive enzymes.

Vitamin D

The further you are from the equator, the more likely you are to be vitamin D deficient. Basically, the harsher your winters are, the less likely you are to get enough sunlight all year round. Low vitamin D levels can affect testosterone levels, bone density, energy levels, and it can affect your mood. If you are from anywhere there are harsh winters, you are sure to have heard of seasonal depression. This is very real and a result of lack of vitamin D. There are many companies out there that sell vitamin D supplements.

Whey Protein

Whey is rich in BCAAs that help with quick recovery after exercise. It also helps to trigger growth of muscles after good exercise. Whey protein is found in many different protein supplements. It is high in leucine, which is the most potent of all BCAAs, and can help with rapid digestion. These are all good benefits and whey protein can be taken before or after every workout.

Are There Foods I Should Be Eating?

You should be eating high protein snacks if you want to naturally increase the amount of BCAAs in your body. Here are a few high protein snacks to add to your diet.

beef jerky natural source for amino acidBeef Jerky

These are easy to find and high in protein. You should be looking at how much salt and sugar are in your favorites brands. You should gravitate towards the all-natural, “health” beef jerky instead of the large chain beef jerky.


Almonds are a great source of protein and should be added to everyone’s diet, unless of course you are allergic. They are not only high in protein but also in unsaturated fats and vitamin E. These are beneficial to the production of BCAAs in your body.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a great low-fat snack. You can eat it with just about anything, including fruits that can add so that there is more flavor. You should only eat about 10 grams of cottage cheese at a time. This healthy snack can help to increase BCAAs in your body.

Peanut Butter

There are many high protein options out there for peanut butter. Make sure that you are looking at the nutrition facts when you buy peanut butter. Many options are chock full of unnecessary sugars. As long as your peanut butter has unsaturated fats and plenty of protein you will be just fine.

Pumpkin Seeds

Whether you want to eat them salted or unsalted, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein. They are cooked in a variety of ways, and they are truly good for you no matter which way you eat them. If you want to be extremely healthy, choose the plain option. These seeds are packed with protein they are very beneficial to the production of BCAAs in your body.

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