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Amino Acid Chart

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The Importance of Amino Acids and Protein for Bodybuilders

There are twenty three amino acids that are the molecular building blocks of protein. These twenty three can be divided into an amino acid chart consisting of 9 essential and 12 non-essential amino acids. The distinction between these amino acids are as such, essential amino acids must be supplied to the body in the foods we eat while non-essential amino acids are based upon the body's ability to make them from the other amino acids.

Bodybuilding Amino Acid List

The nine essential amino acids are Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Pheynlalanine, Tryptophan, Valine and Threonine.

The twelve non-essential amino acids are Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Cystine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine and Tyrosine.

Once an amino acid enters the body, the body determines the utilization of the amino acid based on its needs at the present time. Immediately following an intense workout, the body's muscles are most receptive to nutrients and the blood flow to the muscle tissue remains elevated. Many bodybuilders believe that eating a high protein post workout meal will help deliver the necessary nutrients back to the muscle tissue allowing for resoration and growth. The issue with this line of thinking is the fact that the prime "window of opportunity" is missed due to the length of time necessary to digest and distibute the necessary nutrients. The fastest and most efficient way to deliver the needed nutrients to the receptive muscle tissue is through free form amino acids. The beauty of free form amino acids is that they do not require digestion. They are free of chemical bonds to other molecules which allows them pass quickly through the body where they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed into the muscle tissue. The process of ingestion and absorption takes approximately 15 minutes which allows the muscles to aviod a catabolic state.

During sessions of heavy exercise, the body has the ability to break down the muscle tissue for energy necessary to sustain the current demand. This is known as gluconeogenesis or the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources. Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, also known as Branch-Chained amino acids are removed from the muscle tissue, processed through the body and into the liver where it is converted to glucose. Supplementing with free form amino acids can avoid the body deriving glucose directly from the muscle tissue for extra energy, thus reducing the breakdown of muscle tissue.

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