Author: Linda Ericson
The proteins in our bodies consists of smaller components called amino acids
. These are vital for the human organism in order to optimize functions of the immune system, metabolism as well as increasing muscle mass. Individuals who train harder and more often than average also have a greater need to support the proteins function in the body, as it enhances growth and muscle
There are twenty amino acids that forms protein. Among these are eight so called essential which the body can not synthesize itself. In other words, they must be ingested in our diet. These include Valine, Leucine, Threonine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Methionine, Phenylalanine and Isoleucine. Even though the remaining amino acids are of that sort that the body can create itself, the essential ones are necessary parts of the manufacturing process. Therefore, the lack of an essential amino acid can in fact lead to a lack of a non-essential dito.
As an athlete or active person in general it may be wise to add supplements containing amino acids to your already healthy diet, to boost your results from training and minimize muscle damage.
Essential amino acids are found mainly in products containing animal protein such as fish, eggs, meat and milk. Unlike fat and starch our bodies do not store unnecessary amino acids for later use, therefore we must continuously get our daily dose through our diet.
As a vegetarian, it is of even higher importance to pay attention to the protein consumption to avoid deficiency diseases. There are several vegetarian options including nuts, soybeans and legumes which are particularly rich in essential amino acids.