The Role of Amino Acids In Muscle Growth


There are many theories about how to build muscle quickly, but do yourself a favor and letamino acids science and biology be your guide. And, science and biology clearly state that proper ingestion of amino acid-rich and protein-rich foods set the foundation for a stronger, healthier body.

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. “Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left.”

Certain amino acids encourage muscle growth. A combination of a healthy, amino acid-rich, protein-rich diet and a regular training routine will have you feeling stronger and looking stronger in a very short time. If you are serious about becoming stronger, it is important to understand the role amino acids can play.

Amino acids not only help build muscle but they assist in the maintenance of new and existing muscle. According to MedlinePlus, a governmental information site, the first fact about amino acids that you need to know is that there are three types of amino acids; essential, nonessential and conditional.

Essential amino acids are produced through proper dietary intake of basic protein-rich foods. Nonessential amino acids are provided by interaction with essential amino acids. Whether you increase your daily intake of amino acids and proteins via supplements or through adjusting your diet, nutritionists maintain the importance of not diminishing other dietary necessities.

Essential Amino Acids

There are 9 essential amino acids.  These acids are not produced are by the body. This requires the individual to eat foods that contain protein and amino acids. These essential acids are:

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Four essential amino acids that have great bearing on the development and maintenance of the body’s muscle are:

  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Methionine
  • Valine

Nonessential Amino Acids

Nonessential amino acids are produced by the body even when we do not eat the correct foods. However, the amino acids have little bearing on the development and maintenance of muscle. There are 4 basic, non-essential amino acids that are produced in the human body.

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Glutamic acid

Conditional Amino Acids

For the most part, the only times conditional amino acids are called to duty is when the body is under stress or sick. There are 8 conditional amino acids:

  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Glycine
  • Ornithine
  • Proline
  • Serine

If you intend to increase your muscle mass through a combination of resistance training and diet, there are certain foods that should be in your diet.

According to Don Ammerman of, the essential amino acids are “naturally included in most protein-rich foods, as well as some plant-based foods.” Specific protein–rich foods include but are not limited to:

  • Meatsmuscles
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Beans
  • Milk
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts

To build muscle, one does not need to include protein rich foods with every meal but should be sure to digest a balanced number of amino acid friendly foods over the course of the day. Proteins are not stored in the body. Glycogen is found in muscle and in the liver. When your body needs energy, glycogen supplies are tapped regularly.  To fill the void and to increased muscle mass, you must provide a steady diet of protein that the body can burn without resorting to draining your existing supply of glycogen.

Amino acid supplements are often used by bodybuilders who have a mission. These supplements, which can be acquired at any health food stores or at most fitness centers, provide the biggest benefits when taken between 1 and 3 hours after your resistance training. Use amino acids to build a stronger and more fit you.


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