Commonly known as protein building blocks, amino acids are wondrous compounds that play many crucial roles in your body. Like vitamins and minerals, they fulfill the foundations of well-being while providing the fuel for your body’s genetic transcription and good functioning. However, high levels of amino acids in your body can lead to gastrointestinal distress like bloating and an unhealthy drop in blood pressure.
This article covers everything about essential amino acids and how much you need to take daily.
How Much Amino Acids Do You Need For Muscle Growth?
Generally, amino acids are categorized into three groups, essential, nonessential, and conditional. Out of the nine essential amino acids, there’s a group of 3 amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that consist of isoleucine, valine, and leucine.
BCAAs are well-known for increasing muscle growth. They activate specific pathways in your body, which stimulate muscle protein synthesis. According to a 2017 study, consuming a drink that contains 5.6 g of BCAAs after your resistance workout increases muscle protein synthesis in your body.
That said, this increase in protein synthesis is about 50% less than observations in other studies where people drink a whey protein shake with a similar amount of BCAAs. Note that whey protein has all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth. So, although taking 5.6 g of BCAAs increases muscle protein synthesis, they can’t maximally do so without other essential amino acids.
How Much Amino Acids Should You Take For Weight Loss?
Besides being popular with athletes for their bodybuilding properties, amino acids are rapidly attracting those interested in losing weight. This is because of their unique components that support weight reduction.
Some studies have shown that BCAAs are effective in stimulating fat loss. For instance, a survey conducted in 36 strength-trained men proved that supplementing with 14 g of BCAA reduces body fat percentage, compared to using a sports drink or whey protein.
Another animal study in rats found that a diet containing 4% supplemental leucine decreases body weight and fat. Also, using amino acids increases fat burn, which leads to significant weight loss.
So, if you want to lose weight, consider supplementing your diet with 14 g of BCAA daily. You can also opt for beyond yourself supplements from online platforms that sell nutritional supplements in Canada, such as SupplementSource.ca.
How Much Amino Acids Do You Need to Improve Mood and Sleep?
A good night’s sleep is essential in preparing you for the next day. If you’ve been having trouble falling asleep, then you’ll be glad to know that several nutrients can improve your mood and promote good sleep.
Tryptophan, an amino acid in supplements and various foodstuffs, is one of them. It’s an essential amino acid for synthesizing proteins and other specialized molecules like neurotransmitter serotonin, crucial for optimal sleep and mood.
Several studies have proved that supplementing with tryptophan boosts mood, reduces symptoms of depression, and improves sleep. All you need to do is take 1g of tryptophan daily.
Based on Activity Levels
Endurance exercise increases amino acid oxidation, thus leading to increased protein needs. Remember, the increase in demand majorly depends on the intensity and duration of your workout.
Luckily, if you’re an athlete, BCAAs can significantly boost your exercise performance. You can use them to alleviate fatigue and increase muscle recovery after exercise. Just ensure that you take 10 to 20 g of leucine daily for 12 weeks, depending on training.
How Much Amino Acids Should You Take to Lower Blood Sugar Levels?
BCAAs can also help you maintain normal blood sugar levels. Isoleucine and leucine increase insulin secretion, thus causing your muscles to absorb more sugar from your blood. This, in turn, reduces your blood sugar levels.
To lower your blood sugar levels, consider taking 12.5 g of BCAAs 3 times a day. However, keep in mind that the effects may vary depending on factors such as activity levels.
General Dosage Instructions
If you’d like to supplement your meals with BCAAs, the amount you should take depends on your goals and individual needs. According to a WHO report from 1985, an average adult should take a minimum of 34mg per kg of body weight daily.
Based on various studies on daily amino acids requirements, a healthy adult should aim to take:
Men: minimum of 12 g of BCAAs each day
Women: minimum of 9 g of BCAAs per day
Benefit the Most from Amino Acids
As you can see, amino acids are essential for various body functions such as tissue repair and protein synthesis. In addition to acquiring these compounds from animal- and plant-based foods, you can incorporate supplements in your diet to help you meet your daily needs. Just remember to maintain a balanced diet, take the appropriate amount of BCAAs, and you’ll be good to go.