Amino Acid Index
by Jesse Seal

Many of the ingredients included in the supplements we review on Warrior Sciences contain amino acids. To save the monotony of repeatedly explaining what each one does, here is an index of some basic ones and how they benefit you as an athlete.

NOTE: These descriptions are not conclusive, as each amino acid is very complex in their makeup and benefits. I only intend to offer some basic descriptions of benefits that will pertain to most, if not all, athletes.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

There are a total of nine essential amino acids. These contribute to the production of protein in the body and are not created naturally, thus must be consumed. Three of these are called branch chain amino acids, due to the branches coming off of the molecule, and make up about 33% of all skeletal muscle in the body.

When your body lacks BCAAs, it will metabolize your muscle to get them. This is why it is important to take BCAAs, especially pre and post workout. BCAAs are the foundation of the two proteins found in muscle tissue, actin and myosin. They include leucine, iso-leucine, and valine.

Leucine

Also known as L-leucine, this BCAA is the fourth most abundant amino in the muscle. Studies have shown that it may be the primary BCAA used for tissue building.

Isoleucine

This BCAA has been shown to be the major contributor to muscle endurance and repair after intense resistance training. Interestingly enough, Isoleucine is needed to produce hemoglobin, blood clots, and regulate blood sugar levels and energy.

Valine

Our third BCAA, Valine has similar tissue building and muscle repair abilities as Leucine and Isoleucine. It's uniqueness comes with it's ability to stimulate the CNS and brain function.

Other Essential Amino Acids

Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine has tons of benefits, most dealing with the central nervous system and increased energy and moods. Phenylalanine helps with the production of dopamine and norepinephrine which can be reduced during high amounts of stress. The most common form, L-Phenylalanine is found in the body's muscle tissue. D-Phenylalanine is used for its pain killing abilities. Finally, DL-Phenylalanine, a combination of the two, acts as a pain killer while increasing memory, learning, and promoting a better mood.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan aids the body in producing and regulating levels of melatonin and serotonin, hormones directly responsible for mood and stress management. This is especially helpful for people who are dieting, because serotonin levels drop. This drop in serotonin, especially in obese people, causes binge eating due to carbohydrate cravings. Additionally, studies show that it promotes the production of growth hormone and restful sleep, both things that are extremely important to athletes.

Threonine

Threonine comes with a handful of benefits any athlete could use, including the promotion of a healthy bones and teeth, heart, liver, CNS, and immune system. It also helps the body produce glycine and serine which help create collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. It is also said that L-Threonine promotes the absorption of other nutrients.

Methionine

Methionine supports a healthy liver, joints, brain function. It is also a precursor to creatine, which is used to restore energy levels in the muscles during intense resistance training.

Lysine

Lysine is a precursor to many other aminos, thus has many benefits. It's primary benefits include promotion of collagen formation and calcium retention.

Histidine

In the body, Histidine transforms into histamine. L-Histidine promotes a healthy nervous and immune system and helps in the growth and reparation of muscle tissue.

Others You Need to Know

Arginine

You may recognize this because it is found in most preworkout supplements. It's main benefit is it's effect on the circulatory system, and more specifically, increased blood flow to muscles resulting in higher levels of nitric oxide. Additionally, Arginine is supposed to promote increased nutrient absorption. You may see many forms of Arginine (i.e. Arginine AKG), but most forms allege to increased nitric oxide and blood flow to the working muscles.

Beta Alanine

Simply put, Beta Alanine promotes training endurance by delaying lactic acid build up. Beware of "the itch".

Carnitine

Carnitine is found in weight loss products for its promotion of fat metabolism and increase in energy levels.


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About the Author

Jesse Seal is the assistance Combatives Instructor, and has been training in Combative Sciences since 2008. He has also been training and learning through Bullock's Irondom Performance Systems since 2010.

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