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INFORMATION ON AMINO ACIDS

Why are amino acids so important? Essentially, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids form peptides (short polymer chains) or proteins (or polypeptides, longer chains.) Human beings produce only half of the amino acids that there are. This is ten out of twenty. The other ten, known as essential amino acids, must be obtained from other sources, like the daily diet and also from whey protein. 

Depletion or lack of intake in any of these essential amino acids results in the breakdown of protein within the body to obtain the missing amino acids that it requires. And where does the breakdown occur? Primarily, in muscles. If you are training in any sport, particularly in bodybuilding, the last thing you need is muscle breakdown. Therefore, intake of essential amino acids is just that, essential. There are no protein stores in the body, so there are no reserves for the body to turn to. So breakdown of muscle and other protein sources is the body’s only way to obtain what it needs.

The amino acids produced in the body are:

Alanine
Asparginine
Aspartic Acid
Cysteine
Glutamic Acid
Glutmamine
Glycine
Proline
Serine
Tyrosine

The essential amino acids are:

Arginine
Isoleucine
Histidine
Leucine
Methionine
Lysine
Phenylalanine
Tryptophan
Threonine
Valine


Branch Chain Amino Acids

Whey protein is abundant in Branch Chain Amino Acids. What are these? Branch chain amino acids differ from the essential amino acids in that they are metabolized directly into the muscle and not in the liver. The BCAAs are essential for all athletes, including bodybuilding, as it is these that are broken down first when your training begins and a reason why it is so vital to take whey protein post workout, to replenish these levels. 

The branch chain amino acids are:

Leucine
Isoleucine
Valine

They are found in whey protein and shows why whey protein is so valuable in everyday amino acid intake and in particular for BCAA intake.

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