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Amino Acids

 

 

 

There are two basic forms of amino acid supplements that may be useful, especially to athletes:

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot produce them on its own, but must obtain them through diet or supplementation. BCAAs include l-leucine, l-isoleucine and valine.

Amino acids play a part in muscle growth and recuperation, hormone production, weight management and many other important bodily functions.

BCAAs, named for their unique "branched" chemical structure, are especially useful to athletes because intense exercise may lead the body to utilise stores for energy to spare muscle from catabolising (breaking down). Supplementation helps restore normal levels, optimising the recovery process and helping reduce feelings of fatigue.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Gamma-aminobutyric acid is an amino acid produced in the brain. Large amounts of GABA are found in the hypothalamus, which helps regulate functions like sleep, body temperature and the activity of the pituitary gland.

Studies show that GABA helps the body to release hormones, (especially after exercise), and this may contribute to a leaner body composition.

These hormones play a role in metabolising fat in our bodies; levels of hormones also decrease as we age, so weight management may get harder as we grow older. Therefore, supplementation with GABA may be an effective way to maintain a healthier weight.

GABA may also increase the body's production of melatonis, the 'sleep hormone', according to some studies, thereby producing a calmer and more restful night's sleep.

 

 

 

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