While most amino acids are more commonly known to act as neurotransmitter precursors (chemical substances that transmit messages from one nerve to the other) which can:
- improve mood,
- improve performance,
- and improve cognitive function,
- significantly improve muscle repair, regrowth and recovery as well.
Research shows that when you train at an intensity above 90% of your maximum heart rate, or close to exhaustion, your oxygen usage sky rockets, in turn, causes an increase in the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles, which in the case of turning your body alkaline reserves to pull from bones and other mineral dense sources. Not to mention the muscle tissue is torn and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in muscles become exhausted.
Amino acid Glutamine
The good news is the amino acid glutamine has been proven to help boost the body’s immune system and help keep your training on track. In addition to playing a vital role in cell volume and transfer of nitrogen, it has also been shown to help the immune system and helps the body recover.
In fact, research at the Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research at University College of Dublin has found glutamine immune stimulant properties were so impressive, it was used to treat patients with inflammatory diseases such as infection and injury. Experts recommend around 5 grams a day should greatly help support a healthy immune system during periods of heavy training.
Glutamine 250 g is also available at some online stores regards the optimal recovery and growth after your workout. This is basically when your muscles are particularly receptive to nutrients from the blood flow to the exercised muscles remains high and muscle glycogen levels are depleted, so that your muscles have a “sponge as” the quality that absorb nutrients you give it. The solution to optimize the recovery and growth in this case could include eating a small meal composed of protein with both simple and complex carbohydrates.
However, a high protein meal will not put significant levels of amino acids in the blood until a couple of hours after you eat, especially if the blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract was decreased by a hard training session. The solution may be in the form of amino acids because they do not require digestion.
The term “free form” means just that: they are free of chemical bonds with other molecules and so move quickly through the stomach and into the small intestine, where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
By 1990, the national team of Bulgarian weightlifting began trials to determine if free-form amino acids were a boost to muscular growth. The work was so successful that part of the study was replicated on the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. Since then, top bodybuilders and power lifters around the world today, including Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates and “Mr. Powerlifting” Ed Coan, have benefited from this new research.
Amino acid Leucine
The next most effective amino acid for recovery is leucine since research shows the higher levels of leucine in your bloodstream, the more synthesis of muscle protein you get (i.e. more repair and regrowth your muscles).
In fact, experts believe adding just a few grams of leucine to your post workout recovery meal/shake can increase the synthesis of protein by 50-70%.