In the world of bodybuilding supplements, amino acids can be found in products from bars to pills to multivitamins to mixers. And while most of us realize that they are essential to the optimum function of the human body, most of us do not understand what they truly are or how they actually function. The fact of the matter is that the body cannot absorb the protein it produces or the protein that we ingest via our diets or supplements directly. Rather, proteins are broken down into smaller components known as amino acids, and it is these acids that are reconstituted into the specific proteins needed by the body.
The fact of the matter is that protein is second only to water when it comes to the composition of the human body. Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that amino acids are so commonly utilized in bodybuilding supplements. Ingesting amino acids themselves is much more efficient for the body than trying to derive them from protein, and it provides more efficient and noticeable results. It is important to keep in mind that, in addition to building muscle tissue, amino acids are utilized in virtually every function of the body – from controlling absorption of vital vitamins and minerals to regulating proper brain function.
Amino acids, in nature, occur in either D or L forms. The human body produces L amino acids, and therefore this is generally the type that sought out in bodybuilding supplements. Among the most commonly included L amino acids are such substances as L-Alanine or L-Carnitine.
Most bodybuilding supplements containing amino acids are referred to as BCAA (branched chain amino acid) supplements. As amino acids are generally absorbed more readily when combined with vitamin C and vitamin B6, most amino acid supplements contain these ingredients. However, if you find that yours do not, combining them with a multivitamin will increase their effectiveness.