Amino acids may play a role in supporting athletic performance and recovery.* As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are involved in different functions, such as muscle growth, repair, and maintenance support, making them potential components of any athlete's diet.
Branched-chain amino acids
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, might be particularly important for athletes, as they may help support muscle growth and recovery.* Leucine, in particular, has been shown in some instances to potentially stimulate muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle growth, making it a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.*
Essential amino acids
In addition to BCAAs, essential amino acids (EAAs) may also play a role for athletic performance. EAAs are the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. These amino acids are essential for a number of functions in the body, potentially including supporting muscle tissue, immune function, and being involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.* You can read more about sources of EAA such as beef isolate protein or amino acids themselves such as L-proline.
Athletes and amino acids
Proper nutrition, including adequate protein intake, is usually essential for athletes to support athletic performance and recovery.* While athletes can obtain EAAs and BCAAs through diet, EAA and BCAA supplements may also be a convenient way to supplement their diet, especially for those who have difficulty getting enough through diet alone.*
It is important for athletes to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine their individual needs for protein and amino acids, as well as to determine the best sources for obtaining these nutrients. Additionally, athletes should be mindful of the quality of the supplements they use, as not all supplements are created equal.
In conclusion, amino acids may play an important role in supporting athletic performance and recovery. Proper nutrition, including adequate protein and amino acid intake, is usually important for athletes to support their health and well-being.*
Supplementation with BCAAs and EAAs may be a convenient way to increase intake, but it is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine individual needs and to choose high-quality supplements.
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a betaine supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.